Many herbs are rich in bioactive compounds with antioxidant properties. Nutritional and cancer fighting supplements are an integral part of any comprehensive cancer treatment plan but, despite claims of miracle cures on the Internet, no supplement alone eliminates cancer. Yet supplements play a very important role in cancer treatment, because cancer is continually trying to outsmart whatever you are doing, and supplements can help you to attack it from multiple angles. They have the potential to inhibit the growth of cancer cells or induce cancer cell death. Here are some herbs that can fight the good fight against cancer :
Rosemary, widely used in Spanish, French, and Italian cooking, has a reputation as a memory booster. Research indicates that it can help fight cancer as well. This herb contains beneficial compounds such as carnosic acid and rosmarinic acid which inhibit cancer cells such as those of small cell lung carcinoma, prostate carcinoma, liver carcinoma, chronic myeloid leukemia, breast adenocarcinoma, and prostate adenocarcinoma. Research also indicates that rosemary extracts can retard certain chemically induced cancers.
This aromatic member of the mint family doubles up as a natural cancer fighter. As one study found, thyme essential oil was toxic to lung carcinoma, prostate carcinoma, and breast cancer cells. Carvacrol, a prominent compound in thyme, may be responsible for this anticancer activity.
Along with onions, shallots, scallions, and leeks, garlic is an allium vegetable that may help prevent cancer, especially of the stomach. Allium vegetables contain organosulfur compounds, the chemical that causes eye-tearing when they’re chopped. Organosulfar has immune-strengthening and anti-carcinogenic qualities. Garlic is a versatile cooking essential. It can be sautéed in a tablespoon of olive oil and served with whole grain bread, or baked in the oven and then mashed into a spread. It’s delicious added to vegetables and meats dishes.
This hot pepper contains capsaicin, a powerful antioxidant that helps with weight loss and is an anti-inflammatory food. Cayenne also contains beta-carotene. It is known to be toxic to cancer cells and helps prevent growth of cancer cells.
Ashwagandha is an antioxidant herb with cancer-fighting potential. Active components like withaferin, withanolide, withanoside, and withanone present in this herb have been found effective against different kinds of cancer. Withaferin A, in particular, can inhibit breast cancer and B-cell lymphoma.
The spice turmeric contains curcumin, which gives curry powder its yellow color. “Curcumin is one of the most powerful anti-inflammatories identified to this day. Cancer tumors have a network of blood vessels that feed them. Curcumin can work against these blood vessels and essentially choke the cancer cells to death.
Another weapon in your kitchen’s cancer prevention arsenal, fresh ginger contains gingerol while dried ginger forms zingerone. Gingerol and zingerone are thought to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, and therefore may be protective against cancer. It is also used as a herbal remedy for upset stomach and nausea, and can serve as an appetite stimulant.
Tulsi or Holy basil has long been valued by ayurveda for its medicinal properties. This potent herb has a range of beneficial compounds such as eugenol, rosmarinic acid, carnosic acid, and apigenin that may help it fight cancer. Tulsi can increase antioxidant activity and prevent damage to your DNA by radiation. It also inhibits the development of new tumors and induces cell death.
Black Pepper contains the active substance piperine, a naturally occurring chemical compound with strong antioxidant properties. Black Pepper along with turmeric helps to hamper the growth of cancerous stem cells of breast tumors.
Oregano contains carvacrol, a molecule that may help offset the spread of cancer cells by working as a natural disinfectant. The richest source of antioxidants among herbs slows cancer growth and promotes apoptosis (cell death). It carries antibacterial properties and is a natural disinfectant.
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