We all likely know by now that much of cancer prevention can be connected to our everyday lifestyles—which foods we eat, how often we exercise, and whether or not we smoke or drink more than we should. Our cancer risks reduce greatly when we make these considerations a top priority. But we can also look to other cancer preventatives—such as herbs—to help us even further reduce our risks of developing cancer.
Every culture on the planet has relied on the natural world to treat, cure, and prevent ailments. Western medicine has indoctrinated many of us with a fear of any cures that don't come from a pharmacy. But as more Americans embrace the benefits of eating a healthy, natural, whole food diet, they're also exploring the potent benefits of herbs.
Herbs are full of antioxidants and other unique chemicals that can spur immune response, strengthen your defenses, and help your body develop resistance to certain types of cancer. Here are ten herbs worth giving a try:
- Alfalfa – Yep, the same stuff horses and cows eat can actually be consumed on a regular basis to prevent cancer. It's loaded with chlorophyll, apowerful antioxidant, and it can also increase the production of white blood cells which help to fight off unwanted cancer cells.
- Reishi Mushroom – The king of Traditional Chinese Medicine, the reishi mushroom has powerful immune boosting benefits and is safe to consume on a daily basis.
- Chaga Mushroom – The powerful chaga mushroom has antiviral blood purifying effects that can inhibit the growth of tumor cell activity.
- Olive Leaf – Just like the olive fruit has many known health benefits, the leaf is useful in treating certain infections and diabetes, and preventing the development of cancer cells.
- Turmeric – There's been quite a bit of research recently on this curry spice. Not only does it reduce inflammation and the risk of Alzheimer's, but it has powerful anti-cancer benefits, too. So eat that Indian food and supplement as needed!
- Green Tea – Sipping green tea is a calming ritual. And it may also be a powerful health boost as research has connected certain catechins (particularly epigallocatechin gallate, or EGCG) found in green tea with inhibiting certain types of cancer.
- Garlic – Being relatively vampire-free is just one of the benefits of garlic—this powerful herb can reduce cholesterol, speed cold and flu recovery, and help to keep you cancer free.
- Pau d'Arco – This South American herb is a powerful antifungal, most often consumed as a tea. It's been proven effective in treating colds, flu, and yeast infections as well as been tied to a decreased risk of developing some cancers.
- Astragulus– This Chinese herb is known to boost energy levels and strengthen the heart and body's resistance to viral infections, as well as some cancers (which often infect the body much like a virus).
- Oregano – Your pizza night just got a little more interesting. Oregano—in its concentrated oil form—has been proven to be effective in reducing the risk of certain cancers, like prostate. It's also a great herb to have on hand for a number of ailments including colds and flu.
Learn more about Jill Ettinger
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