Since ancient times, spices have been used to prevent and treat many diseases. There are many spices known to cure many incurable diseases. There have been voyagers, including Christopher Columbus, who explored the globe searching for treasured spices.
Many documented studies prove that more than adding flavors, these valued commodities are revered for their potential health benefits. The antioxidant properties and the biological effects arise from spice’s ability to induce changes in cellular processes. This includes those involved with cell division, drug metabolism, differentiation, apoptosis, and immunocompetence.
Some researchers suggest that spices may be a key to determining the balance between pro-and anticancer factors that regulate risk and tumor behavior. Recently, a rise has been noted in household use of spices, and about 75% of people in the U.S. believe this dietary approach reduces the risk of diseases, including cancer.
Spices have long been considered for food, flavor, and their medicinal properties. Their ability to serve as inhibitors of carcinogen bioactivation, suppress cell division, decrease free radical formation, suppress microbial growth, promote apoptosis in cancerous cells, regulate inflammation & immunocompetence, promote health and improve disease resistance.
Subtle dietary change and the inclusion of spices can decrease the risk for several diseases. Adding one g/day to diet can significantly contribute to total antioxidant intake and offer a better antioxidants source. Below discussed are some spices that help in the prevention and treatment of diseases like cancer.
Some spices for Cancer prevention and treatment:
Allspice is referred to as “kurundu,” “Jamaica pepper,” “myrtle pepper,” “pimenta,” and “newspice.” Ground allspice arises from the dried unripe berries of the tree Pimenta dioica. Allspice is also available commercially as an essential oil and is claimed through studies to possess antimicrobial, antioxidant, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, anticancer, antipyretic, and antitumorigenic properties.
The anticancer properties of allspice are due to its ability to influence cytochrome P450 (CYP) activity and influence carcinogen bioactivation. Some studies detail the spice extract’s power to activate mechanisms related to phase I detoxification enzymes. While these in vitro studies are fascinating, there is a need for controlled interventions to explore allspice’s potential benefit as a dietary antitumorigenic agent.
A culinary herb prominently featured in Italian and Southeast Asian cuisines, Basil has antioxidant, antitumorigenic, antimutagenic, antibacterial, and antiviral properties. Study shows that this arises from various components, including linalool, estragole, 1,8-cineole, and eugenol. The essential oil of basil possesses antimicrobial properties, and methanol, butanol, and n-hexane fractions of basil demonstrated antagonistic activity against the bacteria.
A study demonstrated that basil largely blocked DNA adduct formation by promoting phase II enzymes and thereby conjugating and eliminating carcinogens. Similarly, other studies showed that basil increased glutathione-S-transferase (GST) protein activity 1.33-fold after 12 hours of incubation, 1.68-fold compared after 24 hours, and 1.47-fold after 72 hours incubation. These studies raise interest in the benefits of spices to retard viruses and potentially cancer.
Caraway is also known as “meridian fennel,” has principal agents that are believed to contain anethofuran, carvone, and limonene, potential cancer chemopreventive agents. Caraway appeared to be a potent antioxidant in vitro and was progressively effective as an antioxidant. Caraway oil and oleoresins provide scavenging and reducing power against the diphenylpicrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radicals. Moreover, aberrant foci are early morphological events that represent an important step in colon cancer progression. The treatment on the sample group decreased carcinogen-induced aberrant crypt foci, indicators of oxidative stress, and fecal bacterial enzyme activity. Induction of GST by anticarcinogenic compounds is an essential mechanism by which spices like caraway promote carcinogen detoxification and lower cancer risk.
A common ingredient used in Indian cooking and various parts of Europe, cardamom has demonstrated antioxidant properties. The study shows the ability of cardamom to inhibit carcinogenesis. It was observed that cardamom oil feeding caused a significant decrease in liver CYP content. A 30% increase in GST activity and sulfhydryl levels in the liver accompanied the cardamom oil treatment. The researcher suggested that intake of cardamom oil affects the enzymes associated with xenobiotic metabolism and therefore benefit as a deterrent to cancer. Cardamom has anti-inflammatory, antiproliferative, and proapoptotic activities that are demonstrated to decrease azoxymethane-induced colon carcinogenesis. Other findings from studies suggest that cardamom can have anticancer benefits by modifying immunocompetence.
One of the coriander’s principal constituents is linalool. Several studies provide evidence that coriander seeds can promote the hepatic antioxidant system and help a cancer patient. Although relatively few studies focus on coriander for its anticancer properties, those available suggest coriander may be important.
In the past, there has been evidence that plants and herbs can help with ailments. Crocetin is another compound found in Saffron that is used for prevention and cancer-related therapies.
The evidence discussed above suggests that spices have factors that may lower cancer risk and affect tumor behavior. Spices have been consumed for centuries for various purposes like flavoring agents, colorants, and preservatives.
For generations, people have believed that foods provide greater benefits over merely supplying energy.
Hippocrates is quoted; “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” Now is the time to sincerely believe and relate to this proverb and live a healthy life filled with optimism and abundance!
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The Healing Oracle Team
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