Some of Motherhealth caregivers use whole foods/greens and herbs to help extend the life of some senior clients from 6 m to 4 more years.

Herbs that promote cell proliferation

Literature search about herbs that involve cell proliferation showed many research discussing the beneficial effects of herbs on stem cell proliferation, few reports focus on hair growth, stimulation of the immune system and other positive side of herbal remediation but there is  lack of scientific research exploring possible deleterious effects of herbs on cell proliferation and possibly cancer development.

Angiogenesis/immune system

Natural and plant concentrates can likewise impel angiogenesis and fortify the immune system. Peripheral lymphocyte  proliferation was found to be stimulated after treatment with Chinese medicinal herbal extracts (CHME).Nine CHMEs were experimentally tested; Astragalus polysaccharide (APS), Isatis root polysaccharide  (IRPS), Epimedium flavone (EF), Propolis flavone (PF), Astragalosides (AS) and Ginsenosides (GS) were found to promote lymphocyte proliferation and antibody titer, while Epimedium polysaccharide (EPS) mainly stimulated cellular immune responses [48]. The results also suggested that Angelica and ChuanXiong have angiogenic effects, and may provide some mechanisms for the treatment of myocardial infarction and peripheral ischemia [49]. On the other hand, concanavalin a significantly stimulated proliferation of mice spleen cells from fed with 100 mg rosemary extract compared to control animals [50, 51]. Anther herbal extract, Hemidesmus indicus extract was found to significantly stimulate lymphocyte cell proliferation at 1 mg/ml concentration. The extract increased the IgG production from cultured PBLs, when used at 1 mg/ml concentration. It also increased the ADA activity of PBLs after 72 h in culture [52].

Specific nutrients found in plants and herbs that can Promote Stem Cell Proliferation.

When bone marrow stem cell activity is interfered with, diseases such as anemia (red blood cell deficit), neutropenia (specialized white blood cell deficit), or thrombocytopenia (platelet deficit) are often diagnosed. Scientists have long known that folic acid, vitamin B12, and iron (greens, liquid Fluradix supplement) are required for bone marrow stem cells to differentiate into mature red blood cells [53, 54]. Vitamin D has been shown to be crucial in the formation of immune cells, where carnosine has demonstrated a remarkable ability to rejuvenate cells approaching senescence and extend cellular life span [55, 56].

Concerns about herbal therapy

Albeit herbal remedies are wide spread, well accepted and considered safe by many of us, there are many concerns that should be taken into consideration. There are few reports discussed possible carcinogenic ingredients in some well-known accepted herbal remedies [18, 19]. A series of kidney failure cases were reported in 1993 after the ingestion of the weight-loss herb Aristolochia fangchi [20] which had been found to possess some carcinogenic activity [21, 22]. A medicinal plant Jussiaea repens (L) that is widely used to treat many ailments in many Asian countries has been reported to cause adverse effects on male rat reproductive system [23].

Regeneration, repair and wound healing

Adult stem cells can be found in virtually all adult tissues. It is suggested that the utilization of herbal extracts to stimulate endogenous stem cells to promote rejuvenating and regeneration could be accommodated as an alternative to stem cell transplantation. Natural compounds kenned to promote rejuvenating can be investigated on stem cells. To advance the clinical utilization of herbal stem cell therapy in a like manner to stem cell transplantation, it is very consequential to find substances that promote endogenous stem cell proliferation and differentiation.

It has been found that Aconiti Lateralis Preparata Radix (ALR) promoted the proliferation rate of mouse bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (m BMMSCs) up to 122.24% compared to untreated cells [24]. A dose-related effect of blueberry, green tea, catechin, carnosine, and vitamin D3 was observed on proliferation of human bone marrow as compared with human granulocyte- macrophage colony-stimulating factor (h GM-CSF). Furthermore,  it has been shown that coalescences of nutrients engender a synergistic effect on hematopoietic progenitors by enhancing cell proliferation. This shows that nutrients can act to promote rejuvenating via an interaction with stem cell populations [25].

Poon and colleagues studied the effect of herbal extracts on bone fracture and osteoporosis, ethanol extracts of Gendarussa vulgaris and Drynaria quercifolia were investigated on rat bone marrow stromal cells and they found that Gendarussa vulgaris could enhance bone-cell proliferation [26]. Osteoblast-like  cell proliferation was also been found to be stimulated by herbal  extracts [27]. The C. brasiliense, I. pes-caprae and M. elaeagnoides extracts significantly increased cell proliferation in a dose- dependent induction of cell proliferation suggesting T-lymphocyte stimulation [28]. Numerous studies showed that herbal extracts can be used in the management of wound healing. A polyherbal formulation consisting of extracts of Wrightia tinctoria, Aloe vera, Curcuma longaand Terminalia chebula was used to study the fibroblast cell migration and proliferation using scratch wound assay technique. The results of this study indicate that the polyherbal formulation may be useful in effective management of superficial wounds [29]. Herbal extracts were also found to stimulation growth of skin cells. The polysaccharides of St. John’s herb were found to stimulate keratinocyte differentiation [30]. It has also been reported that hyperforin which is found in significant amounts in Hypericum perforatum (St. John’s wort) induced keratinocyte differentiation in vitro andskinhydration in vivo [31, 32]. Polysaccharides from Kiwi fruit (Actinidia chinensis L.) were also found to have a stimulating effect on human keratinocytes [33]. A mixture of herbal extracts and platelet rich plasma was found to induce dermal papilla cells proliferation [34, 35]. Other herbal  extracts can stimulate keratinocyte cell proliferation and avail in wound rejuvenating [35, 36].

Immunomodulatory activities

Ethanol extracts of Allium sativum (garlic), Glycyrrhiza glabra (licorice), Plantago major (plantain) and Hippophae rhamnoides (sea buckthorn) were assessed for their effects on  cellular immunity in laying hens. Certain extracts definitely enhanced the fowl innate and/or specific cell immunity and may therefore amend host resistance in poultry. Considering the chicken as an important non-mammalian model that also serves as an available laboratory approach for some human diseases, herbs exerting immunomodulatory properties may find pertinent clinical applications [37].


Many herbal extracts have been reported to have a radio protective potential. The results obtained from an in vitro and in vivo studies indicate that several botanicals such as Gingko biloba, Centella asiatica, Hippophae rhamnoides, Ocimum sanctum, Panax  ginseng, Podophyllum hexandrum, Amaranthus paniculatus, Emblica officinalis, Phyllanthus amarus, Piper longum, Tinospora cordifoila, Mentha arvensis, Mentha piperita, Syzygium cumini, Zingiber officinale, Ageratum conyzoides, Aegle marmelos and Aphanamixis polystachya protect against radiation-induced lethality, lipid peroxidation and DNA damage [38]. Sah and colleagues showed that some herbal extracts exhibitant thermo- radiation properties.

It was found cells exposed to Selaginella extract (SE) for 1 h afforded complete protection against heat- induced growth suppression. SE may possess anti-stress and antioxidant activities that could be responsible for the observed effects. Chemical analysis shows that (SE) contains hexoses and proteins. Taken together, S. bryopteris extract may help in stress- induced complications including those due to heat shock [39].

Herbal and plant extracts that might cause cancer

Some herbs and plants have been found to have deleterious effects on certain cancer cell lines. Croton oil has been long known to induce inflammation and carcinogenesis in different types of cells [40-42]. Moreover, herbal extracts such as Lycium shawii leaves extract was found to possess proliferative, anti-inflammatory and cytotoxic activity. Pure ingredients of these extracts were found to have significant proliferative activity when human embryonic kidney cells were used (HEK-293) [43]. It has also been reported  that some herbal extracts can stimulate cancer cell proliferation while others can inhibit it. The proliferation of MCF7 cells was significantly increased following treatment with ecdysterone, saffcomin A, psoralen or isopsoralen [44]. Astragalus plant, which has been consumed by humans for over a thousand years and is available in any vitamins shop, has a single molecule called TA-65 which has been found to activate the telomerase enzyme hence stimulating proliferation and fighting aging [45].

Therefore, theoretically, TA-65 could stimulate unwanted growth and cell overpopulation. It is also reported that Chinese herbal extracts showed neuro proliferation properties in vitro and in vivo [46]. More specifically, Rhizome Chuanxiong, Radix Scutellaria and Radix Phellodendri could promote the proliferation of neural stem cells (NSCs) in a concentration-dependent manner. Danggui Buxue  Tang (DBT), a Chinese herbal decoction used to treat ailments in women, contains Radix Astragali (Huangqi; RA) and Radix Angelicae Sinensis (Danggui; RAS). When DBT was applied onto cultured MG-63 cells (osteosarcoma cell line), an increase of cell proliferation and differentiation was noticed [47].

Aristolochic acids (AAs) are primarily found in different species of the genus Aristolochia (e.g. Aristolochia clematitis, Aristolochia fangchi and Aristolochia manshuriensis), but have also been described in  certain Asarum species (International Agency for Research on Cancer (2002).


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