Hormone Related Diseases And Local Herbs


Azimahtol Hawariah Lope Pihie, School of Bioscience & Biotechnology, Faculty of Science & Technology, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, 43600 Bangi, Selangor D.E.


1st International Conference & Exhibition on Women's Health & Asian Traditional (WHAT) Medicine




local herbs, hormone related disease, herbal medicines/phytomedicines, Goniothalamus umbrosus, Eurycoma longifolia Jack, Andrographis paniculata, Curcuma xanthorrhiza, Zingiber zerumbet, Phyllagathis rotundifolia , Labisia pumila


The word hormone is derived from Greek “hormao” meaning “I arouse to activity”. Hormones secreted by endocrine glands, serve as our body “messengers”, for they course through our body and stimulate many organs, tissues and functions in very specific ways. Hormone-related diseases are pathological disorders that manifest due to perturbations in the endocrine function. Endocrine glands may secrete excessive or deficient amounts of hormones. Abnormalities of target glands may be primary or secondary to dysfunction of the controlling mechanism. Herbs can be defined generally in commerce as a plant, plant part, or extract thereof used for flavour, fragrance or medicinal purposes. The WHO provides a more exact definition for herbal medicines: “Finished, labelled medicinal products that contain as active ingredients aerial or underground part or parts of plants, or other plant material, or combinations thereof, whether in crude state or as plant preparations. Plant material includes juices, gums, fatty oils, essential oils and any other substances of this nature. Herbal medicines may contain excipients in addition to the active ingredients. Medicines containing plant material combined with chemically defined active substances, including chemically defined, isolated constituents of plants, are not considered to be herbal medicines. This latter definition distinguishes an herbal medicine from a “plant-derived drug” – a single isolated chemical constituent of the plant, such as styrylpyrone derivative from kenerak (Goniothalamus umbrosus), andrographolide (Andrographis paniculata Nee), eurycomanone (Eurycoma longifolia Jack) etc. Herbs and herbal medicines (recently referred to as phytomedicines) contain complex chemistry of the whole plants or plant parts used as the remedy as compared to single drugs derived from plants. This presentation will highlight some local herbs that have been extensively investigated for hormone related diseases such as cancer, poor libido among men and women, female diseases and diabetes. The plants range from kenerak (Goniothalamus umbrosus), Tongkat Ali (Eurycoma longifolia Jack), Hempedu bumi (Andrographis paniculata), temulawak (Curcuma xanthorrhiza), lempoyang (Zingiber zerumbet), tapak gajah (Phyllagathis rotundifolia) to Kacip Fatimah (Pumila labisia). Among women, breast cancer kills 45,000 women per year. Steroid hormone receptors and the factors that bind steroid hormone receptors are key players in the maintenance of healthy tissue. Similarly, disregulation of steroid hormone receptors and steroid hormone receptor interacting proteins are important to the development of a wide variety of sex steroid hormone dependent cancers and diseases.