Herbal medicine has been a form of treatment that has been used for many years in treating different ailments including ailments that are peculiar to the female gender and affect the health of women. Such ailments usually cause changes in the cells of the vagina and cervix. Interestingly, scientists in modern times have been giving full support to the effectiveness and wisdom applied in traditional medicine.

There are so many ways herbal medicines can be used to cure ailments peculiar to women such as applying for the herbal medicine on the area affected, inserting the medicine into the vagina of the woman, applying it to the cervix, or taken orally, all these in an effort to support the health of women’s reproductive organs.

But before any of these traditional choices can be used seeking the advice of a qualified doctor is usually recommended because sometimes using these herbs might require a change in diet or these herbs might clash with some drugs being taken previously. Especially when dealing with a disease such as cervical cancer which is a very serious and life-threatening health condition and should not be treated casually or taken lightly, therefore, whatever treatments or decisions concerning health should be supervised by the health care professional.

Herbs For Cervical Cancer

Some herbs used in the treatment of cervical cancer include:

#1. Tumeric

Tumeric is a member of the ginger family and has been used in the herbal medicine traditions and foods of India, China, Korea, and Japan for centuries.  Tumeric is found in many anti-cancer formulas in traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic Medicine. Curcumin, one of the active principles isolated from Tumeric is one of the most widely studied phytochemicals in modern science with over 100 known physiologic effects.

Curcumin is well known for its support of normal anti-oxidant function and its ability to support normal inflammation control and to enhance anti-tumor and anti-angiogenesis factors as well as normalizing cell cycling behavior and gene expression, turning off cancer promoter genes and turning on cancer suppressor genes. Curcumin has also been shown to enhance the effect of some chemotherapy drugs and protect against multi-drug resistance.

#2. Green Tea

Green Tea contains many biologically active plant chemicals, primarily phytopheonols, catechins, and flavonols which comprise over 30-40% of the dried leaves. Green Tea is known to enhance anti-tumor, anti-mutagenic, antioxidant, and cancer preventive cellular functions. Green tea also has a positive effect on normal fat metabolism and cholesterol levels. The most studied compound in Green Tea is EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate)

Studies have shown that increased intake of Green Tea is associated with a lower risk of many cancers, including cervical cancer.  Green Tea appears to act by affecting methylation and histones (DNA protection), cell cycle arrest and cell death, liver detoxification pathways as well as NFKb, a key factor in inflammation.  Green Tea also enhances the effects of some chemotherapy agents leading to better treatment outcomes.

#3. Astragalus Root

Astragalus Root is one of the most commonly used herbs in Traditional Chinese Medicine. It is not only made into medicinal teas but it is also added to soups to make food medicine. Astragalus root enhances immune function and increases Natural Killer Cells. NK cells are part of the immune system and attack virus and cancer cells.

Moreso,  NK cells are a powerful way to promote immune function. Astragalus acts through the same pathways that are the target of many chemotherapy drugs including PARP inhibition and inhibition of the PI3K-Akt pathway so common in many women’s cancers.

#4. Resveratrol, Grape Skin, Grape Seed

Resveratrol is in the family of plant stilbenes which have effects on cell cycle,  growth factors, cancer cell proliferation, and several genes associated with aging and the development of cancer.   Grapes skin and grape seeds are rich in plant polyphenols and flavonoids which support normal anti-oxidant, cell functions as well as effects upon gene protection and repair and inflammation function, all important to inhibition of cancer physiology. The saponins in Astragalus root have been shown to have anticarcinogenic and anti-apoptotic effects that promote the death of cancer cells.

#5. Ginger Root

 Ginger Root is widely used in herbal medicine traditions worldwide. It is particularly significant for cancers that show high levels of inflammation, a characteristic of cervical cancer. Cervical cancer cells express high levels of inflammatory molecules such as NFkB.  Ginger has broad effects on inflammatory control, including the particular ability to reduce the presence of NFkB, one of the most important pathways to control in cancer cells. 

Ginger root is also active in lowering inflammatory cytokine molecules IL-6 and IL-8 which may be markers of cancer activity. Ginger root can be used in medicinal anti-cancer formulas, as a daily beverage or medicinal tea, and also added to food as part of an anti-cancer diet.

#6. Ursolic Acid Rich Herbs and Foods

Ursolic Acid is a component of many herbs, foods, and spices. Ursolic rich herbs are often found in many traditional Chinese Herbal Anti-Cancer and Anti-Tumor Formulas. Ursolic Acid supports normal anti-inflammatory function and also inhibits the production of pro-angiogenic factors which may promote the spread and proliferation of tumor cells.

#7. Holy Basil

Holy basil is a herb that has been in use for centuries in the Indian tradition of Ayurvedic Medicine. Holy Basil is one of many herbs rich in Ursolic Acid. Other readily available sources of Ursolic Acid include Rosemary, Sage, Oregano, Thyme, Lavender, Pomegranates, Apple Peels, Cranberry Juice. These herbs and spices can be included regularly as part of a cancer-fighting diet.

#8. Garlic

Garlic extract (GE) has a prominent role in cancer prevention. It was well known because of its possible health benefits. This herb has free radical activity and its direct cytotoxic effect on cancer cells, particularly leukemia. The mechanisms by which garlic extract induces cytotoxic effects in cancer cells remain unknown. However, a significant decrease in cases of human leukemia (HL-60) was observed when the cells were treated with GE in a concentration and time-dependent manner.

Ajoene as one of the noticed compounds in garlic has been shown to inhibit proliferation and induce apoptosis of humans leukemic cells and act as an antileukemic agent for acute myeloid leukaemia therapy. The apoptosis activity of ajoene is possible through the mitochondria-dependent caspase cascade through a significant reduction of the antiapoptotic Bcl-2 that results in the release of cytochrome C and the activation of caspase-3.

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