St. John’s wort compound found to reduce spinal tumors and brain cancer

Researchers at the Department of Neurosurgery at the University of Southern California found that hypericin—a compound found in St. John’s Wort—not only reduced tumor size in people suffering from cancerous brain or spinal tumors, it also increased the rate of survival from this tragic disease.

Approximately 10,000 Americans are diagnosed with a malignant glioma every year and the survival rate one year after diagnosis is only 50 percent. Heretofore, treatment involves a combination of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation.  Hypericin showed superior results as a treatment for this serious condition.  Additionally, the St. John’s Wort compound was well-tolerated by the cancer patients, something that cannot be said for chemotherapy and radiation.

On its own, this study, published March 31 in the journal, Cancer, would be exciting; however, it is particularly interesting to note that after it’s huge success in addressing symptoms of depression St. John’s Wort became the most maligned herb media history. It was later revealed by the Wall Street Journal that the source of a huge study denigrating the herb was orchestrated by Dr. Jonathan Davidson of Duke University and a man who sat on the Pfizer (makers of Zoloft) board of directors.

While the results are early and obviously more research is necessary, perhaps this study will help restore St. John’s Wort to its rightful place in herbal apothecaries—as a powerful and effective healing botanical medicine.