Ginger, cousin spice to one of the most powerful natural cures for multiple disease, has many different properties and uses. But did you know how powerful it really was when it comes to curing cancer?
Turmeric has widely been toted for its effect on cancer, but new research has shown that its cousin ginger is just as powerful. Not only that, it’s been found to be even more effective than some cancer medications at killing cancer. There is even evidence of some cancer medications being ineffective and actually accelerating the death of cancer patients.
The Power Of Ginger
One study, conducted by Georgia State University found that whole ginger extract was able to reduce the size of a prostate tumor by 56% in mice. In addition to its effect on cancer, ginger was also observed to reduce inflammation and supply the mice with life-enhancing antioxidants.
Another study published in PLoS found that one particular component in ginger known as 6-shogaol is superior to conventional cancer medication, namely chemotherapy, at targeting the root cause of breast cancer malignancy: breast cancer stem cells.
Sometimes referred to as ‘mother cells’, cancer stem cells are the cause of a wide range of cancers, not simply breast cancer. These ‘mother cells’ are responsible for creating the different ‘daughter’ cell types that makeup the tumor colony. While cancer stem cells only constitute .2 to 1% of the cell makeup of the tumor, they seem to be almost ‘immortal’.
What that means is, these cancer stem cells are able to self renew, they are capable of continuous differentiation, are resistant to conventional chemotherapeutic agents, and are capable of splitting off and forming new tumor colonies. The only way to fully ensure that your body is cancer free is to destroy the cancer stem cells within a tumor.
This new study found that the pungent constituent in ginger known as 6-shogaol was very active when it came to anti-cancer stem behavior. This constituent is produced when the root is either dried or cooked, to very common uses for ginger already. But there is something very specific about 6-shogaol that makes it superior to chemotherapy treatments for cancer.
Researchers found that these cancer-destroying effects occurred at concentrations that were non-toxic to non-cancer cells. That means that this particular component of ginger only killed cancer cells, leaving healthy cells alone. This makes it very different from conventional cancer treatments that do not display that kind of selective cytotoxicity, meaning they can really harm the patient.
When it comes to breast cancer, 6-shogaol significantly affects the cell cycle, resulting in increased cancer cell death. It induces programmed cell death through the induction of autophagy. It also inhibits breast cancer spheroids (lumps) from forming. But that isn’t the only astounding thing about 6-shogaol.
This study also found, that in tests of the cancer drug taxol, it did not show the same level of effectiveness at destroying cancer stem cells and tumors as 6-shogaol. Even when the concentrations of taxol were increased, it was still found that 6-shogaol was 10,000 times more effective at killing cancer stem cells, stopping tumors from forming, and keeping healthy cells alive.
More research needs to be done to show how ‘modern cancer medicine’ is not as effective as natural medicines. We can not be making our bodies sick while trying to cure a disease, that is simply not enough anymore.
Jesse Alvarado Jesse is a graduate of the Creative Advertising program at Seneca College. Coupled with his great passion for writing, Jesse is a strong believer of “With great power, comes great responsibility”. He is enthusiastic of sharing knowledge that can help people lead long and healthy lives.