There are numerous studies offering an intriguing glimpse into herbs that destroy cancer cells. Right now such herbs remain under scrutiny and may not work for every type of cancer. Conventional surgery, radiation and chemotherapy may be expensive, uncomfortable and scary, but remains the most effective treatment for cancer available. If you've been diagnosed with cancer, talk to your doctor about your treatment options. Seek a second opinion for more options, and find a naturopathic doctor experienced in alternative therapies if you wish to use alternative health remedies such as herbs as part of your treatment protocol.
Many Herbs that Destroy Cancer Cells
Not all cancer cells are alike. Cancer is a broad term that refers to diseases in which cells mutate and develop rapidly. Cancer may affect any organ or part of the body. Cells in one part of the body may mutate and grow out of control, then spread to other parts and create secondary forms of cancer.
Cancer cells share rapid mutation in common, but the treatment of cancer depends upon the type of cancer, the stage at which it is diagnosed, and the part of the body it affects. Certain cancers are treated solely with medication through chemotherapy or other medicines, while other cancers require surgery followed by radiation, chemotherapy or both. Only a qualified medical professional can diagnose cancer and suggest a course of treatment.
Many herbs have been studied and their effects upon various cancers noted and recorded. Researchers are hoping to exploit each herb to create a standard, therapeutic dose of the active ingredient in each. Many of these herbs are fairly safe and are either culinary herbs or common teas, such as green tea, that the average person can enjoy as part of their regular meals and beverages for overall good health.
Green tea comes from the common tea shrub, Camellia sinensis. It's the same shrub that produces black tea, green tea and white tea. The color, taste and flavor changes depending on how mature the tea leaves are when harvested and how they're processed and cured. Green tea is reputed to help with breast, stomach and skin cancer. The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Therapy (NCCAM), a government sponsored website, says that the results of using green tea extracts in human studies are mixed. That means that sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, and researchers aren't sure why. Green tea is safe for most people to enjoy as a beverage. Capsules are also available.
Not only is garlic tasty, but it's believed to prevent cancer of the digestive tract. The National Cancer Institute provides a fact sheet on garlic as a cancer preventing herb. The only known side effect (other than unpleasant breath odor) is, ironically, stomach upset. To prevent stomach upset, try a commercial garlic tablet. Many are also deodorized. Garlic provides cardiovascular benefits too.
Grape Seed Extract
The Unviersity of Maryland Medical Center reports that laboratory experiments show that grape seed extract fights breast, stomach, colon, prostate and lung cancers. But remember, this has only been tested in the laboratory; human experiments may yield different results. Grape seed extract is said to be fairly safe and the university site recommends taking it for up to 12 weeks.
Cooking Herbs that Destroy Cancer Cells
Many herbs used in cooking have some cancer fighting benefits, too. Since you can cook with them, they are generally safe for most people. These herbs include turmeric, a golden-colored spice used in Indian and Asian cooking, as well as ginger and the aforementioned garlic. Rosemary offers some cancer-fighting potential too.
Cancer Fighting Foods
Nearly all fresh, raw fruits and vegetables provide cancer prevention properties. Most doctors agree that increasing the intake of fresh fruits and vegetables helps prevent cancer. The extra fiber in fruits and vegetables may guard against digestive tract cancers, while cancer-fighting benefits have been attributed to such diverse foods as apples, broccoli, cabbage, blueberries and more. It certainly won't hurt (unless your doctor has told you not to eat a certain fruit or vegetable, or you're allergic to them) and it tastes good, too, so go ahead and add more fruits and vegetables to your diet. Sprouts such as alfalfa sprouts and juicing with plants such as wheatgrass are also thought to add antioxidants, enzymes, vitamins and minerals that possibly prevent or fight cancer. Watercress and wild greens may also offer certain benefits.
Cancer Prevention Tips
The American Cancer Society offers these general tips to stay healthy and prevent cancer:
- Eat right - Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Eat less red meat, high fat animal foods, and refined grains and sugars.
- Exercise - Exercise boosts overall health, so become and stay active.
- Stop using tobacco products - Seek help to quit smoking if you can't do it on your own.
- Learn about genetic risks - Some cancers are hereditary, so learn your family's health history.
- Self-check and get screened - Women should perform breast self examinations and both men and women should learn how to check their skin for skin cancer. Make and keep regular appointments for other cancer screening tests.