The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
By Michelle Schoffro Cook
Who doesn't love ginger cookies or spice cake? The signature ginger flavor adds a delightful taste to almost anything to which it is added.
But taste is not the only reason to love this amazing spice. Not only is ginger a delicious addition to food, it is also one of the best natural medicines around. And, now there is more reason than ever to turn to ginger for its impressive healing abilities: research shows that this spice sensation kills breast cancer stem cells.
Not only is ginger a delicious addition to food, it is also one of the best natural medicines around.
While cancer is made up of a range of cells, its stem cells have the ability to self-renew and give rise to a large number of cancer cells and have shown resistance to numerous chemotherapy drugs. As a result, these cells have been the target of widespread investigation. It is believed that targeting these cells will help to effectively kill cancer cells and tumors. However, to date, cancer stem cells have posed a serious obstacle to cancer therapy as they are often the cause of cancer relapse.
According to research in the online medical journal PLoS One, the herb ginger or gingerroot as it is also called, holds promise in the destruction of cancer stem cells and cancer in general. That's because ginger contains several substances that have been found to kill stem cells and interfere with their ability to renew.
Specifically, ginger contains the anti-cancer compounds known as gingerols and 6-shogaol. The study found that these compounds effectively targeted breast cancer stem cells and prevented them from renewing. While it is possible that these ginger compounds will have the same effect on other types of cancer, they were not explored in this particular study.
Other research published in the International Journal of Preventive Medicine found that these compounds and two others found in ginger showed significant anti-cancer properties. While more research is needed, the authors of the PLoS One study state that ginger and an extract of its constituent 6-shogaol, is "a promising therapeutic agent which should be further followed up for breast cancer treatment."
Since ginger has a proven safety track record, it is worth consideration as part of an anti-cancer or cancer-prevention plan. You can use a ginger extract (usually the medicinal parts of roots like ginger are extracted in alcohol). These extracts, known as tinctures, are available in most health food stores. Follow package instructions; however if you're using it as part of your breast cancer treatment program, you may need higher dosages than the package indicates. It is best to work with a qualified herbalist or natural medicine practitioner along with your oncologist.
For day-to-day help with cancer prevention, you can add chopped, fresh ginger to soups, stews, stir-fries, vegetable or meat dishes, as well as desserts. Add fresh ginger to a juicer while making juices. You can also add chopped, fresh ginger to water and boil it for at least 45 minutes but preferably an hour, then strain and drink as a hot or iced tea. Add the herb stevia if you prefer a sweeter-tasting beverage. Always choose fresh gingerroot over dried ginger powder as it contains far more of the medicinal compounds.
This article was reposted with permission from our media associate Care2.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
Vice President Mike Pence sparked outrage on social media Saturday when he traveled in the first-ever motorcade to drive down the streets of Michigan's car-free Mackinac Island, HuffPost reported.
By Shawn Radcliffe
- As illnesses and deaths linked to vaping continue to rise, health officials urge people to stop using e-cigarettes.
- Officials report 8 deaths have been linked to lung illnesses related to vaping.
- Vitamin E acetate is one compound officials are investigating as a potential cause for the outbreak.
By Julia Conley
As organizers behind Friday's Global Climate Strike reported that four million children and adults attended marches and rallies all over the world — making it the biggest climate protest ever — they assured leaders who have been reticent to take bold climate action that the campaigners' work is far from over.
By Dan Gray
- Research shows that 16 weeks of a vegan diet can boost the gut microbiome, helping with weight loss and overall health.
- A healthy microbiome is a diverse microbiome. A plant-based diet is the best way to achieve this.
- It isn't necessary to opt for a strictly vegan diet, but it's beneficial to limit meat intake.
New research shows that following a vegan diet for about 4 months can boost your gut microbiome. In turn, that can lead to improvements in body weight and blood sugar management.
By Jeff Turrentine
Nearly 20 years have passed since the journalist Malcolm Gladwell popularized the term tipping point, in his best-selling book of the same name. The phrase denotes the moment that a certain idea, behavior, or practice catches on exponentially and gains widespread currency throughout a culture. Having transcended its roots in sociological theory, the tipping point is now part of our everyday vernacular. We use it in scientific contexts to describe, for instance, the climatological point of no return that we'll hit if we allow average global temperatures to rise more than 2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels. But we also use it to describe everything from resistance movements to the disenchantment of hockey fans when their team is on a losing streak.