(NaturalNews) As if having cancer is not bad enough, there is also a great deal of pain associated with the disease. While this is often not true in the very early stages of the disease -- when it might make it easier to discover the cancer itself -- it is an unfortunate side effect in later stages. It is so bad that managing the pain can quickly become the sole focus of an individual's entire life.
For many people, their first thought when managing the pain is to visit their doctor. Pain medications that are prescribed by a physician are often laden with side effects that can bring on other issues. There are a number of herbs that are often used to season foods that have been shown to have a positive effect on managing the pain associated with cancer.
Found in the papaya fruit, papain is an enzyme located within the latex that is on its skins. Sappy and milk-like, this enzyme has been shown to attack the cells that make up cancerous tumors. It is able to break down proteins and, in the process, boost the immune system of an individual who is suffering from cancer. Animal studies have shown that papain is effective as a shield against radiation's damaging effects during chemotherapy, though scientists are not quite sure how this occurs.
Though ginger has long been used as a natural remedy for nausea, it has other medicinal uses as well. Prostaglandins are the molecules that tell the brain where pain is located. Ginger has been shown to lower the number of these prostaglandins and reduce both the pain and inflammation associated with them. Chemotherapy, in spite of being one of the primary methods used to treat cancer, is rife with side effects itself. Ginger has been shown to have a positive effect on the nausea that is often associated with chemotherapy.
A popular herb that is grown in both South India and Indonesia, turmeric is found in curry. It is also often found in yellow mustard and curry powder. Turmeric root has a compound known as curcumin, which along with turmeric itself, has many properties that make it effective at fighting pain. In addition to its anti-inflammatory properties, this compound is also an antioxidant.
Curcumin, in particular, has been shown to fight the slow deterioration that often occurs in the body when a person has cancer. In addition, it has been shown to have a positive effect on curbing pain. Turmeric reduces pain by stopping the effects of the pain-causing enzyme COX2.
Being generous with a few choice herbs when making meals can work wonders for reducing the pain associated with fighting cancer. By doing so, the reliance on prescription medications can be reduced.
About the author: Sofiya has written articles on most health-related topics, including traditional medicine, alternative and naturopathic and natural treatments, wellness, medical marijuana, diets and fitness.