A team of researchers from the NUS Faculty of Science, the NUS Yong Lu Lin School of Medicine, and the NUS College of Design and Engineering explored the scientific basis of black cardamom and presented evidence of the cytotoxic effect of this Indian spice on lung cancer cells. The main issue that comes with lung cancer drugs is that they come with severe side effects. There has been continuous need for exploring new molecules with the objective of improving survival rates and quality of life. This recent research has shown promising results.
Black cardamom is commonly used in Asian households in the preparation of curries, rice and stews. It is used as a whole spices as well as in powdered form. It is also effective in treating diseases like cough, pulmonary tuberculosis, throat diseases and lung congestion.
In this research, black cardamom fruits were powdered and then extracted with five types of solvents. This helped researchers to evaluate the best solvents for extracting the most potent active substances in the fruit. In this NUS study, they tested different types of black cardamom to determine their cytotoxicity against different types of cancer cells including from the lung, liver and breast. Among these three types of cancer cells, lung cancer cells were less likely to survive on testing with black cardamom extract. They found that a sequential extraction method using hexane followed by dichloromethane was most effective against lung cancer cells.
“The black cardamom extract used in the study can potentially be used to isolate and identify newer chemical compounds that may be effective against cancer cells. These new actives can then undergo cellular, preclinical and clinical testing for further development into cancer drugs,” said one of the principal investigators, Adjunct Associate Professor Bert Grobben from the NUS College of Engineering’s Department of Industrial Systems Engineering and Control.
The findings of the research could potentially lead to discovery of new safe and effective active substances that can cure lung cancer. This study has laid the groundwork for further investigation into consumption of black cardamom in preventing lung cancer or helping as a therapy for lung cancer.
The information shared in this blog is for educational purposes only. You should consult your healthcare professional for any medical issues.