When a lot of people think about the medicinal uses of ginger, the first things that come to mind are likely that it is a good treatment for nausea and also that is a powerful anti-inflammatory. While this is perfectly true, what many people do not realize is that ginger is also being tested as a preventative and/or treatment for various forms of cancer. A recent study on the effects of ginger on ovarian and prostate cancers cells in particular showed some incredibly interesting results.
Ginger and Cancer Treatment
The use of ginger to help treat cancer patients is nothing new. It is long been used to help reduce the nausea that is frequently a part of chemotherapy and also has long been valued for its anti-inflammatory properties for those battling this disease. What this study showed, however, was something previously unknown. Research out of the University of Michigan found that when powdered ginger was utilized on cancer cells, those cells experience apoptosis, or mass cell death after being in contact with the ginger. Even more interestingly, it was noted that ginger could also induce a phenomenon called autophagy, where cancer cells actually kill each other.
More Evidence Comes to Light
New research seem to confirm the findings of this original study.
In one study, in which ginger was applied to treatment of ovarian cancer cells, it was found that it not only inhibited the growth of cancerous ovarian cells but also prevented their spread, known as metastasis.
Ginger has also proven useful in prostate cancer treatment. Results of a study, later published in the British Journal of Nutrition, found that an extract of ginger was able to kill off prostate cancer cells while leaving healthy cells intact. It was also able to shrink the overall size of the prostate by an astounding 56%, which can also help men who are suffering from this problem to be able to urinate more normally and without obstruction.
One of the most exciting prospects of ginger-based therapy is the fact that, while it is able to kill of cancer cells, ginger extracts seem to be able to leave healthy cells intact. This remains a big drawback of many cancer therapies, which frequently damage health tissue in the attempt to kill cancer cells off. It also appears to be non-toxic even at very high doses. Again, this is something that can put it at an advantage in comparison with other cancer treatments.
More research needs to be done on why ginger seems to be so effective for treatment of specific cancers like those of the ovaries or prostate. However, preliminary results from these studies are promising and will hopefully lead to the development of more natural, less invasive therapies for cancer patients to choose from.
More by Christine . S