Though culinary herbs have seasoned and added taste to our food, it was soon discovered that these herbs from Mother Nature were an amazing, natural and abundant resource with healing properties. Studies also revealed that culinary herbs also contain natural antioxidants, compounds that help fight cancer as well as prevents its recurrence. Although these herbs are available in every grocery store and in addition to this, we use these herbs in our daily life, most of us are simply unaware just how powerful these are. Just a grain or pinch of it will stop cancer right in its tracks and will also prevent it from mutating. According to studies there are almost 3,000 herbs that fight and prevent cancer. However, here are 7 from this cornucopia of herbs:
Also known as Ocimum tenuiflorum, this is a herb which is highly prized for its healing properties. As it contains numerous volatile compounds, it has been called a powerful antioxidant, radiation protective, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antifungal herb. This peppery herb also known as ‘Hot Basil’ is said to stall breast cancer (including DCIS) growth and progression. In addition to this, it also has the ability to fight lung cancer in its preliminary stage itself and Fibrosarcoma. It also has the ability to induce cell death, suppress the further growth of cancer cells and reduce the side effects one experiences when undergoing chemotherapy. Although fresh or dried basil when used as a food ingredient is safe, when used in oil form and that too in large quantities, is said to cause cancer as it contains estragole.
Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) is an evergreen shrub and a cousin of the mint family. Known for their bitter and astringent taste, this herb is added in dumplings, breads, meats, and potatoes etc. This miracle herb which fights with cancer has key ingredients, i.e., caffeic acid, vitamin E (alpha tocopherol) and rosemarinic acid which are potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agents help protect the body’s cells from being damaged by free radicals. Also rich in carnosol, rosemary detoxifies those substances which kick off the breast cancer process. Rosemary stimulates liver enzymes, which inactivate estrogen hormones as these hormones contribute to breast cancer. However, one should use and consume rosemary in moderation as too much of it can be poisonous. In addition to this, women who are breast feeding or people prone to allergic reactions or epileptic seizures should avoid it completely. Using just 1 or 2 tablespoons or a dose of 5 grams of chopped leaves or in powdered form is sufficient.
Most of the time people brush off parsley as’ just a garnish’. However, it’s not only a garnish but an ‘unsung hero of the herb world’. This herb also known as Petroselinum hortense is a panacea for breast cancer, lung cancer, prostate cancer, leukemia, pancreas cancer and ovarian cancer. It is also an anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antimicrobial, antifungal, antiviral, radio protective, antispasmodic, anti-anxiety and cholesterol-lowering herb. It is a good source of apigenin: a process in which deviant and mutant cells are killed by the human body’s natural anti cancer defense mechanism as well as stall the invading and migrating cancer cells. It also contains Myristicin: a potential cancer chemo preventive agent which affects the speed of cell division, giving and allowing the cell to correct DNA mistakes or to activate apoptosis. Just 1 cup of fresh sprigs in your salad, soup or stuffing your poultry is enough to fight cancer.
Thyme, also known as Thymus mongolicus, a flavoring agent used in food, contains 40 cancer-preventing substances. It also has an essential oil that is rich in thymol. A powerful antiseptic, antibacterial, and a strong antioxidant, it also contains terpenoids like Rosmarinic and ursolic acids which are recognized for their cancer-preventive properties. One could also drink thyme tea to prevent cancer. The oil of thyme is said to cure skin cancers. However, thyme should always be used in moderation as it is known to cause many side effects. Women who are pregnant or people having thyroid problems and children should thyme at bay.
This cool herb is not only an air freshener, mouth freshener, antacid but also helps in digestive problems, soothes frayed nerves and most important of all, cures cancer. To define mint in one word is that it is a storehouse of curative properties. Mint also has a phytochemical which demonstrates its powerful antiangiogenesis effects as such it starves the cancer cells by cutting off the blood supply to cancer tumors. Though mint is rich in Vitamins A and smaller amounts of Vitamin B2, it also has Vitamin C; an important antioxidant which decreases the risk and effects of cancers such as colon and rectal cancer. In addition to this, it also stops the development of breast tumors and actually shrinks them.
This seasoning and flavoring agent which rich in coriandrol, helps combat breast and liver cancers. Also known as cilantro, it helps one fight against colon cancer. This anti-microbial, anti-viral, and anti-cancer herb also has flavonoids, caffeic acid, chlorogenic acid and antioxidants which scavenge the free radicals from the body. It is been recommended that people with liver, mammal and colon cancer should take four spoons of fresh coriander powder each day for at least three months to get cured of it. However, it also been stated that coriander in some people causes allergic reaction. Pregnant and lactating moms should avoid taking coriander in extremes.
Oregano; the pizza and pasta herb is the most potent anti-cancer herb ever found. Just one tablespoon of oregano is enough to collect as many as cancer-fighting antioxidants. One of the most powerful healing herbs and natural anti-inflammatory and anti-biotics, it suppress cancer cell production. In addition to this, oregano also contains rosmarinic acid which possesses very strong cancer fighting properties. Though oregano is safe to use in foods and rarely pose a risk, it can cause allergic reactions, skin irritation, vomiting and stomach upset in some people. This herb should also not be used by pregnant women as it can induce labor or lead to a miscarriage, promote blood flow in the uterus and cause the uterine lining to weaken.