Lost treasure of gac fruit: A golden medicinal herb packed with cancer-fighting compounds

When it comes to using gấc, we often only use the red flesh without realizing that the discarded parts also have many uses.


Gấc is a popular and famous fruit of Vietnam that many other countries desire. In addition to being used to cook sticky rice, gac is also a valuable medicinal ingredient in gac oil production, supplementing vitamin A…

Normally, people only use the red flesh of gac fruit and are unaware of the numerous health benefits of gac seeds. According to Lương y Vũ Quốc Trung (Hanoi Oriental Medicine Association) on Health & Life Magazine: “From the root to the fruit and seeds, each part has its own value for medicine. Among them, the most abundant source of nutrients and valuable medicinal ingredients is in the ripe gac fruit. However, in the process of using it, people only take the pulp (flesh) of gac to make sticky rice or peel off the seed membrane to produce oil, then they throw away the seeds without knowing its great benefits.”

In Oriental Medicine, gac seeds are also known as “mộc miết tử”. Gac seeds have a fatty and slightly sweet taste, cool nature, slight toxicity, they enter the meridians of the large intestine, spleen, stomach, and are used as medicine to treat swelling, inflammation, joint pain, toothache, itching, abscesses, goiter, hemorrhoids, breast swelling, blocked milk ducts, treatment of scrofula, intestinal worms… According to modern medicine analysis, each gac seed contains 2.9% inorganic matter, 6% water, 55.3% fat, 2.9% sugar, 16.6% protein, 1.8% tannin, and 11.7% undetermined matter. Gac seeds also contain many minerals such as cobalt, iron, copper, selenium, zinc… which provide many health benefits.

How to use gac seeds

Gac seeds are usually used in folk medicine by soaking them in alcohol to apply externally to the skin for treating swelling, blocked milk ducts…

Some gac seed remedies:

– Take about 30 gac seeds and roast them: Let the fire burn, heat the pan, add the gac seeds and stir evenly until the outer sides are burnt, when broken, the inside remains yellow is enough.

– Crush the roasted seeds, soak them with 500ml of white alcohol for at least 15 days. The longer soaking time, the stronger the effect of the seeds.

– Use gac seed alcohol to apply on bruised, impacted areas in cases of falls, bleeding wounds…, it will have a good effect similar to bear bile.

The benefits of gac seeds

Lung cancer prevention: According to some information, extracts from gac seeds help reduce the survival rate of A549, H1299 lung cancer cells and inhibit the metastatic ability of A549 cells. In addition, gac seeds also activate p53 and Bax to kill cells and reduce PI3K, Bcl-2 signaling to prevent lung cancer.

Breast cancer prevention: The outer membrane and seeds of gac contain excellent anti-breast cancer activity in MCF-7 and 2R-75-30 cells because this extract is rich in lycopene, which is toxic to cells and activates cell death in the cell cycle while inhibiting breast cancer signaling factors. .

Gastric cancer prevention: Gac seeds are rich in Momordica saponin I, which reduces the damage index in acute gastric mucosa caused by anti-inflammatory drugs and alcohol. Moreover, this active ingredient also activates the death of PARP, p53 cells that cause gastric cancer.

Good antioxidant: Gac seeds contain lutein, lycopene, xanthophylls, and β-carotene, which have good antioxidant properties. Gac seed extract also has chymotrypsin and saponin inhibitory effects with anti-inflammatory effects.

However, in folk medicine today, gac seeds are mainly used by soaking them in alcohol and mostly for external use. Gac seeds contain a certain amount of natural toxins, so gac seed alcohol cannot be consumed. To use them for drinking, it is necessary to consult a doctor for advice and dosage.