6 Herbs and Spices That May Help Prevent Cancer

In a significant number of cases, the causes of cancer are genetic. Cancer is inherited if anyone in the family has a history of the disease. In other cases, environmental and lifestyle factors can also cause cancer. Although protecting oneself from these factors can help in lowering the risk of cancer, there is no medically-proven method to inhibit cancer. However, traditional medical knowledge across various cultures recommend certain herbs and spices for cancer prevention. Although these are not scientifically-proven claims, the antioxidants properties of these herbs and spices may work towards preventing free radical damage and inhibiting cancer cells. Here are some of the widely used herbs and spices for cancer prevention.

  • Parsley
    Green leafy herbs such as parsley contain a plant pigment known as quercetin. This pigment has antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties. These properties help in combating damage caused by free radicals. Quercetin is known to work as a chemo-preventer that can inhibit the growth of cancerous cells, and this is how parsley can help in the prevention of oxidative diseases such as cancer. Parsley is quite versatile as an herb. One can add it to salads, homemade hummus, or zucchini. It can be added to soups and smoothies as well. A tea preparation of parsley and boiled water is also useful.
  • Wheatgrass
    Wheatgrass is known to be a detoxifying medical herb that has innumerable health benefits. It is one of the most popular herbs and spices for cancer prevention. Called the king of alkaline foods, wheatgrass is quite active in alkalizing the body and maintaining the overall pH balance. It neutralizes environmental pollutants that may be present in the body. Wheatgrass also improves the count of red blood cells and boosts the immune system. When added to one’s diet during chemotherapy, wheatgrass is known to alleviate the symptoms of myelotoxicity. A daily intake of at least 2 oz. of wheatgrass juice can help prevent cancer. One can also add wheatgrass to various recipes such as a zucchini mix, salads, savory cookies, and pies.
  • Ginger root
    Among all herbs and spices for cancer prevention, ginger root is widely and extensively used. It has anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties. When added to the diet of a person undergoing chemotherapy, ginger helps in digestion and alleviates pain and discomfort. Ginger root is also known to inhibit cell growth in the case of ovarian cancer. One can use ginger in a variety of food preparations. Grated ginger can be added to soups or curries to make them delicious. Adding ginger root can enhance the taste of numerous recipes, especially if a dash of spice is required. Lemon ginger tea is also known to have various health benefits. However, raw organic ginger root should be used rather than packaged ginger powder or ready-made ginger paste.
  • Grape seed extracts
    Grape seed extracts are known to have innumerable health benefits that include treatment of skin disorders, lowering of bad cholesterol, improving blood circulation, and preventing aging. Grape seed extracts are one of the lesser known herbs and spices for cancer prevention. These extracts inhibit cancer cells and help in combating environmental pollutants present in one’s body. One can take grape seed extracts in the supplement form. These supplements are available over the counter. However, it is recommended to consult a physician before taking any supplements. Grapeseed oil is also a healthy addition for cancer prevention. One can replace their regular cooking oil with grapeseed oil while preparing various dishes.
  • Licorice root
    Licorice root is one of the most popular herbs and spices for cancer prevention that people have been using since ancient times. The Greeks used licorice root for its medicinal properties. The Chinese made it an essential ingredient in their herbal medicinal preparations. The herb has anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. It is a chemopreventive agent that has been known to inhibit cancerous cells. This herb also helps in detoxifying the liver, treating acid reflux, and alleviating discomfort caused by menopausal hot flashes. Licorice root powder can be used with raw honey to make a comforting and healthy tea. Licorice root supplements can also be taken to gain the benefits of this herb. Although the supplements are available over the counter, it is advisable to consult a doctor before taking any supplements.
  • Turmeric
    No list of herbs and spices for cancer prevention can be complete without mentioning this vibrant yellow herb. People use this herb in almost every possible recipe, right from turmeric lattes to soups, frittatas, and scrambled eggs. Although it loses most of its health benefits in its powdered and packaged form, the versatility of turmeric is hard to deny. It is a potent antioxidant food that helps in combating oxidation and free radical damage. Turmeric is a chemopreventive agent that inhibits cancerous cells and helps prevent cancer. It has been known to be beneficial in treating and preventing colon cancer. It helps to alleviate the discomfort experienced during chemotherapy. Turmeric has also been found to be helpful in fighting breast tumor cells and melanoma cells.

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