New research, presented recently at the Cancer Association of South Africa’s Research in Action Conference,
showed that rooibos and honeybush both have anti-cancer properties that may be useful in the treatment of prostate and breast cancer.
These are the two most common cancers affecting South Africans. One in every 26 men will be affected by prostate cancer in their lifetime, while one in every 33 women will develop breast cancer, according to the latest data from the National Cancer Registry.
With its high levels of antioxidants, rooibos has long been known for its ability to help prevent cancer from developing, but this new research shows that it could potentially also be used to treat – but not cure – the disease.
In laboratory studies, Stellenbosch University (SU) biochemist Prof Amanda Swart found rooibos extract interferes with the male sex hormone dihydrotestosterone – which is one of the main drivers of prostate cancer. This action is similar to that of current drugs used in the treatment of prostate cancers.
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