Ancient Britons' war paint drafted in to help battle against disease

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Woad, once used as war paint by ancient Britons to strike fear into the hearts of their enemies, could now be used in the battle against cancer.

Scientists have discovered that the plant Isatis tinctoria, is a rich source of an anti-tumour compound glucobrassicin (GBS), which is also found in broccoli and Brussels sprouts, and is believed to be especially active against breast cancer. A recent paper from Dr Stefania Galletti's research team at the University of Bologna, Italy, found that woad contains 20 times more of the cancer- fighting compound glucobrassicin (GBS) than broccoli. Like its relatives, the woad plant uses the compound as a defence mechanism to ward off insect pests, releasing extra levels of GBS when damaged by chemicals or after physical injury.

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aishah aston - 10/18/2008

hi i'm looking for the chemical structure of this plants, its properties, and by this i'm hoping too define those that may be allergic. or information on its positives negatives as iam hoping too continue this work in body painting but need research on its percentages of positives negatives, what i should be looking out for. please help as i really love this plant. thank you aishah aston