Herbs a potential cure for cancer- LUTH Scientist

Dr. Chinwe S. Alaribe

Adam Adegoke, Christabel Iroegbu

A bio-pharmaceutical scientist from the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Dr. Chinwe S. Alaribe has revealed that locally produced African herbs could hold a possible cure to cancer.

Dr. Alaribe who was recently awarded a grant sum by the Royal Society of Chemistry because of her research that suggests the presence of hidden elements in African medicinal plants which could provide leads in the treatment of cancer has since commenced work with her team on creating a cure from natural products found in herbs.

The researcher intends to devote the grant sum of Three Thousand, Nine Hundred and Ninety-Nine Pounds, Twenty-Eight Pence (£3,999:28) to the research of selected plants that have been known to manage cancer.

Speaking with UNILAG Sun reporters, Alaribe said, “the research scientist comes in to identify what they (plants) entail and decode their mysteries. Then you can begin to build a drug with and then formulate into capsule and tablet that people can take, from there you can then know the appropriate dosage to use.”

The scientist, a firm believer of Phytomedicine which is a branch of medicine that involves the use of plants and herbs for the purpose of curing ailments affirmed that many medicinal plants have been proven to be potent and effective in the treatment of cancer.

She noted that her research is devoted to ‘finding scientific validity in these herbs, document these findings and share them with the global community using the Global Natural Product Social (GNPS) Molecular Networking platform’.

The GNPS Molecular Networking platform is a bio analytical tool that utilizes analytical, computation, statistical tools to elucidate and characterize new discoveries in the world. It focuses on plants, natural products and aesthetics.

Dr. Alaribe equally emphasized the need to keep the public abreast of scientific breakthroughs. According to her, it is imperative to “collate the scientific document and tailor it for community use also not just on research papers” and also “load(ing) it on an international world so colleagues from other parts on the world could see our progress”

The research, in addition to testing herbal plants for efficacy in curing cancer also intends to cover other diseases and see if they could provide hope for other ailments.

Dr. Alaribe also mentioned that the government can assure people who have reservations about using herbal products by standardizing and commercializing the sale. She said, “People market in nylons and all those things, if you formulate it into tablets and capsules in a hygienic form, people will take it and that is what government should begin to look at. To take these our local rich products to the level of now commercializing it but first of all it must be standardized”

Dr. Alaribe further noted that the biggest challenge the research faces is power and equipment as this is a huge deterrent in their quest to process and characterize the components of herbal samples and this handicap could stop them from reaching their objective as the team has what it takes to compete with the Western world.

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