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Issue 15 - Spring 2000

Has God smiled on Devil's apple berries?

Gold Coast, Aus. - A chance observation of a friend rubbing the juice of devil's apple berries to heal eye cancer in cattle, has led to the development of a cream which, Dr. Bill Cham says, can cure skin cancers.

Growing the plant initially in his own backyard, Dr. Cham said while the ingredient works well on surface skin cancers, he sought an effective base for the cream which would allow it to penetrate the skin and attack the whole cancer.
"Having established a natural oil emulsion that would do that, I then used hat same base to develop a skin care range to treat other skin diseases and to restore damaged skin," he said.
"It was a matter of using that new base as a vehicle to supply known treatments and restorative substances to a wider range of skin cancer areas."
Dr. Cham said the range of products so far developed, and marketed under Curaderm, has proved successful in treatment of skin disorders such as acne, psoriasis, eczema, cold sores and dermatitis.
"The alkaloid solasodine on its own does not appear to be antineoplastic," he said.
"The solasodine has to be conjugated to specific sugars in order to possess the anticancer properties.
"Solamargine, a naturally occurring solasodine triglycoside, binds to
endogenous endocytic lectins, which are endogenous sugar receptors in tumors. This interaction initiates a chain of events which results in internalization of solarmargine with delivery of solasodine to the target cell."

Dr. Cham said his company, Curacel International, has already achieved marketing success with Curaderm in Europe and Indonesia.
Once approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is received, the company plans an extensive marketing campaign, both in the U.S. and Australia. Plans for Canada are unknown at this time.
Meanwhile, more and more doctors are prescribing Curaderm for skin lesions, he said.
Curacel also produces a range of moisturizers, cleansers, and perfumes at its Brisbane factory and laboratory.
Dr. Cham said sales of the product range will fund further vital research into internal cancers.
"I feel there are great prospects for using solasodine glycoside against bowel, lung and lymphatic cancers," he said

From Andrew Pengelley's Forium -

Backhousia myrtifolia


Common names: Myrtle leaf, scrub ironwood


Medium sized evergreen tree with opposite, ovate /lanceolate leaves and white stellate flowers arranged in cymes.


The tree is found in sheltered gullies and alongside watercourses, it is very common in eastern Australia.

Part used: Dried leaf

Constituents: Essential oil - alkenebenzene derivatives including emelicin and trans-isoemelicin. Tannins

Actions: Carminative, astringent, sedative, anaesthetic, corrective, platelet inhibitor

Indications: Dyspepsia, heartburn, colic, diarrhoea, irritable bowel, nervous tension & irritability

Toxicology: Emelicin, a chemical component of the essential oil, is mildly genotoxic in rat hepatocytes, however it is not hepatocarcinogenic. Long term use of the herb during pregnancy is discouraged.

Preparations and dosage: Infusion

F.E. 1:3, 1-3mls

From the Editor

Emu Apple

Aromats - Essential, Sensual and Sublime

Thoughts On the'Industry body'

Native Food Production in SA

Report from WA

Quandong Q&A

A little pepper tale

Essential Oil Isolates from Backhousia

Feature - Diploglottis

Down on the farm

Sell before you sow, Part II

Organic Notes

Comment - Larry Geno

How do you say that?

Bushfoods go French


Bird/Butterfly Bushfoods

Some thoughts on the industry - Brian King

From the papers

From the 'List'

Backhousia anisata

Diversification Workshop



Early collectors - Banks

More on DOOR

Potting Mixes for Bushfoods

Pest control

ANPI Fact Sheets

Somewhat useful page

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