10 Choices of Herbal Medicines for Breast Cancer Based on Research

Treatment for breast cancer cannot be careless. The main treatment options include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, target therapy, and immunotherapy under the strict supervision of a team of doctors at the hospital. Even so, some natural ingredients and certain herbal medicines are believed to help relieve the symptoms of breast cancer and the side effects of treatment. Combining natural treatments is believed to help maintain endurance and stamina during the main treatment.

Herbal remedy recommendations for breast cancer
So far there have been no studies that prove herbal medicines cure breast cancer. Natural medicine has not been proven to kill cancer cells that attack breast tissue.

As already mentioned, herbal medicine only helps to alleviate the side effects of medication and symptoms of the disease. Taking herbal medicines is also believed to help maintain overall body health.

The following are various herbal medicines that have the potential to have been medically investigated for the treatment of breast cancer:

1. Echinacea
Echinacea is a plant of the Asteraceae family. Research published in the Saudi Pharmaceutical Journal says the Echinacea purpurea plant has the potential to help treat cancer.

Echinace contains flavonoids which are antioxidants. Flavonoids are compounds that can stimulate the immune system. Flavonoids can also increase lymphocyte activity, which is part of white blood cells to increase the immune system.

These antioxidant compounds are also thought to strongly reduce the harmful side effects of radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Therefore, this herbal remedy is thought to help improve the quality of life of patients while undergoing advanced cancer therapy.

2. Garlic
Garlic which has the Latin name Allium sativum is often used to treat many diseases.

Related to its potential for the treatment of breast cancer, garlic contains a substance called ajoene which is known to temporarily inhibit the growth of cancer cells.

In addition, garlic also contains antioxidant compounds such as bioflavonoids, cyanidin, and quercetin which are known to be able to ward off free radicals in the body. One negative effect of the free buildup itself is genetic mutations that can trigger cancer.

The high amount of organic sulfides and polysulfides in garlic is also thought to increase its potential as an anticancer herbal medicine.

3. Turmeric
Turmeric named Latin Curcuma Longa is one of the herbal medicines that can be consumed during breast cancer treatment.

Turmeric and rhizomes and rootstock are especially rich in curcumin, the active ingredient which is thought to be anticancer due to its phenolic substance.

In addition, curcumin converts eicosanoid compounds such as prostaglandin E-2 (PGE-2) in the body into antioxidant compounds and anti-inflammatory substances.

Curcumin is known to be able to inhibit the phase of cancer growth from the initial formation to division.

4. Carotenoids
Carotenoids are bright red, yellow and orange pigments found in many fruits and vegetables.

According to the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University, carotenoids contain important antioxidants to help kill the effects of free radicals and protect the body from the damage they cause.

Carotenoids also have anti-inflammatory properties as well as strengthen the immune system to be able to continue to actively fight disease. In addition, foods containing carotenoids are thought to reduce the risk of tumor growth in the body.

Based on this nature, carotenoids are believed to be one of the herbal medicines that help fight breast cancer.

Eat fruits and vegetables high in carotenoids such as carrots, oranges, spinach to help strengthen stamina and endurance during breast cancer treatment. Broccoli, guava, mango, tomato, sweet potato, pumpkin and watermelon are also high-carotenoid foods.

5. Green tea
Green tea leaves, also known as Camellia sinensis, are rich in polyphenols. The polyphenols found in green tea are epigallocatechin (EGGG), which are antitumor and anti-mutagenic.

A study shows the fact that polyphenols in green tea can limit the division of cancer cells and trigger cell damage. Even so, this research is still limited to animal experiments.

Green tea also contains another antioxidant compound called a catechin. Catechins inhibit the spread and division of tumor cells. In other words, catechins can reduce the risk of tumor growth in other areas of the body besides the breast.

Green tea can also reduce the effects of radiation that are harmful to the body. All these benefits are obtained from antioxidant compounds contained in green tea. However, further research is needed specifically to see the benefits of green tea for the treatment of breast cancer.

6. Ginseng
Ginseng is one of the well-known herbal medicines that can alleviate various health problems, including breast cancer. Plants that grow a lot in China, Korea, and Japan have active substances that can help inhibit the spread and division of cancer cells.

An investigation conducted in Korea recommended ginseng to reduce the risk of cancer in humans. Dry extracts and powders from ginseng roots usually have the strongest ingredients to help overcome cancer.

By interfering with the formation of DNA, ginseng will inhibit tumor cells that are supposed to grow. In addition, the active compound also helps increase antibodies and cells damaged during chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

However, of course it still needs further research to prove its effectiveness.

7. Flax seed
Flax seed or flaxseed may not be familiar to your ears, but the potential benefits are beneficial for cancer sufferers. Flaxseeds are rich in fiber, omega 3 fatty acids and lignans which have antioxidant properties.

A group of researchers at Toronto University showed that flaxseeds also have strong anticancer properties. The experimental results show that flaxseed helps reduce tumor malignancy. Even so, this research is based on experiments conducted on mice.

Other studies have also been conducted on lab rats by injecting breast cancer cells into their bodies. When cancer spreads, one group of rats was fed with flaxseed while the other group with other foods.

The results showed the growth rate of cancer in mice that ate flaxseed was reduced by 45 percent.

8. Elephant trunk leaves
The elephant's trunk leaves which have the scientific name Clinacanthus nutans contain many antioxidants such as flavonoids, triterpenoids, and phenolic acids. Antioxidants become one of the compounds that are able to ward off free radicals in the body as one of the causes of cancer.

Research published in the journal Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine proves that the anticancer effects of this herbal medicine may be used for breast cancer. The leaves of the elephant's trunk are thought to be useful to help overcome adenocarcinoma cells and carcinomas in the breast.

Carcinoma is a type of cancer cell that starts in epithelial tissue. While adenocarcinoma is a cancer cell that appears in the cells of organs that produce fluids including the breast.

But, of course you cannot treat breast cancer just by drinking the elephant's trunk leaves. Further research is still needed to prove its effectiveness.

9. Soursop leaves
Soursop is not only delicious to eat its fruit. It turns out that soursop leaves can also be used as herbal medicines for breast cancer.

Reporting from research published in Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity, soursop leaves have compounds to reduce cancer growth. The acetogenin and alkaloid compounds in soursop leaves are thought to be able to help reduce cancer growth.

This is confirmed by a case report experienced by a 66-year-old woman with metastatic breast cancer. Cancer cells in her breast are reported to continue to spread to other parts of the body despite several times of chemotherapy with anthracyclines and taxane.

However, it was mentioned that this woman diligently boiled 10 to 12 dried soursop leaves for 5 to 7 minutes. The cooking water is then drunk every day.

When further examined, doctors found the spread of cancer remained stable for 5 years. That is, cancer cells no longer spread too broadly or are reduced.

Even so, you can not replace the main treatment of breast cancer from doctors with herbal medicine on this one. Further research is still needed on humans to prove its usefulness.

10. Rat taro leaves
Rodent tuber leaves that have another name Typhonium flagelliforme include herbs that are also thought to be able to treat breast cancer. A study conducted by researchers in Malaysia tested the effects of cytotoxicity or the level of damage to a substance in cells on the taro leaves of mice.

Test results found evidence that soursop leaf extract could help inhibit MDA-MB-231 cell growth in breast cancer. But although it can inhibit, its effectiveness to cure is not known with certainty.

Research into rat taro leaves for the treatment of breast cancer so far is still being done in animals. So, the benefits for humans can not be proven with certainty.

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