Abstract Title:

Inhibition of skin tumorigenesis by rosemary and its constituents carnosol and ursolic acid.

Abstract Source:

Cancer Res. 1994 Feb 1;54(3):701-8. PMID: 8306331

Abstract Author(s):

M T Huang, C T Ho, Z Y Wang, T Ferraro, Y R Lou, K Stauber, W Ma, C Georgiadis, J D Laskin, A H Conney

Article Affiliation:

Department of Chemical Biology and Pharmacognosy, College of Pharmacy, Rutgers, State University of New Jersey, Piscataway 08855-0789.


A methanol extract of the leaves of the plant Rosmarinus officinalis L. (rosemary) was evaluated for its effects on tumor initiation and promotion in mouse skin. Application of rosemary to mouse skin inhibited the covalent binding of benzo(a)pyrene [B(a)P] to epidermal DNA and inhibited tumor initiation by B(a)P and 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene (DMBA). Topical application of 20 nmol B(a)P to the backs of mice once weekly for 10 weeks, followed 1 week later by promotion with 15 nmol 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA) twice weekly for 21 weeks, resulted in the formation of 7.1 tumors per mouse. In a parallel group of animals that were treated topically with 1.2 or 3.6 mg of rosemary 5 min prior to each application of B(a)P, the number of tumors per mouse was decreased by 54 or 64%, respectively. Application of rosemary to mouse skin also inhibited TPA-induced ornithine decarboxylase activity, TPA-induced inflammation, arachidonic acid-induced inflammation, TPA-induced hyperplasia, and TPA-induced tumor promotion. Mice initiated with 200 nmol DMBA and promoted with 5 nmol TPA twice weekly for 19 weeks developed an average of 17.2 skin tumors per mouse. Treatment of the DMBA-initiated mice with 0.4, 1.2, or 3.6 mg of rosemary together with 5 nmol TPA twice weekly for 19 weeks inhibited the number of TPA-induced skin tumors per mouse by 40, 68, or 99%, respectively. Topical application of carnosol or ursolic acid isolated from rosemary inhibited TPA-induced ear inflammation, ornithine decarboxylase activity, and tumor promotion. Topical application of 1, 3, or 10 mumol carnosol together with 5 nmol TPA twice weekly for 20 weeks to the backs of mice previously initiated with DMBA inhibited the number of skin tumors per mouse by 38, 63, or 78%, respectively. Topical application of 0.1, 0.3, 1, or 2 mumol ursolic acid together with 5 nmol TPA twice weekly for 20 weeks to DMBA-initiated mice inhibited the number of tumors per mouse by 45-61%.

Study Type : Animal Study

Print Options

Key Research Topics

Sayer Ji
Founder of GreenMedInfo.com

Subscribe to our informative Newsletter & get Nature's Evidence-Based Pharmacy

Our newsletter serves 500,000 with essential news, research & healthy tips, daily.

Download Now

500+ pages of Natural Medicine Alternatives and Information.

This website is for information purposes only. By providing the information contained herein we are not diagnosing, treating, curing, mitigating, or preventing any type of disease or medical condition. Before beginning any type of natural, integrative or conventional treatment regimen, it is advisable to seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.

© Copyright 2008-2022 GreenMedInfo.com, Journal Articles copyright of original owners, MeSH copyright NLM.