Herbs as antioxidants
Herbs as antioxidants (Salem Health: Cancer)
Cancers treated or prevented: Used in combination with standard chemotherapy for various cancers such as breast cancer, colon cancer, endometrial cancer, leukemia, and mutagenesis caused by smoking, exhaust fumes, and exposure to other carcinogens
Delivery routes: Oral in the form of capsules or powders or as decoctions (extracts) or infusions; dietary in their naturally occurring forms, such as leaves, seeds, berries, and bark; topical as oils, ointments, and tinctures
How these agents work: Studies indicate that a plant-based diet can reduce the risk of many types of cancers. Researchers have found that many of the common herbs used as natural flavor additives to food are a very rich source of antioxidants, a class of compounds that assist in neutralizing free radicals and thereby preventing damage to the cells in the body. Free radicals are species generated by normal cell metabolism and by the action of environmental pollutants such as cigarette smoke and pesticides that cause tissue damage. The damage caused by free radicals is thought to be a precursor to degenerative diseases such as cancer. It has been postulated that the therapeutic effect of herbs is mediated by the high concentration of antioxidants present in them.
Many herbs are being tested in controlled studies for their anticancer properties and for supplementing standard chemotherapeutic regimens. Most of the...
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