Three Constituents and What They Do
The Australian tree Gumby Gumby (Pittosporum angustifolium) is very slow growing and difficult to propagate. It has long been said to have anti-cancer properties.
The major constituent of gumbi gumbi extract is saponin. Saponins are natural detergents found in plants. Saponins have anti bacterial and anti-fungal properties. They also decrease blood lipids, lower blood glucose response, and are an antidote to acute lead poisoning.
Saponins are used in livestock production for ammonia and odour control as well as in gut bacteria control. The feeding of saponins to laboratory mice has shown a reduction in the formation of pre-neoplastic colon lesions. This has a potential in the prevention and treatment of colon cancer in humans.
Saponins are highly toxic to cold blooded animals.
Tannins are very common in plants. They are astringent and bitter in taste. They have long-term antioxidant properties. Tannins are found in fruits, berries, smoked foods, beer and wines (more tannin is found in red wines than in white), citrus juices, condiments (such a cloves, tarragon, vanilla and cinnamon), legumes, and chocolate.
Tannins have shown potential antiviral, antibacterial, and anti-parasitic properties. They have also been studied for their effects on the treatment of cancers and their inhibitory effect on HIV.
Alkaloids are alkaline compounds that contain nitrogen: cocaine, caffeine, nicotine, and quinine are all examples of alkaloids. Alkaloids form water soluble salts and have enormous application as medications. They are characterized by powerful effects on the body.