The Amazing Benefits of Ginger to Reduce Chemo Side Effects
It is bad enough going through cancer, without the often debilitating chemo side effects. You may have heard about the amazing benefits of ginger for reducing chemotherapy induced nausea Ginger has to more amazing benefits for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy treatment.
The benefits of ginger for chemo side effects in a nutshell are:
- Ginger fights chemotherapy induced nausea – one of the common chemo side effects
- Ginger fights fatigue -one of the common chemo side effects
- Ginger fights inflammation – one of the keys to fighting cancer
- Ginger regulates blood sugar levels – and cancer loves and needs high sugar levels
- Ginger actually kills cancer cells
1. Nausea as one of the chemo side effects
Nausea is one of the most common and most debilitating chemo side effects. Part of the reason why nausea is so debilitating in terms of cancer is because as a cancer patient, you are in desperate need of nutrition to support your body. You need a constant source of vital nutrients to fight the disease. Vomiting and nausea are in direct conflict with this. Nausea of course reduces appetite. Let’s face it, you can’t eat when you feel that sick. This chronic loss of appetite means your body is not get the vital nutrients it needs to build new cells and kills cancer cells. Chemo kills the cancer cells but you need healthy new ones to replace them. And that means you need nutrients. And lots of them.
In a study published in the Journal of Supportive Care of Cancer, researchers compared the effects of various doses ginger supplements on 744 cancer patients. The study found that between 0.5 and 1mg of ginger:
So ginger will help you fight the nausea and therefore help you to get the nutrients you need.
Ginger has been used for thousands of years as a way to calm the stomach. Ginger as way to reduce nausea is not new. So the above study isn’t really “new” either except for “scientists”. But ginger taken during and immediately after chemotherapy does not only help to reduce the nausea either.
2. Fatigue as one of the chemo side effects
Fatigue is also a chronic and yet common side effects of chemotherapy. Ginger fights fatigue and increases your energy levels naturally. So not only does it help reduce the nausea, it actually helps to make you feel better. It gives you more energy. More energy means you have a better chance at a a better mental attitude towards cancer and life in general. The studies on mental attitude and cancer are numerous and subject of “How do you you get cancer.” The cliff-notes for that article is that therapy and good mental attitude can significantly improve your fight against cancer.
Exercise is also an important part of a holistic cancer approach. But let’s face it, between the nausea and fatigue, who feels like a quick routine? The bottom line is you need all the help you can get to help you get through the most common chemo side effects.
As part of a randomized double blind trial on ginger and chemotherapy, although there were no results as far as delayed nausea, the study found that the patients who received ginger had:
And the benefits of ginger don’t stop there either.
3. Inflammation as one of the chemo side effects
Inflammation is on of the causes of cancer and one of the side effects of the disease too. Inflammation causes some of the pain that cancer patients experience. Inflammation has been directly linked to the development of cancer in diabetes patients for example. Actually, inflammation can be linked to almost all of the types of cancer. We will be writing about inflammation and cancer soon!
Inflammation is the natural process the body uses to heal. But in chronic inflammation that process goes haywire. When you experience inflammation your experience swelling, heat. redness, pain and loss of function. Inflammation was first mentioned by the Romans. Celsus actually identified these process in 30AD. In fact the Romans called the swelling “tumor”! By reducing inflammation, you are actually helping fight cancer in two ways. By reducing inflammation you reduce the number of new cancer cells being made. By reducing inflammation you are reducing the pain you experience
The inflammatory chemicals involved in cancer and inflammation are IL-6 and TNF-α. In a study published by the Pharmaceutical bulletin, researchers found patients given ginger:
You’d think we were done with the amazing benefits of ginger, but no – ginger actually has one final trick up its sleeve!
4. Cancer needs glucose
This benefit seems to be the subject of a lot of controversy these days, but the fact is that cancer lives on sugar. Otto Warburg proved that in the 1930’s and scientists have been proving that over and over again. High glucose levels promote cancer cells to grow and thrive. It is therefore important to reduce blood sugar levels as much as possible and to avoid consuming sugar in general.
Ginger has been shown to be highly effective in reducing and regulating blood sugar levels. In fact it has been found to be so effective that studies are ongoing to see if it can be used as a treatment for type II diabetes patients. In a study published in the International Journal of Food Science, researchers found:
In other words it brought down glucose levels during the fasting period. And if that hasn’t convinced you that you should be using ginger during and after Chemo, then I ahve left the best benefit for last.
5. Ginger Actually Kills Cancer Cells
Now I am not suggesting you give up the chemo. But there are a number of studies that show that ginger actually contains a compound that kills cancer cells! The compound is called 6-Shogaol. There is more and more research about this compound for cancer. In one recent study for example, researchers found:
In fact the study’s conclusion states:
“may have potential as a chemopreventive and/or therapeutic agent for prostate cancer and that further study of this compound is warranted”
Invest in ginger if you are undergoing chemo
The bottom line is that ginger offer a host of benefits if you are in chemo at the moment. You really should be thinking about ginger and the benefits it offers.
For more information on cancer, read:
- 3 signs of cancer women tend celebrate
- Breast Cancer in Symptoms in Women
- What is Cachexia or Wasting Syndrome
And share the message about ginger and its benefits for chemo side effects. Let’s help each other fight the disease.