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India Working to Develop Anti-cancer Drug from Olives

India Working to Develop Anti-cancer Drug from Olives

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  • New anti-cancer drug can be developed from olives
  • Rajasthan, a state in India attempts to extract triterpenoids from olive leaves and fruits
  • Agriculture department claims that olive has a chemical that can help fight against cancer

A new approach gives hope for cancer patients, as Agriculture department is making use of olives for developing anti-cancer drugs.

In a recent report, the olive fruit was found to contain triterpenic acids (0.6% in a white crystalline solid). The report was issued by Vidyasagar University, Midnapore, West Bengal.


The agricultural department invited health experts like oncologists, pharma companies, and agriculture experts to investigate, to understand and to formulate how triterpenic acid in olives helps change the lives of cancer patients.

Use of Triterpene Acid

"Triterpene acid is useful in the treatment of cancer. Department of Chemistry and Chemical Technology of Vidyasagar University has shown that olive has triterpenes, which is helpful in the treatment of cancer patients. We will invite oncologists, agriculture experts, and pharma companies to find out ways how triterpene in olive after extraction can be used as an anti-cancer drug," said Prabhu Lal Saini, minister of agriculture.

The research was primarily conducted with the help of Vidyasagar University, West Bengal on the extraction of triterpenoids from leaves and fruits.

Scientists all over the world show that triterpenoids are useful in cancer treatment, according to Agriculture department.

Extract Triterpenoids from Olive Leaves

The Agriculture Department confirmed that nowhere in the world triterpenoids have been extracted from olives.

It is the state of Rajasthan that has attempted to extract triterpenoids from olive leaves and fruits.

Triterpenoids in olive is useful in preventing and treating various cancers and different ailments like HIV, as it is analgesic and anti-nociceptive, anti-oxidant, anti-bacterial and Hepato-protective.

Till date, the agriculture department has extracted about 12 tonnes of oil from olives.

In 2008, the first plant of olive was planted Rajasthan with the help of Israel. Olive was planted at Dhindhol farm in Bassi in Jaipur district.

"Now, across the state, 5,000 hectares of land has been developed for olive farming which has started producing fruits and leaves," said Prabhu Lal Saini.

Cultivation of Olives

Rajasthan is cultivating seven different varieties of olive. In the last ten years, the state is not only cultivating olives but also helping other states to grow olives because of its numerous health benefits.

So far, Rajasthan has supplied plants to 17 states of the country for farming of olives. About 17,000 olive plants have been supplied from Rajasthan to Nepal.

Agriculture department claims that olives have a chemical that can fight against cancer. The agriculture department is also producing tea from olive leaves.

Now, they are also planning to export tea prepared from olive leaves to other countries like the UK and the USA. However, the Agriculture Department has decided not to export 50 percent of their total production, as olives have immense health benefits and they want olives to be available for people in India.

Source: Medindia

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