Great news, ginger lovers!
This majestic culinary darling does way more than help with nausea and upset stomach. Way more.
Recently, a milestone study found that ginger actually fights several species of drug-resistant bacteria. It is well documented in studies for shrinking tumors in mice with hard to treat cancers.
Here we have yet another study on ginger’s mighty effects against a relentless cancer.
Shogaol, specifically 6-Shogaol, was the subject of a 2013 Chinese study, in vitro and in vivo. “In the petri dish” and “in the living being.”
Shogaol is a compound in ginger that not only inhibited leukemia growth, but also caused leukemia cell apoptosis – aka programmed cell death, aka cell suicide.
Cell apoptosis in healthy cells would be worrisome, but is ideal for stopping cancer growth. The wonderful thing is, the compound, which is found in a variety of ginger species, did not harm healthy cells nor did it cause side effects.
Their process, using 6-shogaol compound from ginger (Zingiber officinale):
Mice were randomized into two groups of 7 mice/group and 6-shogaol was dissolved in 0.1% DMSO and 10% polyoxyethylene castor oil. Three days after tumor inoculation, the treatment group received 6-shogaol (50 mg/kg per day for 20 days) and the control group received an equal volume of solvent control. The tumor volume (V) was measured every three days…
I did not see where there were measurements of the tumors while inside the mice. Rather, after the 20 days, the mice were killed and their tumors were further studied in a solution that revealed cancer apoptosis. I was hoping to see the mice declared cancer-free eventually since they already confirmed apoptosis three times in vitro, and it would have been interesting to see the length of time for the leukemia to disappear.
The authors conclude:
The potent anti-leukemia activity of 6-shogaol found both in vitro and in vivo in our study make this compound a potential anti-tumor agent for hematologic malignancies.
In 2003, another similar study on a different component of ginger – gingerol – found that it too, induced the death of leukemia cells, by fragmenting their DNA.
Of course, it appears that these studies are largely done, and with isolates, to see if pharmacological drugs can be made (patented) for cancer treatment. Still, it is eye-opening to see the astounding medicinal effects of this spice.
Ginger has no side effects, unless there is an allergy. But consultation should be sought before eating/taking extra amounts if taking diabetic, heart, blood thinner medication or painkillers (even over-the-counter).
Hang on to your ginger…
It’s a bit worrisome that the FDA has taken extra scrutiny towards spices like ginger – even as medicinal science continuously announces its marvels. Did you know that the FDA recently did a 200+ page report attempting to paint spices as a deadly substance?? It actually coincides with when the above study was published. When you see the summary of their report, you will see how ridiculous that portrayal is!
When it comes to tuberous roots, organic matters. You can get organic bulk ginger spice, surprisingly inexpensive (compared to non-organic spice bottles at the grocer) at the health food store. They also like to carry liquid extracts, ginger candy and soda pops infused with real ginger. You can also make your own. Make your own tea by boiling water and adding a peeled, chopped or grated inch of ginger and add sweetener.