South African plants can contain medicinal properties for cancer treatment, says UJ expert

Date: Mar 2, 2017 | News

There is a number of plants that lead in development for cancer and other ailments, however, unexplored plants across the world could have untapped medicinal properties. This was the sentiment of Prof Parmelazhagan Thangaraj from the Bharathiar University in India.
Prof Parmelazhagan Thangaraj
Prof Thangaraj was speaking at a lecture titled, Bioproscting of medicinal plants for human welfare, held at the University of Johannesburg’s (UJ) Doornfontein Campus on Wednesday, 01 March 2017.
The lecture focused on the role of bioprospecting of medical plants in current treatments of diseases, to encourage research in herbal medicine and collaborate with other emerging fields in alternative treatment modalities for various diseases.
Prof HeidiThe Director of the Laser Research Centre and the South African Research Chair in Laser Applications in Health, UJ, Prof Heidi Abrahamse, who has been associated with photodynamic cancer therapy, stem cell differentiation and wound healing, is currently collaborating with Prof Thangaraj on a research project that focusses on the cell death induced by a procedure that uses a uses light sources combined with a light-sensitive drug to destroy cancer cells.
Said Prof Abrahamse: “India is well-known for its unexplored medicinal plants, which can be used to develop powerful phytocompounds that can be used in the treatment of cancer. Existing treatment modalities are expensive and causes adverse side effects in already compromised patients.”
Prof Thangaraj’s research involves the documentation and compilation of knowledge and use of valuable plant resources.
Prof Abrahamse concluded: “South Africa’s biodiversity remains a great source of interest to researchers and scientists. The potential of using plant extracts that exhibit anticancer activity and discovering the unknown can possibly help thousands of men, women and children who are suffering or will suffer from cancer and other ailments.”
Prof Heidi

Latest News

| View All News

UJ Researcher Development Workshop Series

The UJ Library, in collaboration with Elsevier, is cordially inviting


Disability Sports Club wins 23 medals at SASAPD in Cape…

Several student-athletes and external members of the University of Johannesburg’s


UJ’s GSA hosts Dr. Harriet Harriss for GES Initiative on…

The University of Johannesburg’s (UJ) Graduate School of Architecture (GSA)


From the field to the classroom: Para-athlete Yane van der…

Being a full-time student-athlete is who competes in provincial, national


Dedication and resilience: The driving forces behind Rowan Haai’s success

Sometimes peer pressure can be good. It certainly worked out