Typhonium flagelliforme (Lodd.) Blume (Araceae) is a herbal plant which grows up to 30cm in height. It has an oblong whitish tuber, triangular leaves ad a spathe. This plant grows wild in wasteland and is native to the South East Asian countries. T. flagelliforme, is commonly used to provide relief in cough and asthma.
It is mild, tastes bitter and is slightly toxic. It can detoxicate, reduce swelling, get rid of boils and pus, stop bleeding, ease pain and is effective in the treatment of lymphatic problems. Farmers speak of the herbs's effectiveness in detoxification. It can cleanse the system of accumulated toxicity, ease urination and bowel movement and generally clean up the digestive system. Taking it would also increase one's appetite, improve health, revitalize the person who would tire easily.
Typhonium flagelliforme, is commonly used to provide relief in cough and asthma. As a medicinal plants, it is also used as traditional remedy for treating different types of malignancy: breast, lung, colon, lymphoma, leukaemia and liver cancer.
How does it work in treating cancer ?
From immune system perspective, our immune system’s normal ability to fight cancer is limited due to reality that cancer cells (and their antigens) are not different enough from those of normal cells. Thus make it difficult to recognize. Sometimes the immune system recognizes the cancer cells, but the response may not be strong enough to destroy the cancer. Cancer cells themselves may also give off substances that keep the immune system in check.
Typhonium flagelliforme, in this case acts to stimulate and strengthen the immune system in order to recognize cancer cells and help to fight them back. Since the growth of cancerous cells is reversiblegiven the correct chemical stimulus and environment, this explanation is not far-fetched.
Many studies have indicated that this plant possess a valuable anti-cancer effect and was able to produce distinctive morphological features of cell death that corresponds to apoptosis.
Based on in-vitro studies: Typhonium flagelliforme extract has shown ANTI-CANCER EFFECT on NCI-H23 cancer cell line by inducing apoptosis (Choon et al.,2008). It also demonstrates the inhibitory effect on CEM-ss Human T4-lymphoblastoid cell line (S.Mohan et al.,2008).
Cytological observations showed chromatin condensation, cell shrinkage, abnormalities of cristae, membrane blebbing, cytoplasmic extrusions, DNA fragmentation and formation of apoptotic bodies of cancerous cells, when induced by various active compounds (DCM/F7, DCM/F11, DCM/F12, D/F21, D/F19, etc) of this rodent tuber’s plant extract.