2014 December
Volume : 2 Issue : 4

Role of traditional medicines in the management of cancer

Gulam Mohammed Husain, Mohammad Abdul Waheed

Pdf Page Numbers :- 215-224

Gulam Mohammed Husain1 and Mohammad Abdul Waheed1,*


1Central Research Institute of Unani Medicine (CCRUM), Opposite ESI Hospital, A.G. Colony Road, Erragadda, Telangana, Hyderabad, 500 038, India


*Corresponding Author: Dr. Mohammad Abdul Waheed, Director, Central Research Institute of Unani Medicine- Hyderabad, Opposite ESI Hospital, Erragadda, Telangana, Hyderabad, 500 038, India. Tel.: +91-040-23811551; Fax: +91-040-23811495; Email:


Received 08 July 2014; Revised 10 September 2014; Accepted 22 September 2014


Citation: Mohammed Husain G, Abdul Waheed M. Role of traditional medicines in the management of cancer. J Med Sci Res 2014; 2(4):215-224. DOI:  


Copyright: © 2014 Mohammed Husain G, et al. Published by KIMS Foundation and Research Center. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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Context: Increasing numbers of cancer patients are looking towards traditional medicines (TM) in an effort to sustain tumour remission or halt the metastasis. TM such as Chinese Traditional Medicines, Ayurveda and Unani Medicines are being used in many parts of world from centuries. However, scientific data is lacking for the clinical use of majority of these medicines in cancer management and systematic clinical evaluation is mandatory before recommending long term use.

Objective: The role of traditional medicine for prevention and management of cancer are reviewed in this paper which will help to take a step further to bring these TM into mainstream therapy.

Methods: Traditional knowledge about the claims of therapeutic potential is collected. Emphasis was given to the use of plant derived products. Further efforts were made to identify the driving factors for use of such TM for the cure of cancer.

Results: There are several driving factors which attract patients towards TM out of which minimum side effects of TM remains on the priority. Apart from being used as standalone therapy, TM is progressively becoming more popular as adjuvant therapy to improve effectiveness of conventional treatment and to reduce the side effects of chemotherapy or radiation therapy.

Conclusion: Patients are inclining towards TM due to diverse reasons. The search for anticancer drugs from herbs has been very productive and advances in pharmacological techniques have exerted enormous drive on the research and development of new biologically active compounds of plant origin, which may act alone or in synergistic manner.


Keywords: Unani system; Ayurveda; Oncology; Herbal therapy; Complimentary therapy