Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Woad is good for you: "Woad, the plant that was used by Ancient Britons and Celts to make their striking blue warpaint, has been found to be one of the most potent natural sources of a compound used to fight cancer. A team of Italian scientists found that it contains 20 times more of the cancer-fighting chemical glucobrassicin than broccoli, a plant prized for its powers to combat the disease. The researchers, led by Stefania Galletti, of the University of Bologna, found that the glucobrassicin levels could be further enhanced to nearly 65 times. They hope that the discovery may advance research of disease treatments, particularly for breast cancer. The study, published in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, showed that the compound plays a defensive role in plants, with levels increasing by 30 per cent if a leaf is damaged. Derivatives of glucobrassicin can kill some plant pests, such as insects, and also appear to have antitumour properties, and are particularly effective against breast cancer."

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