(IANS) A perennial favourite of gardeners, peony flowers may soon help ease chemotherapy's side effects like nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, stomach cramps and weight loss.
Given in combination with three other plants, it also cuts tumour growth, suggests a new research from the Yale School of Medicine, US, the Daily Mail reported.
Chemotherapy works by killing cells that grow and divide abnormally fast, a characteristic of cancers, according to the journal Science Translational Medicine.
The research hinges on Chinese traditional medicine put into drug form.
Known as PHY906, the drug is made up of four plants: the peony, liquorice, extracts of date and the skullcap plant.
The drug, when administered to mice undergoing treatment for bowel cancer, shrank their tumours more quickly nor did they lose weight.
"This combination of chemotherapy and herbs represents a marriage of Western and Eastern approaches to the treatment of cancer," researcher Yung-Chi Cheng said.
He added that use of the drug in cancer patients is still preliminary and people should not try to source their own online.