8 Cancer-Fighting Herbs and Spices

You have more cancer-fighting tools at your fingertips than you realize. And they're all found right inside your spice cabinet. Close to 200 spice-derived compounds have been identified for their health benefits.

Many of the healthy attributes associated with spices come from their powerful antioxidant properties. Their biological health benefits stem from their ability to induce change in certain cellular processes, especially those involved in drug metabolism, cell division, apoptosis, cell differentiation and immunocompetence—the ability for the body to have a normal immune response following exposure to an antigen.

Add these flavorful herbs and spices to your daily meals to boost your immune function and ward off illness.

More: 9 Foods That Fire Up the Immune System


Two ingredients found in rosemary are caffeic acid and rosemarinic acid. These are rich in antioxidants and they act as anti-inflammatories. Rosemary is also rich in carnosol, which makes this herb antitumorigenic (helps prohibit the formation of tumors). Rosemary has also been found to detoxify substances that can initiate breast cancer.

Terpenes, the last powerful ingredient found in rosemary has been found to reduce oxidative stress and be chemoprotective (helps protect healthy tissue from the effects of chemotherapy).

More: 24 Ways Top Doctors Prevent Cancer


Parsley's volatile oil, myristicin, has shown in animal studies to inhibit tumor formation in the lungs. The activity of this oil qualifies it to be called a chemoprotective food. This cancer-fighting herb can also help to neutralize certain carcinogens, like second hand smoke. Parsley also contains apigenin, a natural oil that has been linked to anti-angiogenesis, which is the reduction of blood vessel growth that supplies cancerous tumors with nutrients.


This colorful powder is known as the king of the anti-cancer spices. Turmeric contains the ingredient curcumin. Curcumin has been shown to inhibit the growth of various cancer cells including, bone, breast, brain tumors, colon, liver, pancreatic, stomach, bladder, kidney, prostate, leukemia, ovarian cancers and melanoma. Turmeric has been known around the world as an antiseptic and antibacterial agent to treat infection, inflammation, support wound healing and improve digestion.

One of its powerful anti-cancer benefits is in its ability to induce apoptosis, which is the programmed cell death of cancer cells without touching or hurting any other healthy cells.

Want more on turmeric? Fight Inflammation With This Power Spice

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