Cytotoxic Activities of Plant Extracts (Lemon Balm, Wormwood, Costus, and Guava) and Honey against Breast, Lung and Colon Cancer Cell Lines

Heba Alhamdi, Tennessee State University


The National Cancer Institute states that the overall number of Americans with cancer diseases is approximately 13.7 million people. The U.S. cancer mortality rate is currently 580,350 Americans per year and 1,600 per day, according to 2013 statistics. Furthermore, cancer is the second most widespread cause of death in the United States, exceeded by heart disease. Cancer covers approximately 20 percent or one-fifth of all death causes in the U.S. There are at least 32 million people with cancer diagnosed all over the world. More than 8 million people die globally because of cancer annually, according to the United Nations World Health Organization. Conventional ways of cancer treatment are extremely harmful to human health. For that reason, there is a lot of work to in the field of studying herbs as remedy against cancer. This investigation focuses primarily on Costus speciosus, Psidium guajava, Melissa officinalis, Artimisia absinthium, and honeybee have all been traditionally used and studies have proven their noteworthy antibacterial, antimicrobial, and anti parasitical activities. These important characteristics provide the rationale behind studying these plants and extracts further for potential antitumor agents. Experimental: extracts were taken from the previously stated plants and exposed to breast, lung and colorectal cancer cells for 24 hours. Growth analysis was then determined using a cell viability indicator Alamar blue and a florescent plate reader. Results: Psidium guajava appears to be the most effective plant when it comes to inhibiting cancer cell growth, followed by Melissa officinalis. At its highest concentration, cell growth was almost zero at one point, a result not visible in other plants. However, The least effective plant appears to be Costus speciosus , in which cell growth was averagely higher than all plants even at its highest concentrations. In all cases this extract showed little or no effect in reducing cellular proliferation. On the other hand Honey did have some effect on SW620 and A549 but only at the highest concentration of 50μg/μl. Conclusion: We conclude that leaf extracts from Psidium guajava and Melissa officinalis and Honey should be studied further to characterize their antitumor potential, investigate their main active compounds, and to better understand their mechanisms of action.

Subject Area

Molecular biology|Genetics|Cellular biology|Oncology

Recommended Citation

Heba Alhamdi, "Cytotoxic Activities of Plant Extracts (Lemon Balm, Wormwood, Costus, and Guava) and Honey against Breast, Lung and Colon Cancer Cell Lines" (2014). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI1584204.