An Indian researcher currently pursuing Ph.D in Australia is conducting a study to test the use of plants in the treatment of diabetes and cancer, a media report said on May 27, 2015. Dr Vandana Gulati, who is currently pursuing her Ph.D at Melbourne’s Swinburne University of Technology and was involved with pharmaceutical research in India after completing her masters in ayurvedic pharmacy, has investigated 12 medicinal plant extracts and their applications in treatment of diabetes and cancer, reported Melbourne-based Indian Link newspaper.
“When we moved here, we found that people had reservations about the effectiveness of plant-based research. There were a few groups working in this field, however, majority were not receptive to the idea,” she said. Previous studies have found that diabetes and cancer are linked, as the risk of low insulin in diabetes affects the growth of cancer cells. Preliminary research has shown that witchetty bush (Acacia kempeana) and Australian sandalwood (Santalum spicatum) stimulate glucose uptake in fat cells, while dead finish (Acacia tetragonophylla), turpentine bush (Beyeria Ieshnaultii) and caustic weed (Euphorbia drumondii) significantly reduced fat accumulation in fat cells. The witchetty bush and dead finish also showed strong activity against cervical cancer cells.
“There are still many experiments that need to be completed on the cells, followed by testing on animals and finally a trial on humans directly. However, we are very positive of the outcome,” Dr Gulati added.