Can you prevent cancer? We like to think so (and science is backing us up). Health and vitality is so much easier than pain and suffering.
Considering the odds, it’s a flip of the coin whether or not you’ll be a victim to cancer. Too many of us are complacent about those odds, believing not much can be done to change this inevitable fact of American life. The World Health Organization statistics show that cancer claims more than 8.2 million people annually, ranking it as one of the leading causes of death. Deaths from cancer worldwide are projected to continue to rise to over 13.1 million by 2030.
Cancer is a captive market! For over 60 years that market has been tapped into Western medical treatment centers which provide chemotherapy and radiation to help shrink cancer tumors. Cancer, we’re told, is random, it’s genetic, and sooner or later, it’s going to get us and we aren’t likely to be able to prevent cancer.
However, Thomas Seyfried’s book, Cancer as a Metabolic Disease, changes our view that cancer can somehow get us without any warning. What we may need to focus on is how the body receives and stores energy. Our mitochondria generates energy from the foods we eat and responds to chronic stress. There may be a way to prevent cancer after all.
Research tells us, susceptibility to cancer within the body is the result of reducing the level of foods that are metabolically necessary. “Metabolically necessary” means we are not a one-size-fits-all approach to nutrition. New personalized food choices — functional whole foods from Mother Nature’s table — are necessary.
Cancer may even be a disease of malabsorption. Poor quality foods that can lead to malabsorption include: alcohol, trans-fats, refined sugar, refined salts, wheat/gluten products, and all processed and junk foods.
Studies suggest cancer can be considered the buildup of toxins in the body reducing cell oxygenation; leaving these free radicals to damage our DNA, causing inflammation, oxidative stress, unbalanced hormones, and cell mutation. “Many experiments clearly provide evidence that DNA and RNA are susceptible to oxidative damage. It has been reported that especially in aging and cancer, DNA is considered as a major target.” Prevention requires looking at the toxins and mitigating their effects.
This knowledge can give us a jump start to prevent cancer by making sure we are eating plenty of antioxidant rich foods, drinking pure filtered water, keeping intestinal pathways clear and alkalizing the body to protect cells. In the process of eliminating as much toxic exposure as possible, we must limit our daily exposures from chemicals, addictive medications, dyes, synthetics, proven carcinogens, heavy metals, pesticides, and environmental toxins. Pollutants are not only contributing to the cancer epidemic, they are also a contributing factor in the obesity epidemic. Learning to prevent cancer means being aware of toxicity in all ares of life.
Spiritually, cancer is said to be an imbalance within the body caused and affected by our mental-emotional-spiritual core. To reiterate that last statement, there is mounting evidence suggesting that cancers are not an inevitable consequence of aging, but are preventable diseases.
Recently, there are many studies popping up focusing on the use of herbs to prevent cancer and even using these in conjunction with western medical treatment.
Prevent Cancer With Optimal Health
Here’s the scoop! If you’re looking to prevent cancer, here are 17 herbs and medicinal plants to keep you healthy:
1. Wheatgrass is considered a detoxifying medical herb. Health benefits include improving red blood cell count and neutralizing environmental pollutants within the body. Wheatgrass also demonstrates benefits in cancer prevention. You can use wheatgrass by juicing it daily in 2oz shots. Using wheatgrass during chemotherapy has been beneficial and may reduce symptoms of myelotoxicity and also help alkalize the body.
2. Parsley is used to treat a wide variety of conditions and help prevent oxidative stress diseases such as cancer. Quercetin is a plant pigment found in green leafy herbs such as parsley and fruits and veggies such as berries and broccoli. It contains antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral and anti-cancer properties, and fights free radical damage. Quercetin can inhibit the growth of cancer cells with the ability to act as chemopreventers. You can make a tea from parsley and boiled water or you can use parsley in salads. You can also add a handful of chopped fresh parsley in homemade hummus or zucchini recipes.
3. Grape Seed Extract is said to outperform some treatments in killing cancer cells. According to the University of Colorado Cancer Center, grape seed extract can impact the cells that have wound up impenetrable to pharmaceuticals, without hurting strong cells. Grape seed extract fights pollution and Candida within our digestive tract. This extract can be found at your holistic vitamin shop and used according to directions.
4. Ginger root has great anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. Ginger helps relieve pain and aids digestion especially with chemotherapy. Ginger is found to inhibit ovarian cancer cell growth. I make fresh organic ginger root tea with one-half fresh lemon, thumb-size of ginger root and one cup of hot water. Blend together.
5. Helichrysum properties offer a strong cancer-suppressive, mood-stabilizing, anti-inflammatory, and anti-depressant effect. It’s key to find essential oils that are not cut with synthetics. You can find Organic Helichrysum essential oil here.
7. Licorice Root detoxifies the liver and is a soothing herb with anti-inflammatory properties. It may also be used to detoxify Candida albicans. A chemopreventive agent with anticancer properties, licorice root was used for years by the Greeks for medicinal purposes, and is found to be used mostly in Chinese herbal medicine today. In the U.S., it can also be used for menopausal hot flashes. You can use it as a tea mixed with a teaspoon of organic raw honey. A 2011 study shows it is beneficial for acid reflux. Powdered licorice root can be made into a mouthwash by mixing one fourth teaspoon with two cups of purified water.
8. Watercress: This aquatic plant increases detoxification enzymes in the body and contains phytonutrients that have successfully inhibited carcinogens. Watercress in extract form proved to be significantly protective against colon cancer. In a study at the Norwich Food Research Center in the United Kingdom, “smokers were given watercress which eliminated higher carcinogens in their urine. Dietary factors contribute to the regional variation of stomach cancer and offer clues for further prevention research.” I chop a handful of fresh watercress on top of an organic fresh kale or spinach salad and use in homemade guacamole.
9. Turmeric has been proven as effective as 14 different medications. Turmeric is chemopreventive and has been found to prove beneficial in colon cancer. Studies also show turmeric functions as an anticancer agent, can be useful for resistance to cytotoxic chemotherapy, and beneficial for breast tumor cells. According to the Department of Medicine, University of British Columbia, turmeric has been useful in melanoma cell death. Turmeric can be used in your morning smoothie and also in curry or lentil dishes for your evening meal.
10. Dandelion Root is found to kill cancer cells. Dandelion root has great potential, as a non-toxic and effective alternative to conventional modes of chemotherapy available today. You can make a salad from baby dandelion mixture, broccoli, raw pumpkin seeds, fresh lemon and spices.
11. Holy Basil is shown to be valuable in the reduction of chemically induced cancers through initiating apoptosis and maintaining antioxidative and antiangiogenic effects. Holy Basil can be found in Tulsi teas and in an extract form that you can utilize by diluting in water.
12. Maca Root is a superfood. It is a Peruvian herb that is said to balance the endocrine hormones and be beneficial for breast and prostate cancer, the immune system, memory, and sexual and adrenal function. Maca belongs to the mustard family has been used by native Peruvians as both a food and medicine. According to the Department of Biological and Physiological Sciences, Lima Peru, maca has great potential as an adaptogen and the treatment of some tumor entities. I use Organic Maca in smoothies or in homemade raspberry ice cream.
13. Chlorella, is high in protein, antioxidants, and a detoxifier. It holds anticancer properties. Chlorella is found to be a good chemopreventive agent. This means it’s a naturally occurring agent that can induce apoptosis in cancer cell without much side effects. I’ve found for better digestive purposes, it’s best to purchase the broken cell wall Chlorella. You can start with two tablets a day.
14. Spirulina is found to be high in protein and rich in B, C, and D vitamins, calcium, antioxidants and used for detoxification and increasing energy. According to the Department of Otolaryngology, Liverpool University Hospitals, Liverpool, UK and the Department of Surgery, Hippocrateio Hospital, Thessaloniki, Greece, the “characteristics of spirulina may have a possible mechanism of tumor destruction and hence play a role in cancer prevention.” Spirulina lowers inflammation and helps with clearing Candida. It can be used in your morning smoothie.
15. Echinacea is one of the most widely used alternative medicines in the world. It is said to have cytotoxic effects. The Echinacea plant has been hailed for its ability to help the body heal itself from the common cold. It is also used to relieve anxiety and chronic fatigue. Echinacea has been available for years in supplements and extract form, and can be used about two to three times a day; here is no standard dose. Echinacea can be also consumed as a tea. Please check labeling.
16. Honey is a superfood provided to us by mother nature and her bees. “Honey is a by-product of flower nectar.” It has antibacterial and anti inflammatory properties, but most of all, research says, “honey therapy could lead to lowering tumor cell proliferation by arresting cell cycle.”
17. CBD Plant Compound: CBD oil nourishes the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS), a group of endogenous cannabinoid receptors located in the brain and throughout the central and peripheral nervous systems. CBD can help your body get into balance to keep disease at bay.
[Editor’s Note: CBD is an all-natural compound derived from hemp and offers no psychological side effects; unlike THC, the most known marijuana compound. CBD has been shown to aid with relieving chronic pain, may combat lyme disease, and offers a host of other life changing benefits.]
My thoughts are, if we take an active step in concentrating on what we put in and on our body, such as these herbs, plants, and superfoods, we won’t need to spend so much time worrying about the World Health Organization statistics of cancer being the leading cause of death. We can actually prevent cancer with a healthy lifestyle.
Connie Rogers is a certified holistic health coach and published author. She teaches skin health from within, and how to ditch metabolic and endocrine related toxins. Her book is available on Amazon,’Path to a Healthy Mind & Body‘
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