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Plumbago Zeylanica

Plumbago Zeylanica or Chitrak is a powerful digestive and carminative herb that can grow to be 3 to 4 feet.

Another name for this herb is the Leadwort, The name of plumbago is derived from the word plumb which can be translated to mean lead and agree or to convey.

The plumbago is native to the old tropical regions near the Hawaiian Island and has been cultivated because of it's medicinal and commercial uses.

Benefits of Plumbago Zeylanica

Apoptosis - In this case study they tested the effects of plumbagin on proliferation and apoptosis in non-small cell lung cancer cell lines, and investigate the underlying mechanisms.

Human non-small cell lung cancer cell lines A549, H292 and H460 were treated with various concentrations of plumbagin.

Apoptosis was detected by annexin V/propidium iodide double-labeled flow cytometry and TUNEL assay. Plumbagin dose-dependently inhibited proliferation of the lung cancer cells.

Plumbagin inhibits cell growth and induces apoptosis in human lung cancer cells through an NF--regulated mitochondrial-mediated pathway, involving activation of ROS.


In this study we investigated the anti-proliferative and apoptotic activity of plumbagin by using two human colonic cancer cell lines, HT29 and HCT15. IC50 of Plumbagin for HCT15 and HT29 cells (22.5 µM and 62.5 µM, respectively) were significantly different.

This suggests that plumbagin induces apoptosis in both HCT15 cells and HT29 treated.

plumbagin induces apoptosis in colonic cancer cells through TNF-α mediated pathway depending on expression of COX-2 expression.


Plumbagin (5‐hydroxy‐2‐methyl‐1, 4‐naphthoquinone) is one such agent which has anti‐tumor activity against several cancers. However, its mechanism of action against breast cancer is not clearly understood.

We hypothesized that plumbagin may act as an effective agent against breast cancer especially triple negative breast cancer.

We tested our hypothesis using ER‐positive MCF‐7 and ER‐negative MDA‐MB‐231 (triple negative) breast cancer cells, and we found that plumbagin significantly inhibits the growth of breast cancer cells with no effect on normal breast epithelial cells.

To our knowledge, this is the first report, showing mechanistic and cancer cell specific apoptosis‐inducing effects of plumbagin in breast cancer cells, suggesting the potential role of plumbagin in the prevention and/or treatment of breast cancer.


Anti-Tumor - To find out the effect of the different organic solvents extracts and plumbagin from Plumbago zeylanica L.on EMT-6 breast cancer of BALB/C mouse and transplanted S180 of KM mouse primarily.

The high dose of chloroform group and plumbagin group could inhibit the growth of EMT-6 breast cancer in BALB/C mice in vivo.Compared with that of physiological saline group,tumor weight has obviously lightened(P0.05).

It was indicated that the chloroform part of Plumbago zeylanica L.and plumbagin,to some extent,had anti-tumour effect on animal transplanted breast cancer.

The organic solvents extracts and plumbagin from Plumbago zeylanica what had inhibitory effect on EMT-6 breast cancer and S180 sarcoma,which was worth further research.


Anti-Cancer - We present here first time that Plumbagin (PL), a medicinal plant‐derived 1,4‐naphthoquinone, inhibits the growth and metastasis of human prostate cancer (PCa) cells in an orthotopic xenograft mouse model.

In this study, human PCa PC‐3M‐luciferase cells (2 × 106) were injected into the prostate of athymic nude mice.

These results suggest that PL inhibits tumor growth and metastasis of human PCa PC3‐M‐luciferase cells, which could be used as a therapeutic agent for the prevention and treatment of human PCa.


In this next study they investigated the mechanism of human prostate cancer cell growth inhibition by plumbagin, a constituent of the widely used medicinal herb Plumbago zeylanica L.

Plumbagin treatment decreased viability of human prostate cancer cells (PC-3, LNCaP, and C4-2) irrespective of their androgen responsiveness or p53 status.

The present study points towards an important role of ROS in plumbagin-induced apoptosis in human prostate cancer cells.


Hormone Refractory - We present here that plumbagin (PL), a quinoid constituent isolated from the root of the medicinal plant Plumbago zeylanica L., may be a potential novel agent in the control of hormone-refractory PCa.

The results indicate for the first time, using both in vitro and in vivo preclinical models, that PL inhibits the growth and invasion of PCa.

PL inhibits multiple molecular targets including PKCε, a predictive biomarker of PCa aggressiveness. PL may be a novel agent for therapy of hormone-refractory PCa.


Anti-Inflammatory - Experimental studies conducted earlier have proved that Phyllanthus emblica (Pe), Plumbago zeylanica (Pz) and Cyperus rotundus (Cr), plants from the medohara group of Ayurveda possess antiatherosclerotic activity.

As inflammation is also one of the pathophysiological factors, it was of interest to evaluate whether these drugs exhibit any antiinflammatory activity.

Two models of acute inflammation, namely carrageenan induced rat paw edema and acetic acid induced peritonitis in mice were used.


Immune System - The aqueous root extract of Plumbago zeylanica (PZE) exhibited the significant suppression of OVA-specific IgG antibody response determined by Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA). PZE also suppressed the anti-OVA antibody response in dose dependent manner.

PZE is potent in exerting the suppressive effect on the down regulation of anti-OVA antibody and T cell responses and in all the three haplotypes of the mice studied, which indicates that the PZE exerted immunosuppression without linking to genetic variation.


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