Herbal Supplements
Benefits of Garlic for Cancer Patients
Having a long history of use in the traditional herbal medicine, garlic is nowadays being deeply researched to discover its hidden benefits for the human health and potential to fight more diseases than it has been known by this time.
Cancer is one of the illnesses that require much effort, efficient medications and, naturally, their continuous improvement to be successfully treated. No wonder, people are in search of more effective options, investigating those offered us by nature as well.
Researchers say that garlic may be one of the tools, provided by nature, which can if not cure, at least help in fighting different types of cancer. The matter is that chemical structure of garlic includes a number of components, which may boost the immune system activity and stop the development of cancerous cells and tumours. The most beneficial elements in this respect are sulfur-containing compounds - thiosulfinates (the most studied is allicin), sulfoxides (for example, alliin), and dithiins (the most researched one is ajoene).
It is believed that these are the main chemicals, which prevent the development of the blood supply in the already growing cancer tumours, thus inhibiting their spreading and formation of the new ones. Garlic is also said to stimulate the activity of cells in the immune system, which are to fight off harmful fungi, viruses, and bacteria and eliminate the tumours. Those cells are called macrophages.
Based on the results of multiple studies, scientists came to the conclusion that garlic component ajoene may be effective in the treatment of skin cancer. In this case the remedy should be used topically; however, such therapy may result in an allergic reaction (namely, skin peeling) in sensitive people.
Allicin may help prevent and stop the development of colorectal cancer. It is said that consuming raw garlic at least two times a week significantly reduces the risk of such cancer. In addition, stomach cancer may also be avoided with the help of garlic.
Diallyl sulphide, another compound of garlic, is believed to protect from cancer by inhibiting carcinogens harmful effect on the human body. By the way, this constituent, being released upon crushing of garlic cloves, can preserve its power and remain effective for a longer period of time than allicin. The latter ingredient rapidly loses its efficacy, so the sooner patient takes garlic cloves upon crushing them, the more benefits of allicin he or she can enjoy. Diallyl sulphide, besides having longer life, is not destroyed by cooking garlic.
In addition to the above mentioned types of cancer, garlic is suggested to be an effective protective measure against breast and ovarian caners in women and prostate cancer in men. Scientists also suppose garlic can help avoid oral cavity, pharynx, and esophageal cancers.
Moreover, garlic may be beneficial for the patients undergoing chemotherapy, helping them avoid negative impact of anticancer drugs on the heart and liver tissues. However, this herb may increase bleeding during chemotherapy; thus, garlic should be used only under a supervision of a doctor and a skilled herbalist.
It is a common knowledge, still, it is worthy to underline once again that any treatment of health disorders, including therapies with herbal remedies, may also have undesirable effects and their peculiar risks. Consequently, improving health should be a process monitored and controlled by health-care professionals.
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