This anti cancer herbs and spice blend is loaded with ingredients that protect against many chronic diseases and cancers.
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Ok, now that we have the disclaimer out of the way, let’s get to it!
Spices and Herbs for Fighting Cancer
Spices and herbs are not just for seasoning your favorite foods. Not even a little bit! Many contain powerful components that have been shown to fight disease, illness, and cancer. While sometimes we may find it difficult to always eat the best food as we go about our busy lives, having a homemade spice blend that you can quickly add to anything is the way to go!
Now, we should never be too busy to prioritize our health. But it is always a good idea to have an approach that is flexible for all situations!
Inflammation and Chronic Disease
Many of the herbs and spices that we will cover today are powerful anti-inflammatories. Why is this important? Inflammation is known to cause things like:
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- Metabolic Syndrome
- Heart Disease
- Degenerative Diseases
These conditions are partly why decreasing inflammation is so important. But why else is it important you might ask?
3 out of 5 people will die from an inflammation related disease
That should be a sobering fact. I, mean, I don’t even drink and it is sobering for me!
That means, 3 out of 5 people are dying from something that is preventable. PREVENTABLE.
Reducing inflammation should be at the top of our list!
Why are Antioxidants Important?
In addition to inflammation and anti-inflammatories, we will also mention many things about antioxidants. So let’s briefly talk about antioxidants, what they are, and why they are so important. You can’t talk about antioxidants without first talking about free radicals, however.
What is a Free Radical?
A free radical is an unstable atom that wreaks havoc on the body. They have an unpaired electron and tend to steal electrons from the body. When this happens it causes something called oxidative stress.
Oxidative stress can lead to a variety of health problems including:
- Cardiovascular Disease
- Neurodegenerative Disorders (such as Alzheimer’s)
Free radicals are formed during many normal functions such as metabolism and from “non normal” things such as pollution and cigarette smoke.
Antioxidants are needed to balance the free radicals.
What is an Antioxidant?
An antioxidant is basically something that protects the body from the damage of free radicals. It does this by providing the election that the free radical is desperately searching for. The free radicals then become stable and will stop stealing electrons from cells in the body.
Common examples of antioxidants are vitamin C, vitamin E, selenium, zinc, oregano, flavonoids, and carotenoids. Antioxidants can also be found in a variety of fruits, vegetables, seeds, and nuts.
Do you want to know the biggest antioxidant around? The Earth. That’s right, the Earth! The Earth is a huge source of free electrons. Just go outside and walk barefoot on the Eart and you’ll be amazed at the health benefits that will follow.
Free Radicals and Inflammation
It is important to note that free radicals cause inflammation in the body by damaging the cells. And remember, inflammation kills 3 out of 5 people. So addressing inflammation is key as that is the root of many common diseases (and some cancers).
What is Apoptosis
One last thing I want to cover is apoptosis. Apoptosis is programmed cell death and is vital. This is what makes our cells “mortal” and die off when they are not functioning properly or have reached their life limit.
Improper apoptosis, which can come in the form of dying off too fast, too slow, or not at all, can come in the form of cancer (not dying off) and neurodegenerative diseases (dying off too fast).
Cancer cells essentially become immortal and continue to indefinitely reproduce. So when we have something that *induces* apoptosis, that is a positive!
How to Make this Anti Cancer Herbs and Spice Blend
Before we jump into why each ingredient is present in the blend, I wanted to show how easy it is to make!
Aall you have to do is combine the following into a mason jar or your container of choice:
2 tablespoon Turmeric Root Powder
2 tablespoon Oregano
1 tablespoon Garlic Powder
1 tablespoon Ginger Root Powder
1 tablespoon Cayenne Pepper
1 tablespoon Cordyceps Mushroom Powder
1.5 teaspoon Black Pepper
1.5 teaspoon Cumin
Now just shake it up and make sure it is well mixed and stored out of direct sunlight and out of the heat.
So let’s now jump into each ingredient and dive into the benefits and anti cancer properties.
Did you know that turmeric is what gives curry its nice yellow color? When turmeric is mentioned and we start going deep into the medicinal benefits, we always will end up talking about curcumin. Curcumin is the active ingredient in turmeric and it has been studied extensively.
While being a powerful component, curcumin is not easily absorbed by the body. This is why it is often accompanied by black pepper (which we will get to in a bit). Black pepper increases absorption by about 2000%. Additionally, curcumin is fat soluble and therefore it also should be accompanied by some healthy fat. You’ll notice in the section about how to use the anti cancer herbs and spice blend that I almost always make it with a healthy fat.
Curcumin has powerful anti-inflammatory properties and strong antioxidant properties. In fact, it may even increase the antioxidant capacity in the body and boost levels of BDNF (a brain hormone) that can help fight degenerative processes by increasing the growth of new neurons .
Now, if you are a post-menopausal woman, listen up! Curcumin was shown to potentially be as effective as exercise in post-menopausal women . Need to skip a day at the gym? Grab some curcumin!
Lastly, it was shown to assist with depression and have the same effects as .
Curcumin and Cancer
There are studies and evidence to suggest that curcumin is especially helpful against cancers of the digestive system. And given its anti-inflammatory properties, this makes the body less conducive to the growth of cancer.
Curcumin has been reported to modulate growth factors, enzymes, transcription factors, kinase, inflammatory cytokines, and proapoptotic (by upregulation) and antiapoptotic (by downregulation) proteins. This polyphenol compound, alone or combined with other agents, could represent an effective drug for cancer therapy.Curcumin and Cancer – PMC (nih.gov)
Two of the main compounds in garlic (allicin and sulfur) have been shown to be anti-inflammatory and have antioxidant properties.
Garlic has many other health benefits such as protecting against the common cold, lowering blood pressure, and even lowering cholesterol levels. In fact, some studies suggest garlic can be as effective as certain medications for reducing blood pressure!
It is a good source of vitamin C, vitamin B6, manganese, and selenium.
Garlic and Cancer
Garlic has many anti cancer properties. It is especially known for lowering the risk of colon cancer. The way that it does this is by slowing the growth of cancer, decreasing inflammation, and helping repair DNA .
Not only might it slow the growth of cancer, but it is also suggested to slow the spread of cancer. It has specifically been shown to potentially slow the growth of breast, lung, prostate, and stomach cancers. This is done by inducing apoptosis.
Ginger contains the component gingerol which is the powerhouse when it comes to medicinal properties. It aids in digestion and helps fight the flu and colds. Additionally, it can aid in weight loss, BMI reduction, insulin level reduction, and the reduction of LDL cholesterol, total cholesterol, and triglycerides .
Ginger has also been shown to aid in reducing fasting blood glucose by 12% as well as reducing HbA1C levels .
Ginger and Cancer
Gingerol has been shown to have the potential of protecting against colon, pancreatic, liver, breast, and ovarian cancers – specifically GI cancers, however .
Similarly to garlic, ginger induces apoptosis.
Oregano has several components that have been shown to have anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer and antioxidant properties. These compone are carvacrol, thymol and rosmarinic acid. It has also been shown to fight viruses and bacteria! BONUS!
It was through test tube studies that it was shown that carvacrol and thymol can decrease activity in some viruses . Not only that, but these two components also have shown anti-diabetic properties .
Oregano is also a great source of vitamin K! I bet you didn’t know that!
Oregano and Cancer
You may have heard of the Mediterranean diet, which has a low risk of colon cancer. Oregano is widely used in this diet. Researchers took this a step further to investigate the mechanisms at play as to the association of oregano and its anti cancer properties.
It was found that oregano leads to growth arrest and cell death which is great news when it comes to cancer cells. And, as most of the other herbs and spices in this blend, it is associated with apoptosis .
First and foremost, cayenne has high anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Are you starting to see a pattern yet? It is also a good source of Vitamin C, flavonoids, and carotenoids.
While research is limited, it is suggested that cayenne (a source of capsaicin) may offer pain relief, lower blood sugar and improve athletic performance . Capsaicin is what gives cayenne its signature heat!
Did you know that cayenne may help with weight loss while revving up the metabolism ?
Cayenne and Cancer
Let’s add some heat to our anti cancer herbs and spice blend, shall we?
Cayenne is actually known to be toxic to cancer cells and additionally, it can stunt the growth of cancer cells . So, as is the case with most things there always seems to be this preface of “more studies are needed”. With that note – while more studies are needed, preliminary research suggests that capsaicin may “alter the expression of several genes involved in cancer cell survival, growth arrest, angiogenesis, and metastasis” .
What does that mean? It means it alters the course of a traditional cancer cell and wrecks its plan! In some cancers, capsaicin has been shown to induce apoptosis. The types of cancer that it is seen more helpful in are: liver, esophageal, leukemia, prostate, colon, pancreatic, and endothelial. Most importantly, it leaves normal cells untouched.
Finally, given its ability to offer pain relief, it is thought that capsaicin may be beneficial for pain and inflammation from traditional cancer treatments.
Black pepper is bursting with piperine, which has very strong antioxidant properties. It has also been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties and improve the functioning of the brain. Non human studies have been done that show that black pepper can improve memory in Alzheimer’s patients.
Test tube studies showed that with colon, prostate, and breast cancer cells – piperine slowed cell replication. Not only that, but it also induced cell death for cancer cells .
Another great benefit of black pepper is gut health! It has been shown to have a positive effect on gut health by increasing the “good” bacteria in the gut. Oh, and let’s not forget that it has been shown to even have a positive effect by reducing blood sugar spikes .
Black Pepper and Cancer
Research suggests that piperine may help prevent the growth and spread of cancer cells. For example, one study found that piperine could induce apoptosis in breast cancer cells . Additionally, another study found that piperine could inhibit the growth of colon cancer cells by blocking certain signaling pathways .
Cumin contains several compounds, including thymoquinone and cuminaldehyde, which have been shown to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. And, of course, anti-cancer effects .
It is also a rich source of iron and that is personally something I need more of in my natural diet. It has also been shown to aid in digestion.
Some other cool properties are cumin’s anti-diabetic properties and its ability to assist in the reduction of weight and BMI among obese individuals .
Cumin and Cancer
Cumin has been shown to assist in the prevention of cancer cell multiplication. A study of rats was done that showed that cumin was “protective against colon cancer” . Cuminaldehyde, specifically, could potentially inhibit the growth of colon cancer.
While I know cordyceps in the fungi family, it is an honorary guest in our anti cancer herbs and spice blend. It belongs here!
Cordyceps is a type of fungus that has been used for centuries in traditional medicine – and recent research suggests that it may have anti-cancer properties. It contains several compounds, including cordycepin and polysaccharides, which have been shown to have immune-boosting and anti-cancer properties.
As compared to trained athletes, cordyceps have been shown to increase athletic performance in young, older, or untrained athletes. It increases V02 max! That is actually a pretty cool benefit if you ask me!
Another amazing benefit is that cordyceps may actually decrease blood sugar levels by mimicking insulin .
Cordyceps and Cancer
Now, it has been shown that cordyceps may boost the immune system to actually attack cancer cells. Imagine that. That is one of the jobs of the immune system as it is. One thing I heard that I have never forgotten is that cancer cannot survive in the presence of a healthy, functioning immune system. So, if cordyceps can help boost the immune system and activate it – score!
Cordyceps may slow the growth of tumor cells. Specifically, it has been shown to slow growth in cancers of the colon, lung, liver, and skin. Additionally, studies in mice show that in lung cancer, melanoma, and lymphoma, cordyceps may have anti-tumor effects .
Now, metastasis is a big deal with cancer. Cordyceps have been shown to potentially inhibit metastasis .
How to Use the Anti Cancer Herbs and Spice Blend
Well, this is up to you. The DOSE is also up to you and dependent on your current nutrition plan and goals.
Here are a few ways that I like to incorporate it into my personal daily eating plan:
Throw some ghee or grass fed butter into a pan, warm it up, and add the anti cancer herbs and spice blend. Mix it up well and then add the eggs.
You can also crack the eggs into a bowl, whisk them and then whisk in the spice blend. Either will work!
I tend to use less when I add it to my daily protein shake as it does have a strong flavor and takes over. But blending it in with a smoothie is a great option.
Cut up some potatoes and sprinkle them with the blend. Then sautee them in ghee or grass bed butter until tender and enjoy!
This blend tastes really good with chicken! Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, then add chicken drumsticks. You can melt some coconut oil in a small bowl and mix in the spice blend. Then brush it over the chicken drumsticks.
Coconut oil is a great healthy fat and it also helps keep the moisture in the chicken. AND it helps with the bioavailability of the fat soluble components such as turmeric.
Anti Cancer Herbs and Spice Blend Recap
As you can see, many of these herbs, spices, and fungi have very similar properties. The most common are anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and inducing apoptosis.
There are so many ways to enjoy this blend – get creative!
Another Spice Blend You Might Like
Immune Boosting Blend – this immune boosting blend is a subset (sort of) of this anti cancer herbs and spice blend. Take a peek and see which one you might like more!
- 2 tablespoon Turmeric Root Powder
- 2 tablespoon Oregano
- 1 tablespoon Garlic Powder
- 1 tablespoon Ginger Root Powder
- 1 tablespoon Cayenne Pepper
- 1 tablespoon Cordyceps Mushroom Powder
- 1.5 teaspoon Black Pepper
- 1.5 teaspoon Cumin
- Mix all the ingredients in a mason jar or glass storage container. Make sure it is well combined!
- Store in a dark, cool place.
I put the serving size at 2 teaspoons simply for nutrient calculation. The *actual* serving size is up to you and will vary based on your individual needs!
Serving Size:2 teaspoons
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 11Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 1mgCarbohydrates: 2gNet Carbohydrates: 1gFiber: 1gSugar: 0gProtein: 0g
Nutrition is calculated using a third party plug-in. It is best to always validate!
 Cumin Benefits
Trina Krug is a Holistic Nutritionist, Integrative Health Coach and host of the Carbless Conversations Podcast. With a Master’s Degree in Complementary and Alternative Medicine, her single mission in life is to facilitate self-healing in herself and those around her through awareness, lifestyle shifts and low-carb eating. As a current Doctor of Science student, she continues her studies in functional nutrition.