A growing body of research suggests that ashwagandha has potent anti-cancer effects.
From warding off cancerous cells to limiting tumor growth, this powerful herb is being recognized as a natural alternative or complimentary medicine in the fight against cancer. Scientists are continuing to explore these new possibilities for ashwagandha.
Learn more about the new cancer-fighting promise of this ancient herb…
Inhibit the growth of cancer cells.
As cancer begins in the cells, ashwagandha may stop it in its tracks. Reducing the initial count of cancer cells is the first step in fighting the disease’s growth. The antioxidant qualities of ashwagandha are the first line of defense against cancer in this way. To put it simply: antioxidants, like ashwagandha, fight off free radicals that might otherwise support the development of cancer cells.
In 2010, a study found that ashwgandha and its active ingredient caused “selective killing of cancer cells” – a promising discovery that is prompting further study.1 Other studies have found that reproduction of leukemia, breast cancer, and colon cancer cells was slowed or stopped by ashwagandha in lab tests.2 In fact, researchers reported that withania, an active ingredient in ashwagandha, was comparable or even more effective than traditional chemotherapy drugs in inhibiting breast and colon cancer cell growth.3
Limit or stop the growth of tumors.
Beyond the cellular level, ashwagandha also helps the body to limit the growth of cancerous tumors. To do this, the herb limits the blood vessels that feed cancer cells. This is called “anti-angiogenic activity.” Without a supportive network of blood vessels, the growth of cancerous tumors is slowed or stopped. In short, it cuts off the supply network that would otherwise let tumors thrive and multiply.4 Ashwagandha’s protective effect against skin cancer has been shown in other studies as well.5 Based on these studies, research in this area continues.
Build immunity during chemotherapy treatment.
Its immunity-building effects are one of the most compelling benefits of ashwagandha. It is still a most common use for the herb in modern Ayurvedic medicine. When treating cancer with traditional medicine, building one’s immunity is especially important. Chemotherapy treatment is detrimental to a patient’s immune system, because the resulting decrease in white blood cell counts makes you vulnerable to infection.6
Using ashwagandha as a natural immunity booster will help to defend against these dangerous side effects. Studies have shown that orally administered extract was successful in defending a subject’s immunity.7 While additional human studies are needed, the current research suggests that this ancient herb may be an excellent complimentary medicine to chemotherapy treatment.