Top 10 Herbs to Treat and Prevent Cancer

Updated on March 19th, 2020
herbs for cancer

There were 17 million new cases of cancer globally in the year 2018. Lung, prostate, breast, and bowel cancer were the most common ones. If you add the number of people who were suffering from cancer before the start of the year, the number becomes mind-boggling.

Cancer is one of the most painful and unpredictable illnesses. What is worse is that treatment will also take a toll on your health. Depending on its type and stage, you may have to go for a surgery, undergoing chemotherapy or radiation therapy, go for bone marrow transplant or immunotherapy. The list goes on. The common factor is that all these procedures are painful. Also, none of it can guarantee that cancer will not go away.

Did You Know?

Cancer caused 9.6 million deaths worldwide in 2018.

What if you could do something to increase the impact of the treatment? What if you could prevent it from coming back? Herbs for cancer treatment and prevention can help you achieve this. Herbs do more than flavor your food. They can manipulate the cellular processes, reduce the risk of cancer, aid in cancer treatment, and prevent its resurgence.

Which Are the Best Herbs for Cancer?

Many herbs have shown impressive results in treating cancer. Here are the top 10 herbs and spices for cancer treatment.

1. Basil for Cancer

basil lefs

Basil is an aromatic herb that features predominantly in Southeast Asian and Italian cuisine. It is antibacterial, antiviral, antioxidant, antimutagenic, and antitumorigenic.

How Does It Work?

An overabundance of free radicals and lack of antioxidants(1) is the cause for many types of cancer. Basil, being a rich source of antioxidants, can reduce the free radicals. This stops the free radicals from causing further cell damage.

Basil also increases the level of MGMT. MGMT is a protein that repairs the damage caused by alkylation in the cells. Increasing the MGMT levels increases the body’s ability to fight mutagenic lesions.

The antiviral and antibacterial properties of basil also play a role in fighting cancer. Certain viral infections put you at increased risk of certain types of cancer. Similarly, basil can help regulate the bacteria in your gut and keep your immune system functioning smoothly.

How to Use It?

You can use basil extracts and make it a regular part of your diet to reap maximum benefits.

[Read: Natural Treatment for Skin Cancer]

2. Caraway for Cancer

Caraway belongs to the fennel family. It is endemic to northern Africa, Asia, and Europe. Caraway has strong antioxidant properties.

How Does It Work?

Caraway increases the activity of the GST enzyme in the liver, stomach, and intestines. GST detoxifies carcinogens and reduces the risk of cancer. Caraway also combats cancer by inhibiting the activation of carcinogens.

Studies have shown that caraway is effective in treating a range of cancers from skin to colon. Oral consumption of caraway also reduced the occurrence of aberrant crypt foci, which is an early indication of colon cancer. Caraway oil also has antioxidative properties that help in fighting the cell-damaging free radicals.

How to Use It?

Most of the research on caraway has been performed using caraway oil or caraway seed extracts. Caraway essential oil was found to be most effective in reducing cancerous tumors.

[Also Read: Natural Therapies for Throat Cancer]

3. Cardamom for Cancer

Cardamom spices

Cardamom is a favorite Indian spice. There are different varieties of cardamom, and it has found a place in Indian and European cuisine. It is also a powerful anti-carcinogenic herb.

How Does It Work?

Cardamom is a powerful antioxidant that can fight the free radicals in the body. It also increases the activity of several antioxidant enzymes in the heart and liver. Intake of cardamom aids the abilities of the enzymes involved in the expulsion of xenobiotics.

Xenobiotics are substances that do not naturally occur in the body. Their presence can lead to cancer. Cardamom also reduces inflammation, attacks the tumor cells, and stops the attack of free radicals on cells.

How to Use It?

Cardamom seed powder, as well as its extracts, can provide the benefits mentioned above. Incorporating cardamom in your diet is an easy task. You can even start by adding it to your chai.

[Also Read: Natural Remedies for Kidney Cancer]

4. Garlic for Cancer

This smelly herb is very efficient at keeping cancer(2) at bay and in its treatment. It has been used for treating many illnesses over the years, and today, it has also proven to be a valuable tool in the fight against cancer.

How Does It Work?

Garlic contains high quantities of organic sulfides and polysulfides. These trigger the bone marrow cells and white blood cells to interfere with the mechanism of the tumor cells and kill cancerous cells.

Garlic is also rich in antioxidants that make it even more effective in fighting cancer. Garlic also increases the suppressor T cells and converts the bone marrow cells into a form that is toxic to cancer cells.

It can also prevent cancer from spreading to other parts of the body. It has been found that garlic is a powerful herb in treating lung, breast, colon, bladder, and stomach cancer. Garlic extract can also reduce the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

How to Use It?

Garlic oil and ripened garlic extract were found to be most potent in treating cancer and decreasing the side effects of other treatments.

[Read: Vitamin C for Cancer]

Did You Know?

The sulfur compounds that give garlic the strong smell are also the reason for its anti-carcinogenic properties.

5. Turmeric for Cancer

turmeric Benefits
Image: ShutterStock

Turmeric is an essential ingredient in Southeast Asian cuisine. It gives a unique yellow color to the curries and has for long, believed to possess many health benefits. Turmeric is used for treating a host of ailments, and cancer is just one of them.

How Does It Work?

The anti-cancerous properties of turmeric can be attributed to its active ingredient curcumin. Curcumin is anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. It attacks cancer at every stage. From the growth of the cancer cells to their propagation, curcumin helps the body resist and attack the cancer cells.

The number of ways in which turmeric tackles cancer is unmatched by any other herb. This makes turmeric the king of herbs for breast cancer to endometrial cancer as it can work as a treatment for everything

How to Use It?

Consuming around half a teaspoon of turmeric regularly is enough to see its benefits. Half a teaspoon of turmeric contains about 500 mg of curcuminoids.

[Read: Turmeric for Cancer]

6. Saffron for Cancer

The world’s most expensive spice is also anti-cancerous. This herb for prostate cancer as well as other types of cancers is derived from the flowers of a saffron crocus plant that is native to Southwest Asia.

How Does It Work?

Saffron contains over 150 different compounds, and many of them contribute to cancer treatment. Saffron works against cancer on two fronts. It stops the creation of carcinogenic cells and reduces the propagation of tumors.

It also increases the levels of certain enzymes in the liver that aid in fighting cancer. Saffron has the unique ability to only suppress the growth of the tumor and carcinogenic cells without having any impact on the healthy cells.

How to Use It?

Saffron extract with a concentration of 200 to 2000 microgram per milliliter should be used to optimum results. You may have to use this herb for prostate cancer treatment for at least 30 days before you start seeing results.

Did You Know?

One pound of Saffron is obtained by harvesting 70,000 flowers and takes 20 hours of labor.

7. Ginseng for Cancer


Ginseng is a Chinese herb for cancer treatment. It has been used for centuries for treating various ailments from depression to heart disease.

How Does It Work?

Red ginseng that is produced by steaming is more potent than white ginseng. The steaming process produces ginsenosides, an active anticancer agent. Red ginseng hinders the creation of cancer cells by arresting the cell cycle.

It also induces the death of cancerous cells and stops its proliferation to other parts of the body. Cancer and its treatment put the body under tremendous pressure. This causes fatigue. Ginseng is also helpful in fighting this fatigue.

How to Use It?

You will have to take around 2000 milligrams of pure ginseng. It can be consumed in the form of a tablet. Make sure that you get the purest form of the herb.

[ Read: How to Cure Colon Cancer – 14 Natural remedies ]

8. Rosemary for Cancer

Rosemary is an aromatic herb from the Mediterranean region. It is a woody herb with a bitter taste. It contains a large number of antioxidants which make it anti-cancerous.

How Does It Work?

Rosemary extracts can stop the production of cancerous cells. It can also stop the growth of skin tumors when applied topically. The active compounds in rosemary prevent the proliferation of cancer and check its spread.

Standard treatments for cancer such as chemo and radiation therapy destroy the healthy cells along with the cancerous cells. Rosemary can also prevent the death of healthy cells. Rosemary essential oil is also helpful in the regrowth of hair after cancer treatment.

How to Use It?

Rosemary extracts can be taken orally. The essential oil can be administered topically on the skin tumors to stop their growth. A few drops of rosemary essential oil mixed with a carrier oil can be applied on the scalp to promote hair growth.

[Read: Asparagus for Cancer]

9. Ginger for Cancer


Ginger is a root of the ‘Zingiber Officinale’ plant that belongs to the same family as turmeric and cardamom. It is consumed for its medicinal properties.

How Does It Work?

Ginger has many active antioxidant components. These components stop the oxidation of lipids and proteins by free radicals. Gingerol, a principal constituent in ginger, can reduce the transformation of healthy cells into tumor cells.

It can reduce the occurrence of cancerous lesions in the body and is has antitumorigenic properties. Certain types of cancer, such as prostate cancer, can be caused by inflammation. Ginger is anti-inflammatory and reduces this risk making it a potent herb for prostate cancer. It has also proven to be equally effective on skin, endometrial, lung, and colon cancer.

Ginger reduces nausea and vomiting caused by cancer treatment.

How to Use It?

You can add ginger to your diet in its raw form or as ginger candies or even by using powdered ginger.

[ Read: Essential Oils for Lung Cancer ]

10. Clove for Cancer

Native to Indonesia, this spice derived from the flower buds of Eugenia caryophyllata tree has several anti-carcinogenic properties. Clove contains many bioactive ingredients that give it these properties.

How Does It Work?

Clove increases the levels of cancer-fighting enzymes in the liver and stomach. It plays a disruptive role in the activation of carcinogens. The levels of several enzymes that help in detoxifying the cells in the body increased when clove was introduced in the diet.

Eugenol, a bioactive component in clove, helps in the creation of the enzymes that interfere with cell mutation and stop the changes in the genetic material of healthy cells that make them cancerous. The exposure to specific active components in clove help the tissues fight of extraneous compounds that can start the carcinogenesis process.

[Read: Essential Oils for Skin Cancer]

How to Use It?

You can use clove extracts or add them to your cooking. Its flavor can brighten up any dish. You can also drink clove tea.

Did You Know?

The percentage of women who survive cancer is higher than that of men who survive it.

Fight Cancer With the Help of Nature

Nature has many secrets that can help in the cure of several deadly diseases, cancer included. Herbs are a powerhouse of antioxidants. Quite a lot of them are also anti-carcinogenic and antitumorigenic. Making herbs a part of your daily diet can help in preventing cancer.

If you currently have cancer, then using herbs for cancer treatment is an excellent idea. They can supplement and aid the standard practices. They can help alleviate several side effects of the therapy. Start using herbs today and reap its benefits for treating and preventing cancer.

[Also Read: Best Remedies To Treat Bone Cancer Naturally ]


1. Is It Safe to Use Herbs for Cancer Treatment?

Herbs are completely natural and show no side effects. They are a safe method to treat and prevent cancer.

2. Are Herbs Enough to Treat Cancer?

Herbs should be used along with standard treatment methods. The combined action is bound to give you the best results.

3. How Do I Use Herbs for Treating Cancer?

You can incorporate herbs into your daily diet by including them in your cooking. You can also use the extracts of herbs. Each one is unique. The most effective method to use them also varies. You refer the information given in the above article to decide the best way to use the herbs.

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