Ginger is already well known and used extensively as a flavorsome spice and even for some existing traditional style medicines.
For example my nieces and nephews get pretty intense car sickness and we use ginger as a method to help to ease the motion sickness therefore making a car journey slightly more bearable for them.
However there are incredibly interesting studies coming out recently that show some promising indications of how ginger might be an incredibly powerful substitute for other cancer treatments.
Now I just want to be clear and state that this is just a beginning study and just making ginger tea will NOT cure your cancer. Rather it is some of the chemicals and molecules contained in ginger that make it an interesting subject, but further details below.
There are several studies and one of them comes from Georgia State University, which found that ginger extract (or more specifically a compound found inside it) actually shrunk a prostate tumor in lab mice by 56%.
The same extract also helped to reduce inflammation aiding in recovery time.
As amazing as this breakthrough could be, there is also another part to this story.
One very specific component in the ginger extract, 6-shogaol, is pretty great at zeroing in on the type of tumor that breast cancer creates, i.e. the stem cells that cause the breast tumor to rage out of control.
This study was published on PLoS and showed that whilst the stem cells involved were only a small part of what makes a tumor (only 0.2 – 1%) however it is these types of cells that are the most persistent and difficult to eliminate – how can you target something that hasn’t actually turned into the thing you want to target!
According to Health Nut News:
“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.”
Essentially, the 6-shogaol compound is only created when the root has been proceed in some way, either by cooking or drying, which just happen to be the usual methods of ginger preparation.
However the effect on the body that this compound could have is quite amazing:
“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.” (Health Nut News)
With regards to breast cancer, the 6-shogaol compound massively increased the rate in which the cancerous cells died and also inhibited the growth of this cancer types.
Comparison With Other Cancer Treatments
There is a cancer drug called Taxol which is widely used when treating cancerous growths but when it is compared with the 6-shogaol compound found in ginger, the ginger compound was found to kill off an increased amount of cancer cells, (in laboratory settings).
Just how much more effective was it?
Well even when the dosage of Taxol was incrementally increased, it was still around 10,000 times less effective than the natural compound.
This was true at all stages of treatment including not only killing the cancer, but also for keeping new tumors from materializing. All of this whilst also keeping healthy cells alive and reducing the knock on effects for the cells that you actually want to keep alive.
What Does This Mean?
Before you go and start eating tons of ginger every day, just be aware that this was a study done in controlled settings, with very specific outcomes only perfume of laboratory mice.
The experiments were only performed on cell cultures and although peer reviewed, they are not applicable to current medication.
If you are worried about cancer or think you may have any form of this horrible disease, then you must visit your doctor and listen exactly to their advice.
However this kind of study is most impressive because it shows us, that everyday new discoveries are being made.
It could be that in the future, 6-shogaol might be included in certain cancer treatments both for the cure and prevention.