Does Ginseng Cure Cancer?
Ginseng is an herb that is broadly used in oriental medicine to treat all kinds of diseases. Korean ginseng, also known as Panax or Chinese Ginseng, is regarded as the most effective among the various types of ginseng available. It contains a group of compounds called ginsenosides which are responsible for the preventive and curative effects of ginseng.
Because of the potential of herbs in combating various diseases such as diabetes, cancer, fatigue, and stress, etc., Several studies were conducted throughout the world to understand the secrets behind the efficacy of this herb. A research organization examined the effects of ginseng, specifically its potential to cure cancer, and published their findings in the Chinese Medicine Journal. They argue that ginsenosides act as functional ligands to activate various steroid hormone receptors. Through such a mechanism, ginseng works on the body in the same way as steroid hormones.
Ginseng has shown therapeutic impacts on the cardiovascular system, central nervous system, immunity, metabolism, endocrine function, stress, and aging. Ginseng has also been widely applied in oriental medicine to heal cancer.
This study reveals that the pharmacological effects of ginseng are due to its bioactive content such as ginsenosides, saponins, peptides, polysaccharides, polyacetals, fatty acids, minerals, and vitamins. According to a report published in the Chinese Medicine Journal, ginsenosides have anti-tumor effects and can cause tumor cell death, anti-proliferation, anti-invasion and metastasis, and anti-angiogenesis.
Metastasis is the process of spreading cancer from where it was first formed as a primary tumor to another part of the body. Metastasis is caused by cancer cells that have two different abilities – increased motility and invasion. This involves complex angiogenesis (the process of developing new blood vessels) and cell interactions by inhibiting tumor-induced angiogenesis, control of ginsenoid metastasis. Ginsenosides are also useful in inhibiting cancer invasion. They have been shown to inhibit lung metastases, and reduce most tumors in cancers of melanoma, breast, stomach, and lungs. The only way to heal cancer is to control metastasis and destroy tumor cells.
Ginseng contains several compounds that have been found to be beneficial in inducing cell death in ovarian cancer cells, prostate cancer cells, and pulmonary adenocarcinoma cells. The researchers say that the way ginsenosides help in removing tumor cells may be by inducing cell death.
Ginsenosides also show a preventative effect. They inhibit the development of the cell cycle and have been known to stop cell growth in the cell line of lung tumors, prostate cancer, leukemia, and liver cancer.
The researchers stated that ginsenosides called Rg3 and Rh2 have appeared in China and Taiwan as anti-cancer drugs. Rg3 suppresses tumor angiogenesis, prevents adhesion, invasion, and tumor cell metastasis. It was also discovered that chemotherapy added with Rh2 was 60% more effective than chemotherapy alone. Rh2 also shows commitment to reduce the adverse effects of chemo such as hair loss, nausea, anemia, and poor appetite.
Both Rg3 and Rh2 are obtained from Korean red ginseng. This magic potion continues to amaze scientists around the world and give people miracles every day.