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Mahogany extract may hold cancer cure – research

MANILA, Philippines - Compounds found in extracts taken from the leaves of the ivory mahogany tree, locally known as igyo or tadyang-kalabaw, kill breast and colon cancer cells, according to a study done by researchers from De La Salle University (DLSU) and the National Research Institute of Chinese Medicine in Taiwan.

The “high cytotoxic activities against breast and colon cancer cells” of the crude leaf extract of the Dysoxylum gaudichaudianum (A. Juss) “may be attributed to the synergistic effects” of squalene, beta-sitosterol, polyprenols and triglycerides, among others, found in the extract, the researchers said.

The study recently came out on the Scholars Research Library website.

Researchers Consolacion Ragasa, Vincent Antonio Ng, Mariquit de los Reyes, Emelina Mandia, Glenn Oyong are from the DLSU campuses in Manila and Biñan, Laguna while Chien-Chang Shen is from the Taiwan institution.

They said the tree – also called buntog, malabaga, bakugan and taliktan – may be found in thickets and forests in low altitudes in many parts of the Philippines and other Asia Pacific countries.

The website www.stuartexchange.org reports that the tadyang-kalabaw can be found from Cagayan to Sorsogon in Luzon, Mindoro, Palawan, Masbate, Leyte, Negros, Mindanao and Basilan.

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Other uses

The researchers said that practitioners of folk medicine use different preparations from the leaves and bark of the igyo tree to treat coughs, skin irritations and sexually transmitted diseases as well as an astringent and an emetic agent.

They also cited studies reporting that the juice from igyo leaves could be used as an early abortifacient, while extracts from the tree’s bark yielded compounds that showed “potent antiviral bioactivity” against the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).

This virus, according to the United States National Institutes of Health, is one of the viruses that cause the common cold and the chief worldwide viral cause of moderate to severe acute upper and lower respiratory tract illness in infants.

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