Herbs, and Spices That May Help Fight Cancer and Reduce Treatment Side Effects

A great deal of research has been conducted on the impact of specific foods, herbs, and spices on cancer cells’ growth and spread (metastasis). While results have been very promising, many more studies, and especially studies in humans, are needed in order to definitively prove the benefits of these foods against cancer in humans. The following information reflects the most current research of foods that help fight cancer and/or prevent or reduce the side effects of cancer and its treatment.

American/Asian ginseng -it has been shown to inhibit tumor growth. In labs study, researchers found that American ginseng possessed powerful anti-cancer properties. Most studies have used Panax ginseng (Asian ginseng). There is some evidence that Panax ginseng may help boost the immune system, reduce risk of cancer, and improve mental performance and well being. Both American and Asian ginsengs contain ginsenosides, although the types and the ratio of these substances are different in the Asian and American herbs. Laboratory studies in animals have found that American ginseng is effective in boosting the immune system, and as an antioxidant. Other studies show that American ginseng might have therapeutic potential for inflammatory diseases. Research on American ginseng has focused on a number of conditions, some of which are described below.

Grape Seed -- especially oligomeric proanthocyanidin complexes (OPCs) -- have been touted as powerful antioxidants. Some people believe they could help treat a number of conditions, from heart disease to cancer to aging skin. A study of healthy volunteers found that taking grape seed extract did substantially increase levels of antioxidants in their blood. Antioxidants are substances that destroy free radicals -- harmful compounds in the body that damage DNA (genetic material) and even cause cell death. Free radicals are believed to contribute to aging, as well as the development of a number of health problems, including heart disease and cancer.

Green Tea – The ingredient epigallocatechin gallate (“EGCG”) in green tea is one of the most powerful nutritional molecules that has been shown to fight the formation of blood vessels by cancer cells.

Olive Oil – Olive oil, along with other foods in the Mediterranean Diet, is believed to slow cancer growth. For example, ingredients in olive oil been shown to protect against the cause of 20% of all breast cancers.

Garlic – Garlic contains several key ingredients that are believed to fight the activity of cancer cells and toxins.

Soy – Soy contains powerful chemicals that have been shown to fight against the survival and spread of cancer cells. Soy has been shown to block the stimulation of certain sex hormone-related cancers such as breast (estrogen) and prostate (androgen) cancer. In women who have eaten soy since adolescence, breast cancer tumors are usually less aggressive with higher survival rates. However, the ability of soy to protect against breast cancer has been proven only in women who have eaten it since they were adolescents. The same is true for prostate cancers. (However, soy is generally not recommended for estrogen-dependent breast cancer.)

Turmeric (Curcumin) – Turmeric, the main spice in yellow curry, has the most powerful inflammatory properties of any food ingredient known today. Turmeric has been shown in the laboratory to help fight cancer cells and make chemotherapy more effective.

Mushrooms – Certain mushrooms, such as shiitake, maitake, and kawaratake, contain a molecule, lentinian, that stimulates the immune system directly. In Japanese studies, the number and activity of immune cells increased notably in patients given mushroom extracts.

Ellagic Acid in Berries – Many berries, such as raspberries and strawberries, contain a substance called ellagic acid. It is also in hazelnuts and walnuts. In normal portions, ellagic acid has been shown to slow tumor growth.

Ginger – Ginger root is a powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant acting against cancer cells.

Rosemary – Carnasol in rosemary affects the capability of cancer cells to invade neighboring tissues.

Tomatoes – Tomatoes contain lycopene, a powerful antioxidant, which supports a strong immune system. Two separate studies of men with prostate cancer showed that taking a lycopene supplement and tomato sauce resulted in slower tumor growth and smaller tumors. (Tomatoes must be cooked in order to release their nutrients.)

Cruciferous Vegetables – including broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, and radishes – contain powerful anticancer molecules.

Hoan Ngoc - It is a plant that originates from Vietnam and has been used as a medicinal herb for hundreds of years over in Southeast Asia. As Hoan Ngoc enriches with flavonoids , clinical docs believe that this plant has chemical property of antioxidant, anticancer, antifungal, antibacteria, healing diabetes, flu, and detoxify liver etc. It also helps to reduce the side effect from radiation and chemotherapy. It is natural safe and has no known side effect.

Beijing Grass - It is originated in Southern China and is abundant in northern Thailand. According to research by scientists the biological properties of the plant can help stop the growth of cancerous cells in the lung, breast and intestines cancer to a moderate degree. It has also been shown that this kind of grass helps boost the immune system, heal respiratory diseases, loosen the mucus, fight cold, cough and allergy, reduce swollen lymph gland and heal bad lymph.

This article is designed for educational purposes only and is not engaged in rendering medical advice or professional services. The information provided through this article should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or a disease. It is not a substitute for professional care. If you have or suspect you may have a health problem, you should consult your health care provider.