One common spice fights cancer and mitigates the negative effects of chemotherapy. IMAGE: YVSREDDY, CC License
A cancer remedy may have been right under our noses for a long time. Not only that, but our noses have no trouble picking out the distinctive fragrance common in India and other South Asian cooking: curry leaves have been shown to have powerful cancer fighting properties, according to new research published in the journal Complementary and Alternative Medicine. In addition to taking on cancer cells, curry leaves can mitigate the negative effects of chemotherapy, the common but damaging treatment for cancer.
The study, by Noolu et. al., concludes:
“Our study suggests M. koenigii [a.k.a. curry] leaves to be a potent source of proteasome inhibitors that lead to cancer cell death. Therefore, identification of active component(s) from the leaf extract could lead to the development of anti-cancer agents which could be useful in the treatment of different types of cancers.”
This finding provides an avenue for cancer research, and also a source of DIY treatment for cancer patients. This is not meant to suggest that eating curry leaves would replace chemo or other conventional treatments, but that curry leaves increase one’s chances of beating cancer.
Cancer killed more than 1.6 million Americans in 2012. While some cancers can be tied to a lifestyle (such as lung cancer, at least in some instances), many just seem to show up, apropos of nothing. One of these days we’re going to beat cancer, but for now, add some curry leaves to your dishes, because every little nudge against cancer helps.