“Cancer” is perhaps one of the most emotionally laden words in the English dictionary – and even today, despite many advances in medical technology, cancer remains a huge challenge to diagnose and treat. The most frequent options for trying to eradicate cancerous tumors are surgery, radiation or chemotherapy which all have risks and sometimes very serious side effects. These side effects can greatly interfere with the quality of life for cancer survivors. That is why so much research is underway in regards to treating cancer naturally – or, better yet, preventing it from developing in the first place! And many common Indian spices offer the possibilities of effective and natural cancer prevention. Read on to find out more.
No discussion of anti-cancer Indian spices can begin without talking about turmeric. This is probably one of the most-studied spices in the world and has raised such interest because, among other things, its active ingredient curcumin has shown ability to fight off cancers of the breast, prostate and skin. This is thought to be due to its strong antioxidant properties. (1)
Ginger is botanically related to turmeric and the spices made from the roots of these plants share many cancer-fighting properties. Ginger’s ability to reduce the chances of cancer development likely come from its ability to reduce inflammation and also to protect cells from oxidative stress due to the presence of free radicals. (2)
This sweet spice is a mainstay of Indian cuisine and is much-valued for its licorice-like flavor. Although traditionally used for digestive problems, the phytochemicals found in fennel have also proven to be able to prevent the development and spread of cancerous tumors. (3)
While cayenne pepper gives its traditional heat to many of the hotter Indian dishes, it is doing more than just giving these foods extra kick! Cayenne peppers contain capsaicin: when used topically, this can help to relieve muscle and nerve pain. When used orally, it can help attack and kill cancer cells and also prevent their regrowth. (4)
While many people might be more familiar with cumin in a variety of Mexican foods, it is a mainstay of Indian cuisine as well. Cumin contains a compound known as Thymoquinone, which like curcumin has strong antioxidant properties and has proven particularly useful for treating and preventing cancer of the prostate. (5)
While the spices mentioned above may look and taste very different, they all have one thing in common: they contain various active compounds which research has shown have cancer-fighting properties. These spices, then, offer hope to those who are struggling to defeat cancer or prevent it from happening in the first place. And all without the unwanted side effects that are such a devastating part of traditional cancer treatment.
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