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Inhibitory effects of crude extracts from some edible Thai plants against replication of hepatitis B virus and human liver cancer cells

Wanwisa Waiyaput1, Sunchai Payungporn2, Jiraphorn Issara-Amphorn1 and Nattanan T-Thienprasert Panjaworayan1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Science, Kasetsart University, Bangkok, Thailand

2 Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand

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BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2012, 12:246  doi:10.1186/1472-6882-12-246

Published: 6 December 2012



Edible plants such as Cratoxylum formosum (Jack) Dyer, Curcumin longa Lin, Momordica charantia Lin and Moringa oleifera Lam have long been believed in Thai culture to relieve ulcers and the symptoms of liver disease. However, little is known about their anti-liver cancer properties and antiviral activity against hepatitis B virus (HBV). The aim of this study was to investigate the anti-liver cancer and anti-HBV activities of crude extracts from these edible plants on human liver cancer cells.


Plant samples were prepared and extracted using buffer and hydro-alcoholic solvents. The MTT assay was performed to investigate the effects of the plant extracts on the cell viability of HepG2 cells. The inhibitory effect on replication of HBV was analysed by determining the level of HBV covalently closed circular DNA (cccDNA) in transiently transfected HepG2 cells with the DNA expression plasmid of the HBV genome using a quantitative real-time PCR.


Buffer and hydroalcoholic extracts from C. formosum (leaf) reduced cell viability of HepG2 cells and they also inhibited HBV cccDNA. Crude extracts from C. longa (bulb) in both solvents did not have any cytotoxic effects on the HepG2 cells, but they significantly decreased the level of HBV cccDNA. Buffer extracts from the leaves of M. charantia and the fruits of M. oleifera showed to have anti-HBV activity and also a mild cytotoxicity effect on the HepG2 cells. In addition, leaves of M. Oleifera extracted by hydroalcoholic solvent drastically decreased the level of cccDNA in transiently transfected HepG2 cells.


Some crude extracts of edible plants contain compounds that demonstrate anti-liver cancer and anti-HBV activities.

Antiviral activity; Anti-liver cancer; HBV cccDNA; Hepatitis B virus; Edible Thai plants