Modernization and sedentary lifestyle have impacted diet and health, increasing the cancer mortality rate . This calls for a greater need to develop novel and safer anticancer drugs. Present methods of treatments like chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and surgery induce side effects that compromise patients’ quality of life and physical well-being. Therefore, increased global interest has been seen in dietary supplements or traditional herbal medicines as an alternative treatment for cancer. Recent studies  have found that nutraceuticals or certain substances derived from food can help in treating cancer.
Nutraceuticals and their use to treat Cancer Patients:
Nutraceutical is a food-derived supplement with potential medical benefits in preventing diseases and promoting health. Different nutraceuticals have been identified from natural sources like spices, botanical raw materials, herbs, and extracts [3,4].
Researchers have proven more than 182 spice-derived nutraceuticals, some having great potential to fight cancer, infections, skin-related diseases, obesity, inflammation, and many other diseases. Below are some promising nutraceuticals found as spices that help treat melanoma and skin cancer.
Spices as Nutraceuticals for Skin Cancer:
Turmeric: One of the ancient, well-known and popular Ayurvedic spices, this golden healer has been used for thousands of years. . Curcumin in turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties and is a widely studied compound for cancer prevention [6, 7]. Many studies vouch for the anti-oxidant and anti-carcinogenic properties too.
The anti-cancer potential of curcumin comes from its ability to interact directly and suppress a wide variety of pro-carcinogenic signalling molecules and transcription factors such as NF-kB . In several melanoma patients, NF-kB expression proved to be upregulated. Inhibiting NF-kB appears to be a promising option for anticancer treatments.
Some studies found turmeric and curcumin to be producing great symptomatic relief in patients with external cancerous lesions. Also, the topical application of curcumin-based creams was practical as oral curcumin suppresses tumour growth. This proves the immense potential of turmeric as a potential therapeutic agent for treating skin cancer.
Ginger Zingiber officinale: A popular root-herb consumed as a spice in traditional Asian and European cooking, Ginger, is used as a medicine in India and China since ancient times. Chemical analysis of ginger proves that it contains 400+ biological compounds . 6-gingerol, an active compound, is being studied for anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-angiogenic and anti-carcinogenic properties .
Ginger is a useful aid for cancer patients as it is not only safe and effective, but is well-recognized to offset side effects of chemotherapy, e.g., vomiting and nausea .
With proven impact against colorectal cancer, pancreatic cancer, ovarian, breast, gastric, and skin cancers, ginger and its bioactive molecules inhibit growth and angiogenesis in human ovarian cancer cells.
Some studies prove that topical application of ginger was effective in inhibiting chemically-induced carcinogenesis , suggesting that ginger extracts possess anti-skin tumour-promoting effects. Since numerous trials have proven ginger to have active anti-carcinogenic properties, it poses a great hope for cancer patients, especially for skin cancer treatment.
Garlic Allium sativum: Garlic is one of the best-studied compounds for its anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-oxidant properties. Rich in sulfur-containing compounds (allicin), flavonoids, selenium, and arginine, garlic is beneficial for overall health. Multiple studies prove the inverse correlation between daily garlic intake and cancer risk [13,14].
Good garlic intake reduces the risk of stomach, breast, esophageal, skin, and pancreatic cancers. Oral and topical application of garlic yields positive results against chemically induced skin pappilomagenesis.
Garlic extract also has promising benefits in dermatology & skin-related disorders. These results prove that garlic has an anti-cancer effect on the skin and several other organs.
Cloves Syzygium aromaticum L: Cloves contain active compounds with anti-bacterial, anti-microbial, anti-oxidant, anti-septic, and anti-carcinogenic properties [15, 16].
Historically, respiratory problems, digestive problems and toothaches were treated using cloves. Multiple studies suggest that cloves and compounds have anti-cancer properties . A study revealed that clove infusion effectively reduced the incidence of hyperplasia, dysplasia and carcinoma. This proves the anti-proliferative and apoptogenic properties of cloves.
Many studies claim that clove extract is also effective in treating skin cancer . Such observations suggest cloves can play a promising role in restricting carcinogenesis. Its effectiveness as an anti-cancer agent poses immense scope for cancer treatment.
Rosemary Rosmarinus Officinalis L: Rosemary extract is a rich source of polyphenols known for their powerful antioxidant properties. Rosemary extracts and derived polyphones are being studied for potential anti-carcinogenic properties . Some researches indicate that topical application of rosemary extracts inhibits skin cancer.
Some studies reflect that rosemary extracts prolonged the latency period of tumour occurrence and decreased tumour burden, tumour incidence, and tumour yield while significantly reducing lipid peroxidation.
Another study suggested that rosemary extract efficiently minimises the proliferation of human melanoma A375 cell lines through cytostatic and cytotoxic effects in a dose and time-dependent manner . The pharmacological and therapeutic potential of rosemary extracts is limited to the treatment of skin cancer and rectal, colon, gastric, prostate, and breast cancers . Due to these potential activities, rosemary extracts are being utilized for cancer treatment, while clinical testing for efficacy and safety is still on.
Saffron and the derivatives, particularly crocetin, have shown significant anti-cancer activity in breast, pancreatic, lung, and leukemic cells; read more here! Medicinal herbs and their phytocompounds are increasingly considered helpful in alternative cancer treatments. Explore some benefits of herbal medicines on cancer patients’ survival, immune modulation, and quality of life here.
Many evidences suggest that diet and nutrition play a significant role in the fight against cancer. Cancers are not an inevitable cause of ageing but rather a disease that can be prevented, primarily through lifestyle changes. Making positive lifestyle changes is mentally beneficial for patients. It empowers them to overcome the feeling of loss of control as a challenge during and after cancer diagnosis & treatment.
Read here more about some lifestyle changes that work as an adjunct to standard breast cancer treatments. Another hope for cancer patients is the potential of VDTP/GcMAF-based anticancer immunotherapy.
There are many reasons why people are hoping immunotherapy for cancer will become more widely accepted. It is a significant breakthrough for cancer patients as a natural way to cure cancer. Explore here more on how VDTP/GcMAF works for cancer patients. If you are having problems sourcing a genuine product, here is one link where you can source VDPT/GcMaf.
At Healing Oracle, we are vocal for a healthy diet, healthy mind and soul to live life to its fullest. After all, it’s one life to LIVE!ss
Love & Light
References and Sources:
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