Did you know that over 50 per cent of chemotherapy drugs come directly from plant substances? If not, they are mostly developed in a lab by modifying a plant chemical into a drug.
Nutritionists around the world confirm that dietary pattern based around plants can reduce the risk of cancer. Plants appear to reduce the risk in part as they are rich in phytonutrients. While a lot of fruits, vegetables and herbs are helpful, we are sharing with you top 3 herbs that are helpful in preventing cancer. We also recommend you grow these in-house so that they are free of any pesticides that may contribute towards fostering cancer (while our aim is the absolute opposite). Head onto AllThatGrows for non-hybrid, non-GMO and open-pollinated exotic herb seeds for your balcony herb garden.
Parsley tops our cancer-fighting herbs list as it contains apigenin. Apigenin is one of the proven cancer-fighting nutrients. Research proves that apigenin counters the growth of a tumour as well as cancer cells. The University of Missouri scientists found that apigenin shrank breast tumours that were stimulated by progestin.
It also adds on to the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of parsley. Parsley is also a rich source of Vitamins A, C, Riboflavin, Niacin, and Folate which help against cardiovascular diseases. Due to a high concentration of apigenin parsley, the herb is considered as one of the most powerful herbs with inhibitory effects on cancer-inducing compounds. Apigenin is also found in herbs like mint, oregano, thyme, and lemon balm.
How to add parsley in your daily diet?
You could consume parsley on a daily basis by simply adding it in soups, salads, pasta, sauces, sauces, basically anything that is vegetable based!
How to grow Parsley at home?
1. Pre-soak parsley seeds in warm water for 24 hours before planting. You could shop pure, Non-GMO and open-pollinated parsley seeds at AllThatGrows.
2. Plant the seeds ½ inches deep. Gently cover the seeds with about ⅛ inch of soil. Water the sown seeds well. If growing in a pot, the pot needs to be 8 to 12 inches deep.
3. Parsley grows best in loamy soil with good drainage and moderate soil fertility. Once the seeds germinate, thin them to 6" to 8" apart. Mulch the soil to retain soil moisture.
4. Water parsley regularly to keep the soil slightly moist but do not overwater.
5. Parsley grows well in full sun as well as partly sunny areas.
6. Parsley crop will be ready for harvesting in 2-3 months. When harvesting, cut off the outer stalks close to the ground using scissors. Avoid plucking the green foliage and pick the parsley stalks in the morning as the oils will be strong in its leaves.
‘’A new study published in the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology highlights the cancer-fighting effects of one of the main components of oregano called carvacrol. While some research has been done previously on the herb’s medicinal properties, this is the first study of its kind to study the effects of carvacrol on prostate cancer.’’
Oregano possesses a very special molecule called carvacrol, a natural disinfectant limiting the spread of cancer cells. Other herbs that contain carvacrol are thyme, basil, parsley, marjoram, and mint. A phytochemical called quercetin is known to slow cancer growth, is also present in oregano.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture reveals in its study that oregano contains higher levels of antioxidants than fruits and vegetables. In fact, one tablespoon of fresh oregano was found to be equivalent to a medium-sized apple when comparing antioxidant activity.
How to add Oregano in your daily diet?
Oregano makes the best seasoning for all kinds of dishes like salads, dressings, stews and soups. It is the most common seasoning for pizza enjoyed across the world!
How to grow Oregano at home?
1. Oregano is a perennial herb. You could shop pure, Non-GMO and open-pollinated oregano seeds at AllThatGrows.
2. Sow oregano seeds outdoors in containers or soil bed, the seeds need to be spaced between 12 and 15 inches. Plants will germinate in about 5 to 10 days from the ground.
3. Oregano will grow in soil with the pH range between 6 .0 and 8.0. Make sure that the seeds are sown when the soil temperature is 15 degrees C. The soil needs to be well-drained and sandy.
4. Oregano plant prefers full sun so the spot you pick must be receiving a lot of sunlight. Remember to never overwater the plant.
5. This plant makes great neighbours with tomatoes and peppers. Trim the plant often once it is 4 inches tall to encourage a denser harvest.
6. A fully grown oregano plant will be about 2½ ft tall. You can harvest the crop and use fresh leaves. The best way to preserve them for later use will be drying them and storing in an airtight container.
The stalks and leaves of celery are potent sources of bioactive flavonoids, including apigenin and luteolin. It was observed in lab studies that both these compounds generate a 500 per cent increase in the self-termination rate of pancreatic cancer cells. Because of these 2 compounds, celery is found to be extremely effective against numerous types of cancer. Some of them include liver, ovarian, pancreas, breast, and lung cancer. A study done at the University of Illinois revealed that apigenin and luteolin have strong pancreatic cancer cell killing abilities and celery contains both these compounds.
Celery is also loaded with Vitamins K, C and A, folate, potassium. It has a unique compound that enhances cognitive function in patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and prevents cardiovascular diseases.
How to add Celery to your daily diet?
Eating celery is a natural cancer preventative. You could add celery stalks and leaves to soups, vegetables, salads and sauces. You could also dry fresh celery leaves and use them all year long.
How to grow Celery at home?
1. Presoak seeds overnight. Sow the pre-soaked seeds into the potting soil and avoid covering the seeds with soil for better germination. The seedlings will germinate in 7-10 days. You could shop pure, Non-GMO and open-pollinated celery seeds at AllThatGrows.
2. After germination, once the plants are two inches tall, transplant them to pots that are at least 3 inches deep. You can also transplant in soil beds and space the seedlings 8 to 10 inches apart, the soil temperature needs to be 12 to 20 degree C throughout the growing period.
3. Six hours of sun and rich soil are essential for the healthy growth of celery. Mulch the plants once they grow 6 inches tall to keep the soil moist.
4. Water directly once transplanted. Make sure the plants are well watered so that the stalks don't turn dry.
5. You can harvest celery when stalks become about 8 inches tall. Celery can be stored in a freezer in plastic bags or air-dried for longer shelf life.