Select the search type
  • Site
  • Web
Search

The natural world. Looking pretty for 3.5b years.

Irony Alert: Plants Used in Herbal Remedies Cause Cancer

Author: Reilly Capps/Wednesday, August 14, 2013/Categories: Archive Pick of the Week

 

File:Aristolochia baetica a.JPG 
[Aristolochia baetica, one member of a cancer-causing genus long used in alternative medicine.]


By Reilly Capps

Sorry, Alanis Morissette, here is real, true, semi-hilarious irony:

Plants that have been used by Chinese medicine men for centuries as a natural way to cure arthritis and other disease actually cause cancer.

This is a great quote from an oncologist, from The Scientist:

“A lot of people in the lay public assume that if something is herbal or natural that it is necessarily healthy,” said Marc Ladanyi, an investigator in the human oncology and pathogenesis program at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York who was not involved in the studies. “But this work very clearly shows that this natural plant product is extremely genotoxic and carcinogenic.”

This alternative-medicine, plants from the aristolochia genus, causes more of a certain kind of mutation than smoking or sun exposure. Sun is natural. Plants are natural. But just because things are natural doesn't necessarily mean they're benign, just as things which are artificial are not necessarily harmful. You don't go around shoving pine needles into your eyeballs or drinking out of sulfur pools just because they're natural.

Nature isn't a pharmacy for humans. Half the time, it wants us dead.
Print

Number of views (5122)/Comments (0)

Please login or register to post comments.

Name:
Email:
Subject:
Message:
x
Hi, my name is Click, Whistle, Pop Friday, April 5, 20190

Hi, my name is Click, Whistle, Pop

Dolphins recognize their own names.

Good News: Your Ancestor was a Jellyfish, not a Sponge Wednesday, April 3, 20190

Good News: Your Ancestor was a Jellyfish, not a Sponge

New additions to the tree of life.

I Took The Road Less Traveled Tuesday, April 2, 20190

I Took The Road Less Traveled

"I took the road less traveled", Robert Frost.

Animation Influencing Science Monday, April 1, 20190

Animation Influencing Science

Researchers are using animation.

Bioluminescence, Weird & Wonderful Light Friday, March 29, 20190

Bioluminescence, Weird & Wonderful Light

Luminous sea creatures.

Combining Art & Science Wednesday, March 27, 20190

Combining Art & Science

Two sides of creativity.

Fixing the Climate Crisis Tuesday, March 26, 20190

Fixing the Climate Crisis

Fixing CO2 pollution in two minutes.

Building a Forest...quickly Monday, March 25, 20190

Building a Forest...quickly

What if you could re-build a forest, quickly?

Plastic-eating Enzyme Sunday, March 24, 20190

Plastic-eating Enzyme

A plastic-eating bacteria was discovered.

A Super Bloom Friday, March 22, 20190

A Super Bloom

California landscapes flower. 

Ode to Mars Thursday, March 21, 20190

Ode to Mars

A planetary haiku for Poetry Day.

Conserving, The Mother Load Tuesday, March 19, 20190

Conserving, The Mother Load

Avoiding another Dust Bowl.

Animating Environmental Change Monday, March 18, 20190

Animating Environmental Change

GIF's can tell important stories.

Crazy Engineering: CubeSats Saturday, March 16, 20190

Crazy Engineering: CubeSats

Here come the CubeSats.

A Gift of Gratitude Friday, March 15, 20190

A Gift of Gratitude

A gift of gratitude to share.

A Fungal Future Wednesday, March 13, 20190

A Fungal Future

A natural alternative to plastic.

A Life in Translation Monday, March 11, 20190

A Life in Translation

Can technology recover ancient wisdom?

Mars-copters Sunday, March 10, 20190

Mars-copters

A flying machine for Mars.