Fact Check: Can Achyranthes aspera or Latjeera cure cancer?

There is no proven cure for cancer yet.

By Sunanda Naik  Published on  28 Sep 2023 12:14 PM GMT
Fact Check: Can Achyranthes aspera or Latjeera cure cancer?

Hyderabad: A viral video on social media, claims that a herb named Achyranthes aspera is the ultimate cure for cancer.

(Source: Screengrab from viral reel)

The voiceover in the video can be heard claiming that the herb Achyranthes aspera has anti-carcinogenic properties and advises to churn 21 leaves of this plant, mix it with curd and consume the mixture twice a day to cure any type of cancer.

World Health Organisation (WHO) describes cancer as a large group of diseases that can start in almost any organ or tissue of the body when abnormal cells grow uncontrollably, go beyond their usual boundaries to invade adjoining parts of the body and/or spread to other organs.

Fact Check

NewsMeter found the video misleading.

What is Achyranthes aspera?

According to the Indian Council of Agricultural Research, Achyranthes aspera Linn. commonly known as latjeera or apamarga (family Amaranthaceae) is a 1-3 m high, stiff, erect herb, commonly found as a weed throughout India. It is much valued in indigenous medicine. Two varieties are found in India, one is red and another is white.

The white variety is bitter, pungent, heating, laxative, stomachic, carminative and useful for "vata" and heart disease, while the red variety is pungent, cooling, emetic, constipating, alexipharmic, useful for ulcers, "vata" and "kapha" and other diseases.

The study further states that nonalkaloid fractions of the plant were found valuable anti-tumour promoters. Leaves extracted in methanol were found to have inhibitory activity against human pancreatic cancer cells. The whole plant extract was found to inhibit N-nitroso diethylamine (NDEA) and Carbon tetrachloride (CCl4) induced hepatocarcinogenesis in rats.

It should be noted that no human study has been done yet except a test done on a mice. The study says.

Another scientific assessment on the anti-carcinogenic activity of A. aspera in the Journal of Emerging Technologies and Innovative Research (JETIR) states, ‘Chakraborty A, et al (2002) studied the leaves of A. aspera for chemo preventive activity.

Also, in the in-vivo study, two-stage mouse skin carcinogenesis test, the methanolic extract possessed a pronounced anticarcinogenic effect (76%) which indicated that there are valuable antitumor promotors in carcinogenesis.

Other than Cancer, the root of this herb is also helpful in treating gonorrhea. It is used in menorrhagia and eczema. It is applied as a poultice to buboes and abscesses for hastening suppuration. It is also considered as actagogue and specific for colic. Boiled roots and leaves are given to children as laxatives; they are applied as an emollient to boils and burns, says the Directorate of Weed Research.

It should be noted that every kind of cancer is different, there’s no one-size-fits-all cure. But sometimes, people may say they are cured if their cancer seems to go away with treatment. But it’s not quite that simple.

WebMD further adds, ‘There are no cures for any kinds of cancer, but there are treatments that may cure you.’

However, studies have found anti-carcinogenic properties in Achyranthes aspera or latjeera. It should be noted that no successful human study has been found so far.

Moreover, the methanol extraction from the plant has reflected the ability to fight cancer but simply mixing the churned juice into curd will not provide the preventive properties studies have shown.

There is a huge difference between prevention, treatment and cure. Make sure that you don't confuse the three. At the moment there is no scientifically proven cure for cancer. There are certain medications and therapies to treat cancer.

Claim Review:Achyranthes aspera herb or Latjeera cure cancer
Claimed By:Social media user
Claim Reviewed By:NewsMeter
Claim Source:Facebook
Claim Fact Check:Misleading
Next Story