The ginger is a very useful root. It is not only used in the kitchen as a spice, juice or oil, but as a medicine for inflammation, motion sickness, morning sickness, colic, upset stomach, loss of appetite etc. Well, now a study about ginger will draw even more attention to it, because of its effects on cancers.
A study done at the Georgia State University has found that ginger extract can reduce a prostate tumor in mice by 56% . Besides the tumor reduction (which is the most important factor), the ginger extract is rich in antioxidants and reduces inflammation.
A component found in ginger – 6-shogaol is superior in targeting and eliminating cancer stem cells, according to another study published in the public library of science.
Cancer stem cells make up for 0.2 to 1% of all the cells in a tumor, but targeting them is extremely difficult. If they are not completely destroyed they are capable of continuous differentiation, they able to self renew and create new tumor colonies. At the same time they are very resistant to the conventional chemotherapeutic agents.
The study discovered that the common methods of preparing ginger, cooking, and drying, produces 6-shogaol. The exciting part is the effect that 6-shogaol has on the body while battling cancer stem cells.
Namely the cancer destroying effects occurred at 6-shogaol concentrations that were not harmful to other, healthy cells. That means that this particular component of ginger only killed cancer cells, leaving healthy cells not harmed. This effect is a lot different than the conventional cancer chemotherapy treatments, where the toxic compounds kill both the cancer and the healthy cells in a patient.
It was found out that 6-shogaol has a drastic effect on breast cancer cells. It is also able to block breast cancer lumps growth.
It was even able to kill more tumors and cancer cells that the cancer drug Taxol. 6-shogaol is 10,000 times more effective than increased doses of Taxol at eliminating cancer stem cells, keeping healthy cells alive, and stemming the formation of tumors.
Even though the study was performed on cell cultures and not people, it shows promise for cancer patients.