Sunday, March 28, 2010

Ojaransin - Natures Cure for Cancer?

As there is already a lot of good, relevant information available on parts of this subject, I will not restate what has already been written; instead I offer corrections and additional information that has not been yet available.

This seems to be a fairly comprehensive document talking about the use of Ojaransin and Arantes or Aulaga (Kalanchoe daigremontiana, Bryophyllum daigremontianum), and other bits of information I did not feel the need to post, or have not posted a correction/addition to. Using google translator some sense can be made of this, for those who do not speak spanish.

For those who have come across this page and have not heard of Ojaransin, heres a brief overview. Ojaransin is the Spanish name for a succulent plant, belonging to the genus Kalanchoe, a group of plants with a broad, world-wide distribution, containing something between 150 and 200 species. The significance of this and similar plants, is that it been used for centuries as a cure for cancer, among many other illnesses. This is a bold statement, to say that a plant has been found that can cure what modern science has been toiling with in laboratories for over a century, and yet still has no answer. This information is not posted as a recommendation for treatment of any illness, but as a informative reference to shed light on the subject, so that those who are searching can find what they need.



Ojaransin, Ojarasin, Horasin = Bryophyllum mortagei

NOTE: (Bryophyllum is a subgenus with Kalanchoe, referring to the species that produce epiphyllous buds (little baby plants) or the margins or edges of the leaves. As far as this topic is concerned, Kalanchoe and Bryophyllum can be used interchangeably, but to be scientifically correct, Bryophyllum is the correct genus, but Kalanchoe is most commonly used.)

There has been much confusion and debate as to the correct identification and linking of common and Latin (Scientific) names for Ojaransin. While the name Ojaransin may have referred to one or several species, I will address the name of the most commonly referenced species, that which is said to have large leaves, without spots, the “true” Ojaransin, Kalanchoe mortagei. Many sources refer to this plant as any of the following:

- Kalanchoe gastonis-bonnieri – (Kalanchoe gastonis-bonnieri is quite similar in vegetative morphology (leaves, stems, babies etc.), but one marked difference is the apparent spotting on the upper leaf surface. When comparing Floral morphology however, there is no comparison between gastonis-bonnieri and mortagei, as can be seen in the following pictures. K. gastonis has consistently red corollas, as K. mortagei has consistently yellow.)

- Kalanchoe pinnata (syn. brasiliensis) – (Kalanchoe pinnata can be mistaken for K. mortagei at an early age, but leaves are of a clearly different shape and general appearance at maturity. Epiphyllous buds are freely formed at the tips of attached leaves of K. mortagei and K. gastonis-bonnieri, whereas K. pinnata forms plantlets only when a leaf is detached from the mother plant.

- Kalanchoe sp. Colombiana, Kalanchoe rosei cv. Colombiana (any other variation) - According to IPNI (International Plant Names Index), there is no Kalanchoe sp. Colombiana, possibly this was an informal guess at the plant name, but regardless is not an accepted nor widely used name.)

Conversing with experts in the field, another species came up as a very close candidate, next to K. mortagei. Kalanchoe suarezensis is nearly indistinguishable from K. mortagei, aside from slight, highly ambiguous and subjective lengths and general shapes of the flowers and their parts. Very few individuals are known living, and fewer yet in cultivation. Teasing apart the two species from vague literature references is a nightmare, but based off cultivation information, K. suarezensis is said to have preferred lower temperatures than K. mortagei. One expert thinks that K. suarezensis and K. mortagei may be synonyms, or one may be a subspecies of the other, which is likely. For this purpose however, K.mortagei is the only name that can be found when searching for these plants.

Seed propagation

It has already been stated that all the Bryophyllum members produce plantlets at the leaf tips and along the leaf margins. Some species still retain the ability to produce viable seeds, while others have seemingly transferred the ability to reproduce into the epiphyllous buds (plantlets) alone. Below is a chart outlining various species and their means of reproduction from a study done by Garces et al. 2007 ‘Evolution of asexual reproduction in leaves of the genus KalanchoĆ«’

Assuming that genotype corresponds to phenotype, we can assume that K. gastonis-bonnieri and K. mortagei are very close genetically speaking. This being the case, theoretically K. mortagei should produce viable seed. I have not tested this though, but will soon and will update this asap. Outcrossing and sexual reproduction, although slower and more energy intensive for propagators, is an important practice, as it is unknown how large the genetic pool of these Bryophyllum species are, since they produce vegetatively so readily. It could be likely that a few prolific individuals dominate the current distribution of these species, therefore to ensure variability and diversity, viable seed production, if at all possible, should be explored.

Tissue Culture

Kalanchoe mortagei appears to respond very well to tissue culture, once I have conclusive evidence I will post further. Somewhat effective protocols for Kalanchoe pinnata and Kalanchoe daigremontiana have been developed, as outlined by Naz et al. 2009 ‘An efficient protocol for Rapid Multiplication of Bryophyllum pinnatum and Bryophyllum daigremontianum’.

If any questions or clarification is needed, please feel free to contact me.

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