Apparently, ginger, a well-known spice we frequently add to different dishes to enhance the flavor, has the power to prevent cancer. But, it has numerous other health benefits as well. Turmeric comes from the same family as ginger and newest research has concluded that ginger might be as potent as turmeric. So, the question which arises is whether natural cures can be more effective than conventional cancer treatments, like chemo and radiation, which are known to cause more harm than good.
According to a study done by Georgia State University, ginger extract reduced the sizes of prostate tumor in mice by 56% and it also reduced the inflammation in the mice with the help of its antioxidants. Another study, published in PLoS, found that 6-shogaol-a component of ginger, targeted the main reason behind breast cancer, i.e. breast cancer stem cells.
Cancer stems cells are also causers of other types of cancers as well, not just breast cancer. These cells have the ability to self-renew and differentiate continuously. Also, they are resistant to conventional chemo.
The researchers concluded that the anti-cancer properties of ginger happened at concentrations that weren’t toxic to the non-cancerous cells. So, ginger was able to destroy the cancer cells only, leaving the healthy ones intact. Selective cytotoxicity is not the case with conventional cancer therapies. 6-shogaol causes death of breast cancer cells, i.e. it induces a programmed cell death by inducing autophagy. It’s also known to prevent the formation of breast cancer lumps.