Thursday, April 17, 2014 (All day)
[ESSENCE – (17-04-2014)]
Cancer-fighting culinary spices and herbs
Ginger has long been used in folk medicine to treat everything from colds to constipation. Ginger can be used fresh, in powdered form (ginger spice), or candied. In general, you can replace 1/8 teaspoon of ground ginger with 1 tablespoon of fresh grated ginger, and vice versa.
Consuming ginger and ginger products, in addition to taking any anti-nausea medications as prescribed, may provide some comfort for a queasy stomach during cancer treatment.
Turmeric is an herb in the ginger family; it’s one of the ingredients that make many curries yellow and gives it its distinctive flavor. Turmeric extract supplements are currently being studied to see if they have a role in preventing and treating some cancers, including colon, prostate, breast, and skin cancers. Although results appear promising, they have largely been observed in laboratory and animal studies, so it’s unclear whether these results will ultimately translate to humans.
Garlic belongs to the Allium class of bulb-shaped plants, which also includes chives, leeks, onions, shallots, and scallions. Garlic has a high sulfur content and is also a good source of arginine, oligosaccharides, flavonoids, and selenium, all of which may be beneficial to health. Several studies suggest that increased garlic intake reduces the risk of cancers of the stomach, colon, esophagus, pancreas, and breast. Garlic supports detoxification and may also support the immune system and help reduce blood pressure.
Peppermint is a natural hybrid cross between water mint and spearmint. It has been used for thousands of years as a digestive aid to relieve gas, indigestion, cramps, and diarrhea. It may also help with symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome and food poisoning. Peppermint appears to calm the muscles of the stomach and improve the flow of bile, enabling food to pass through the stomach more quickly. If your cancer or treatment is causing an upset stomach, try drinking a cup of peppermint tea. Many commercial varieties are on the market, or you can make your own by boiling dried peppermint leaves in water or adding fresh leaves to boiled water and letting them steep for a few minutes until the tea reaches the desired strength.
Peppermint can also soothe a sore throat. For this reason, it is also sometimes used to relieve the painful mouth sores that can occur from chemotherapy and radiation, or is a key ingredient in treatments for this condition.
Chamomile may help with sleep issues; if sleep is a problem for you; try drinking a strong chamomile tea shortly before bedtime.
Chamomile mouthwash has also been studied for preventing and treating mouth sores from chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Although the results are mixed, there is no harm in giving it a try, provided your oncologist is not opposed. If given the green light, simply make the tea, let it cool, and rinse and gargle as often as desired.
Chamomile tea may be another way to manage digestive problems, including stomach cramps. Chamomile appears to help relax muscle contractions, particularly the smooth muscles of the intestines. (dummies.com)