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Posts Tagged ‘rosemary and cancer’

Potential Therapeutic Effects of Phytochemicals and Medicinal Herbs for Cancer Prevention and Treatment

In Alternative Cancer Therapies, Anticancer foods, foods for colon cancer, foods for breast cancer, Epstein-Barr Virus, foods that target cancer stem cells, High Dose Vitamin C and Cancer, Uncategorized on July 11, 2018 at 8:01 am

The following is an excerpt of my recently published article, Potential Therapeutic Effects of Phytochemicals and Medicinal Herbs for Cancer Prevention and Treatment. It was published in the journal Archives of General Internal Medicine (Arch Gen Intern Med 2018 Volume 2 Issue 3).

The current standard of care, surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation has not proved to be highly effective and comes with significant side effects and costs. Although conventional cancer therapy can target certain cancer cells and sometimes prevent relapse of the illness, complementary and alternative therapies are required due to disadvantages of the current therapies such as low effectiveness, adverse effects, or availability. Moreover, a number of studies have found adjunctive therapeutic approaches to improve outcomes for cancer patients. One potential complementary method with conventional cancer drugs involves the use of medicinal herbs and phytochemicals. The possible therapeutic benefits include, but are not limited to, anti-proliferative, apoptotic, anti-metastatic, and anti-angiogenic effects, of which have been demonstrated in in vitro experiments and some clinical trials.

Studies have revealed beneficial effects of medicinal herbs and phytochemicals against cancer by providing anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, antiviral, free radical scavengers in the form of cancer-fighting compounds. Phytomedicines have the ability to interact with signaling pathways that modulate cell growth, replication, and death of a wide variety of tumor cell types through diverse mechanisms. These phytocomplexes have the remarkable capability of affecting us on a cellular level – where diseases such as cancer originate. Many plant species are already being used to treat or prevent development of cancer outside of the traditional oncology environment, notably without harm to healthy cells.

During the last century, scientific knowledge about anticancer phytochemicals and herbs has remarkably progressed. Despite numerous reports of their effects on cancer, functional use for the prevention and treatment of cancer has been largely limited to self-care. Like most cancer drugs, the main mechanisms of action of plants include inducing apoptosis and inhibiting proliferation, growth, and migration. But unlike conventional cancer drug therapies, phytotherapies are cytotoxic to cancer cells and relatively non-toxic to normal cells. Moreover, use of phytomedicines may be an option for the prevention and treatment of cancer both with and without conventional drugs. In the event that conventional cancer drugs are not accepted due to their side effects or low effectiveness, phytomedicines offer an effective and viable alternative as they are considerably safe and relatively affordable. It is worth recommending application of phytomedicines as alternative cancer therapies for patients who do not benefit or face side effects from conventional drugs or alongside conventional treatments to improve efficacy.

There are two sections in this review, phytochemicals against cancer and medical herbs against cancer. As it was impossible for me to address hundreds of different phytochemicals and medicinal herbs in this one paper, I only focused on a few examples in each category. To read the article in full, please read: Potential Therapeutic Effects of Phytochemicals and Medicinal Herbs for Cancer Prevention and Treatment.

You may also enjoy my article published in the Journal of Cancer Biology and TreatmentEtiology of Chronic Disease: A Discussion on Epstein-Barr Virus.

In your good health,

Elyn

~~If you don’t know your options, you don’t have any~~

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Elyn Jacobs is a holistic cancer strategist and speaker specializing in the prevention and treatment of cancer. She is a Contributing Editor for The Truth About Cancer and is on the Medical Advisory Board for BeatCancer.Org and the Advisory Board to the Radical Remission Project. Elyn has written for numerous journals and publications. She was the former Executive Director of the Emerald Heart Cancer Foundation. To contact Elyn, visit www.elynjacobs.com. Elyn offers consults via Skype, phone, or in person.

 

This information is for educational purposes only and is not a recommendation to forgo anti-hormone therapy. It is not intended to treat, cure, prevent, or diagnose any disease or condition. This post does not represent medical advice nor should it be considered to be medical advice or a replacement for medical advice.  I encourage you to discuss this information with your integrative oncologist, naturopathic doctor, or conventional oncologist and make your own decisions.  The information provided is from my research and not to be taken as scientific evidence.

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Food Fatigue: The Perils of Eating Too Healthy

In Uncategorized on June 23, 2015 at 8:41 am

What could be wrong with trying to eat healthy?  Eating a healthy diet will go a long way to improve quality and quantity of life, right?

Yes, it certainly will.  However, sometimes when people try to eat super well, they end eating the same things, day after day because they feel compelled to get in all their daily anti-cancer foods.  Don’t get me wrong, I am a super healthy eater, and encourage my family and clients to take an active role in choosing nutrient-dense foods. But when you just can’t stomach one more smoothie, salad, soup or stew; when you open the refrigerator and NOTHING interests you, you have food fatigue.

Some uber-healthy eaters develop an eating disorder referred to as orthorexia, an obsession with eating healthy foods and avoiding ‘unhealthy’ foods.  While that might not seem like something to be worried about, in extremes it causes people to eliminate entire food groups from their diets and makes them over-analyze everything in their food.  People with orthorexia are often afraid to eat in restaurants for fear of unhealthy ingredients and preparation, or avoid social engagements and thus often become depressed and lonely.

But short of becoming orthorexia, food fatigue can create a loss of desire to eat.  While calorie restriction has anticancer benefits, the body needs sufficient nutrients to fortify the immune system and support the body against cancer.  Coupled with an already rigid diet, being too bored by our food choices to eat will limit the range and extent of nutrients ingested. We are constantly bombarded with ‘eat this and not that’.

Beyond the obvious–eat organic and avoid GMOs, processed, fast and fried foods whenever possible; don’t stress about every little thing that goes into your mouth.  Apart from food allergies, sensitivities or intolerances, entire food groups need not be eliminated—unless by choice.  (Junk food is not a food group, just in case this gave you a license to grab some fries–at least not often). And even if one chooses to eliminate certain foods, it is still not a good idea to eat the same foods day in and day out. Eating a balanced but varied diet will serve us better in the long-run.There is often a there is a fine line between eating healthy and becoming either bored with dining or being boring to dine with.

Do you suffer from Food Fatigue? Pick up a cookbook, browse a cooking magazine or dig into a pizza!

Whoa, before you think I have lost my mind, pizza can be super healthy and a delicious way to pack in a significant amount of nutrients.

gustorganics chickpea pizzaI had dinner in the city with a good friend, Tami Boehmer.  We went to Gustorganics in New York City and I had a delicious chickpea crust pizza with garlicky kale, herbed tofu feta and creamy basil pesto.  I was hooked. I have since then replicated that meal at home and expanded my toppings (and okay, I tend to go heavy on the toppings, but Gustorganics had just the right amount). You can put most anything on a pizza. Pestos and sprouts are an easy way to add flavor and pack in a lot of vegetables. Grow your own sprouts and herbs, make your own pestos or visit your local farmer’s market. Oh the places you can go with really healthy foods.

For the pizza: (serves one or two)

  1. Mix ½ cup garbanzo bean/ chickpea flour with ¼ cup filtered water, ½ tsp olive oil, dash of salt and  herbs, if using (¼ tsp dried or ½ tsp fresh). For a thinner crust, add a bit more water
  2. Spread mixture in oval, round or rectangular shape on parchment paper—crust should be about ¼” thick
  3. Bake at 375 degrees about 20 minutes until just browning on the edges. Carefully peel from paper and flip
  4. Spread sauce and/or pesto onto crust
  5. Add additional toppings and return to the oven for 5 minutes
  6. Serve with sprouts (microgreens) of choice for sprinkling on top

Notes:

  • Add fresh or dried herbs to the crust mixture—I like oregano or rosemary in mine
  • 1 Tbs ground or partially ground flax seed may be added to the crust
  • When using salt, consider Celtic sea, Pink Himalayan or Redmonds Real Salt
  • When choosing olive oil, look for organic, extra virgin, and skip the supermarket brands.
  • Utilize the power of food-synergy.  When certain foods are combined, the nutritional benefits are phenomenal

pizza with oilTopping choices are endless.  Consider tomatoes, tomato sauce, pestos, thick cashew cream, olives, caramelized onions, sundried tomatoes, mushrooms, kale, broccoli, roasted or grilled eggplant, organic cheese (vegan or dairy, or nutritional yeast), fresh herbs and sprouts (basil sprouts are excellent if you can find them—they can be added with the toppings and they add a huge boost of flavor)

Serve with salad or sprouts such as broccoli, kale, watercress, alfalfa or whatever you can find or grow. Sprouts are loaded with valuable health-boosting, anti-cancer phytochemicals in highly concentrated forms, so a little goes a long way.

Here are some of the variations I tried:

Kale (chopped fine and tossed with olive oil and salt) tomato bruschetta, and artichoke and basil pesto, with watercress sprouts kale artichoke pizza (right)

 caulf pizzaCurried cauliflower with mustard seeds and kale (roasted for dinner the night before), nutritional yeast and cheese; broccoli and watercress microgreens on the side.

olive pizzaKalamata olives, sundried tomato pesto, basil pesto, chopped kale (you may want to use chopped kale sautéed with olive oil and garlic), with watercress sprouts

brie pizzaBrie with Kalamata olives, sundried tomato, artichoke and basil pesto, with watercress migrogreens

basil sprout pizza Basil and artichoke pesto,basil sprouts, tomato bruschetta, with broccoli spouts 

Some people eat to live and some live to eat; I say eat good food that makes you happy.  Deprivation is never a good thing and will not nourish the soul, just don’t forget the sprouts!

For more recipes: Cancer Fighting Farm-Stand Recipes

Some of my favorite anti-cancer toppings:

Tomatoes are a powerful anti-cancer fruit, particularly due the synergistic effects of lycopene, beta-carotene, vitamin C, phenols and other nutrients and antioxidants in the tomato working together to offer cancer protection

Basil has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It contains flavonoids that help shield cell structures from radiation and oxidative damage. Both fresh basil and basil oil have strong antibacterial capabilities, so by adding the herb or oil to your salad, you can help ensure your vegetables are safe to eat.

Eggplant is rich in dietary fiber, loaded with vitamins and minerals, and contains powerful cancer fighting antioxidants such as chlorogenic acid, which fights free radicals and helps protect cells from mutating into cancer cells, and nasuin, which helps cut off the blood supply to cancer cells.

Rosemary is a powerful anti-cancer herb.  The two key ingredients in Rosemary-caffeic acid and rosemarinic acid-are potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agents, which help protect the body’s cells from damage by free radicals. Rich in carnosol, Rosemary has been found to detoxify substances that can initiate the breast-cancer process. It’s widely known that an imbalance of estrogen hormones in women can contribute to breast cancer. Rosemary stimulates liver enzymes which inactivate estrogen hormones. Rosemary, along with thyme, oregano, basil and mint promote apoptosis in cancer cells and reduce their speed by blocking the enzymes they need to invade neighboring tissues. Rosemary can inhibit the formation of HCAS, the carcinogenic compounds that form when you cook protein, by 75% (so use chopped rosemary in your marinade if you choose to grill proteins)

Oregano possesses anti-bacterial as well as anti-inflammatory properties, and encourages cell death making it a powerful anti-cancer herb; but what is really exciting is that may be particularly effective against prostate cancer and may even become part of the treatment for this cancer.   

Watercress is rich in  beta-carotene and other carotenoids including lutein, calcium as well as trace amounts of omega-3’s. Watercress also contains a high amount of PEITC (phenylethylisothiocyanate) which has been shown to protect DNA from damage. Studies show that a regular intake of watercress has been associated with protection against colon cancer

Red cabbage  not only contains isothiocyanates but  also contains anthocyanins, a class of flavonids that provides as many as 36 different varieties of anticancer chemicals. Cabbage also contains a significant amount of glutamine, an amino acid that has anti-inflammatory properties. Red Cabbage boosts the immune system’s ability to produce more antibodies. Red cabbage contains large quantities of sulfur and other minerals that work as cleansing agents for the digestive system. Raw red cabbage cleans the bowels, thus helping to prevent indigestion and constipation.

Artichokes contain three amazing anticancer properties (polyphenols, antioxidants such as vitamin C and flavonoids) that protect the body against free radicals, encourage apoptosis (cell death) and cell proliferation, which means they can which means they can slow down, stop, or even completely reverse the effects of cancer.

Crucifers (kale, broccoli, broccoli rabe, watercress, arugula, etc) have numerous anti-cancer, detoxifying benefits that help prevent toxic buildup and DNA damage. Crucifers promote healthy estrogen metabolism.

gust organics photoGustOrganics is the only 100% certified organic restaurant and bar in NYC. 519 Avenue of the Americas @ 14th street – New York, NY

Elyn

~~If you don’t know your options, you don’t have any~~
Elyn Jacobs is a breast cancer survivor, professional cancer strategist, speaker, and the Executive Director for the Emerald Heart Cancer Foundation. Elyn empowers women to choose the path for treatment that best fits their own individual needs. She is passionate about helping others move forward into a life of health and well-being. Elyn has been featured on CNN Money, Talk About Health, and Breast Cancer Answers, is a contributor to The Truth About Cancer, and has written for the Pink Paper, Breast Cancer Wellness, Integrative Oncology Essentials, Surviving Beautifully, Body Local and more; she writes the Options for Life column for the Natural Healing-Natural Wellness Magazine. Elyn hosts the Survive and Live Well Radio Show on the Cancer Support Network. She is on the Medical Advisory Board for BeatCancer.Org and is on the Advisory Board to the Radical Remission Project. Elyn lives in New York with her husband and two young boys. https://elynjacobs.com/about/

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An Herb Garden to Fight Cancer

In Uncategorized on July 27, 2012 at 4:55 pm

Did you know that herbs contain powerful anti-cancer protection? Using herbs for cancer prevention and treatment is by no means a novel, modern or alternative practice. Herbs have been used in the treatment of cancer for many, many years and the constituent chemicals of plants have been the starting point for research and the creation of many modern medicines. However, today’s post will be on reaping the benefits from common garden herbs. Herbs are nature’s medicine cabinet.  So whether you grow your own or stop at the local farmers market, eat them daily for a powerful anti-cancer boost.

herb garden twoRosemary. The two key ingredients in rosemary, caffeic acid and rosemarinic acid, are potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agents, which help protect the body’s cells from damage by free radicals.  Rosemary has been found to detoxify substances that can initiate the breast-cancer process and it stimulates liver enzymes which inactivate estrogen hormones. Rosemary can inhibit the formation of HCAS, the carcinogenic compounds that form when you cook protein.

Dill contains antioxidant properties, and it also deactivates free radicals and neutralizes carcinogens that might find their way into our bodies.

Cilantro helps to remove heavy metals like Mercury from the body.

Mint has anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory properties, helps prevent damage from radiation, and it cuts off the blood supply to tumors.. and may protect your liver too.

Parsley has potent anti-inflammatory and anticancer abilities. The phytochemicals in parsley can slow the speed of cell division, leaving time for the cell to correct DNA mistakes and activate apoptosis, and recent research shows that one particular compound, apigenin, found in celery, artichokes and herbs such as parsley may well be the key agent for killing breast and pancreatic cancer cells.

Basil has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It contains flavonoids that help shield cell structures from radiation and oxidative damage, and may protect liver cells. Both fresh basil and basil oil have strong antibacterial capabilities, so by adding the herb or oil to your salad, you can help ensure your vegetables are safe to eat.

Oregano possesses anti-bacterial as well as anti-inflammatory properties, and encourages cell death making it a powerful anti-cancer herb; but what is really exciting is that may be particularly effective against prostate cancer and may even become part of the treatment for this cancer.   

Thyme possesses terpenoids which are recognized for their cancer preventive properties. Rosmarinic and ursolic acids are major terpenoids in thyme that possess anti-cancer properties. Thyme contains an essential oil that is rich in thymol, a powerful antiseptic, antibacterial, and a strong antioxidant.

In my house we eat a lot of tabouleh.  Tabouleh, tabouli, no matter how you say or spell it, is both delicious and good for you. What I love about it too is that it is versatile; for as many ways there are to spell it, there are just as many ways to make it. For this I head to the farmers market as I put A LOT of herbs in mine, far more than I can grow in my small garden.  Keep in mind that ideally, the salad should be green with specks of white, but make it whatever way you prefer.

Bulgur Tabouleh

1 cup Bulgur wheat (or Quinoa, see notes below)

1 1/2 cups boiling water

1 ½ tsp salt

¼ cup lemon juice (or more)

¼ cup olive oil, plus more (I like lemon infused, but any good quality, extra virgin is fine)

Parsley, mint, dill, cilantro (several cups/bunches of these, chopped, and any combination, created to taste)

Chopped tomatoes (optional)

Chopped, seeded cucumber (optional)

Finely chopped red onion or scallions (optional)

Chick peas (optional)

Pour boiling water over bulgur wheat and salt.  Cover wheat for 30 minutes and let sit on the counter.  Stir in lemon juice and oil, chill for 2-3 hours.  Add chopped herbs, and other ingredients of your choice and toss gently, adding more oil as desired.

I add chickpeas to make this salad a meal.  You can also substitute quinoa in this recipe.  For quinoa, bring 1 cup quinoa (rinsed well), ½ tsp salt and 1¼ cups water to a boil over high heat.  Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until tender, about 10 minutes.  Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes.  Fluff with a fork.    If you want, you can spread the quinoa out on a large rimmed platter or baking sheet; let cool.  Transfer to a bowl and mix in the lemon juice and oil, then the remaining ingredients.

I love to marinate chicken, turkey, fish, zucchini and eggplant in olive oil and rosemary, and oregano and chicken are great together too.  Thyme is delicious on eggs. Dill is fantastic on cucumbers, fish and zucchini. Basil, well who doesn’t like basil and fresh ripe tomatoes? Add some onion too!  And don’t forget pesto; make some with basil or try cilantro (or spinach, kale, or arugula); use them on grilled foods, spread them on your sandwich.  Fighting cancer never tasted so good…oh, do I love summer.

Want to see more cancer-fighting foods and the recipes?  Please visit:

https://elynjacobs.wordpress.com/2012/03/28/cancer-fighting-farm-stand-recipes/

http://www.tamiboehmer.com/2012/07/beating-cancer-can-be-delicious-2/

Like these tips?  Join me on my radio show, Survive and Live Well, for tips to treat and beat cancer. Join me weekly as we chat with the experts about treatment options and lifestyle choices that can help you not just treat cancer, but beat cancer, survive, thrive and live well.   At the end of each show I give my cancer fighting tip of the day, so tune in Tuesdays at 1pm, EST.

Elyn

www.elynjacobs.wordpress.com

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Elyn Jacobs is a breast cancer survivor, professional cancer coach, radio talk show host, speaker, and the Executive Director for the Emerald Heart Cancer Foundation. Elyn empowers women to choose the path for treatment that best fits their own individual needs.  She is passionate about helping others move forward into a life of health and wellbeing. Elyn lives in New York with her husband and two young boys. To learn about Elyn’s coaching services, please visit:  https://elynjacobs.wordpress.com.  To tune into the Survive and Live Well radio show, please visit www.W4CS.com, Tuesdays at 1pm (EST). To view info on upcoming topics and guests, please visit: https://elynjacobs.wordpress.com/elyns-blog/.