MEXICO CITY – Mexican scientists testing the Rose of Castile, which thrives in the vast semi-deserts of the northern state of Coahuila, have confirmed that the plant has anti-cancer and anti-oxidant properties, the National Science and Technology Council (CONACYT) said Tuesday.
Autonomous University of Coahuila (UADEC) researchers analyzed the plant’s bioactive compounds and tested their anti-oxidant and efficacy in inhibiting the proliferation of cervix and uterine cancer cells.
The study, led by pharmacist and biologist Jose Carlos de Leon, found that the Rose of Castile (Rose gallica) has a high content of polyphenolic compounds and others with potential uses in drugs and foods.
“We first ran some tests to learn more about this plant, which had received little study,” De Leon said.
The initial tests sought to determine whether the plant was suitable for proceeding to fermentation and then extraction of compounds.
A number of fermentations were performed to narrow the focus on the best conditions for extraction and the highest concentration of compounds.
“Solid state fermentation involves relatively low levels of humidity, the minimum humidity needed for the microorganisms to grow, as opposed to conventional fermentation, which involves abundant water,” the scientist said.
The research team uses the plant itself as a scaffold and substratum on which the microorganism can grow to help in the extraction of the compounds being sought.
“We observed that (the plant) is an appropriate source for the extraction of these compounds with a good anti-oxidant performance and, at the same time, we proved that these compounds, when applied to the carcinogenic cells’ lining prevented their proliferation,” De Leon said.