Cancerina (Hippocratea excelsa)
Cancerina is a herbaceous plant that is used to treat different conditions, including cancer. It is also known as aguatcui, chilonché monkey ear, or rosewood. In its composition are housed different chemical elements that give it its great medicinal properties. But it has been gaining relevance over time as it is also associated with cancer treatment.
The Cancerina whose scientific name is Semialarium Mexicanum, is a herbaceous shrub that reaches up to five meters in height. It belongs to the Celastraceae family and is native to Central American forests, extending from Mexico to Panama. It has light green flowers and also bears fruits that look like small semi-winged capsules. The part that is used for human consumption is its bark, which is usually sold in medicinal plant markets.
Its habitat extends through the ecosystems of dry, tropical forests and savannahs, along the inflows of water. It likes rather clayey and slightly stony soils. It is distributed in the Mesoamerican region, from southern Mexico to Panama. In Mexico, it can be found in the states of Campeche, Durango, Quintana Roo, and Yucatán. While in Costa Rica it is found in the Central Pacific, Arenal, Tempisque, and Guanacaste.
What is Cancerine used for?
It has insecticidal, anti-inflammatory, healing, and purifying properties. Among its composition, we find a variety of active components that give it its medicinal properties. It contains triterpenes such as canofilol, canofilal, celastrol, excelcita, friedelin, tingenone, pristimerina and b-sitosterol. In addition to alkaloids such as emarginanine, hypocretin I, II, and III, meytein, and cryophilic acid.
Semialarum Mexicanum, that is, Cancerine, is generally used in the treatment of gastric ulcers, kidney problems, diarrhea, and psoriasis, due to its healing and anti-inflammatory properties. Bark infusion helps treat bruises, wounds, and bumps on the body. Whether external or internal, Cancerina helps relieve symptoms thanks to its healing and anti-inflammatory properties. In the case of external wounds, it can also be used topically to soothe discomfort.
How should Cancerina tea be taken?
How to use: In a cup with freshly boiled water without keeping the fire, add 1-2 coffee spoons; let stand 15-20 minutes. When finished, strain and serve. Have a cup of tea before each meal. Contraindications: Do not take it during pregnancy and lactation.
In traditional Mexican medicine, it is used as a gastroprotective agent, for the treatment of vascular diseases and to dissolve gallstones and kidney stones. In addition, it is also used as a powerful insecticide, which is why it is used to control mites, lice, and other ectoparasites. For this reason, it is also known as a lice killer.
But among all its properties and uses, perhaps the most relevant that has been gaining popularity is that it is used in the treatment of cancer. Various investigations have investigated its uses against cancer and have shown that cancerine promotes the death of tumor cells. In addition to stimulating the immune system to deal with different types of cancer.
Cancerine and cancer
An investigation by the Center for Research and Advanced Studies (Cinvestav) showed that the benefits of cancerine against cancer are due to the fact that it contains an anacardic acid (6 pentadecyl salicylic). This promotes the programmed death of tumor cells, without affecting normal cells. It is also capable of stimulating the immune system, which would greatly help to attack cancer cells more effectively, so it could be used in the treatment of different types of cancer.
Cancerine has been gaining relevance among the scientific community, precisely because it does not destroy bone marrow cells, since it is not toxic. Cancer treatments are usually based on the destruction of cancer cells. However, its compounds are so toxic that they end up destroying the immune system in the same way, which leaves the patient immunosuppressed.
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