Chinese Herbs That Destroy Cancer: Lei Gong Teng
By Carly Fraser
iImage Courtesy Dr. Roy Winkelman of Harvard University.
Lei gong teng (Tripterygium wilfordii), a Chinese plant sometimes called “Thunder God vine”, is a traditional Chinese medicine that has been used for centuries for individuals with fever, chills, edema and carbuncle. The plant’s ability to cure cancer only recently came into light when researchers at the University of Minnesota’s Masonic Cancer Centre found that compounds from this plant wiped out pancreatic tumors in mice, and showed no signs of tumors after 40 days or after discontinuing the treatment.
The natural compound, triptolide, found in lei gong teng, has been shown in numerous studies to induce apoptosis (cell death) in cancerous cells. In one study, the apoptosis induced by triptolide was mediated by up-regulating the expression of a gene associated with apoptosis called caspase-3 and bax, making triptolide a potential treatment for cancers of the pancreas.
“This drug is just unbelievably potent in killing tumor cells,” said Ashok Saluja, a vice chairman of research at the Masonic Cancer Centre. “You could see that every day you looked at those mice, the tumor was decreasing and decreasing, and then just gone.”
Unfortunately, researchers have now found a way to isolate triptolide into a new drug called minnelide, which is a modified form of the diterpenoid compound triptolide, isolated from the thunder god vine. Under normal circumstances, Big Pharma would not be able to make any money off the thunder god vine, since you cannot patent nature. With this new drug, minnelide, however, Big Pharma will get a big FDA stamp of approval which will allow the newly patented, nutritionally ruined triptolide to be sold for hundreds and thousands of dollars.
Of course, there is always the option of just going out to the market and grabbing some thunder god vine yourself. I am sure a local Asian market or online distributor sells this vine for a fraction of the price that a drug with half the amount of cancer-curing enzyme activity would go for.