Ashwagandha is a plant with a long history of medicinal use. It has been traditionally used to improve physical and mental health and is currently being studied for its potential role in treating cancer.
Some recent studies have suggested that ashwagandha might be a helpful adjunct therapy for breast cancer patients. So what is the link between ashwagandha and breast cancer? Is there anything to this ancient herb’s claims?
Read on to find out!
What is Ashwagandha?
Ashwagandha is an ancient medicinal herb used for centuries in India. The name ashwagandha comes from the Sanskrit words “ashva,” meaning horse and “gandha,” meaning smell, referring to the strong odor of the plant’s roots.
Ashwagandha is a nightshade family member and is related to tomatoes, potatoes, and eggplants. The herb is a small shrub with green or white flowers and red berries. The leaves and roots are used to make medicine.
Ashwagandha has a long history of use in Indian Ayurvedic medicine for various conditions, including anxiety, insomnia, stress, arthritis, and memory loss.
Ashwagandha is an adaptogen that helps the body cope with stress by reducing its harmful effects.
Traditional Use of Ashwagandha
Ashwagandha is an evergreen shrub that grows in India, the Middle East, and Africa. The roots and leaves of the plant are used to make medicine.
Ashwagandha is most commonly taken by mouth as a powder or capsule. It can also be made into tea, which is not as common. Some people apply ashwagandha directly to the skin as a cream or ointment.
Modern Research on Ashwagandha and Cancer
It’s no secret that cancer is one of the leading causes of death worldwide. In fact, according to the World Health Organization, cancer is responsible for an estimated 9.6 million deaths yearly.
Modern research is constantly uncovering new and promising treatments. One such treatment is ashwagandha, an ancient Indian herb with a long history of use in traditional medicine.
In recent years, ashwagandha has been the subject of several scientific studies investigating its potential to treat various types of cancer.
So far, the results have been promising. For example, one study found that ashwagandha could kill cancer without harming healthy cells.
Another study found that ashwagandha may help prevent cancer cell spread. And a third study showed that ashwagandha might improve the effectiveness of traditional cancer treatments like chemotherapy.
While more research is needed to confirm the efficacy of ashwagandha as a treatment for cancer, the early results are encouraging.
If you or someone you love is dealing with cancer, it’s worth talking to your doctor about whether ashwagandha could be a helpful addition to your treatment plan.
How Does Ashwagandha Work against Cancer?
Cancer is one of the most dreaded diseases of our time. It is characterized by uncontrolled cell growth that can invade and destroy normal tissues. Cancer is responsible for about one in every four deaths in the United States.
There are many types of cancer, each with its symptoms and treatments. The most common cancers are breast cancer, lung cancer, colorectal cancer, and prostate cancer.
Although no cure for cancer exists, treatments can help control its growth and spread. In Ayurvedic medicine, ashwagandha is considered a “Rasayana,” a class of herbs that promotes health and vitality.
The active ingredients in ashwagandha are thought to be a group of compounds called withanolides. In animal studies, these compounds have anti-inflammatory, immune-modulatory, and anti-tumor activity.
Ashwagandha is thought to work by reducing the hormone estrogen levels in the body. Estrogen is believed to promote the growth of breast cancer cells.
By lowering estrogen levels in the body, ashwagandha may help prevent the growth of breast cancer cells. Several clinical studies have been conducted to evaluate the efficacy of ashwagandha in cancer treatment.
One study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology in 2010 evaluated the effect of an extract of ashwagandha on tumor growth in mice.
The mice were injected with a human cancer cell line and then treated with the ashwagandha extract. The researchers found that the ashwagandha extract inhibited tumor growth by 50% and induced apoptosis (cell death) in the cancer cells.
Another study published in the same journal in 2012 looked at the effect of ashwagandha on breast cancer cells. The researchers found that the withanolides in ashwagandha inhibited the growth of breast cancer cells and induced apoptosis.
In a third study published in the American Association of Cancer Research in 2007, ashwagandha inhibited the growth of lung cancer cells.
The withanolides in ashwagandha were found to inhibit the growth of the cancer cells and induce apoptosis. These studies suggest that ashwagandha has potential as a treatment for cancer. However, more research is needed to confirm these findings.
Ashwagandha is available in supplements, but the FDA does not regulate it. Therefore, it is essential only to purchase ashwagandha from a reputable source.
Clinical Studies on Ashwagandha and Breast Cancer
In recent years, several clinical studies have been conducted to evaluate the efficacy of ashwagandha in treating various health conditions, including breast cancer. Several in vitro and animal studies have shown that ashwagandha has anti-cancer properties.
For example, one in vitro study showed that ashwagandha extract inhibited the growth of human breast cancer cells (MCF-7 cells) and induced cell death.
Another in vitro study found that ashwagandha extract inhibited the growth of breast cancer cells (MDA-MB-231 cells) and induced cell death. Several animal studies have also shown that ashwagandha has anti-cancer properties.
One study in rats found that ashwagandha extract inhibited the growth of breast cancer cells and induced cell death. Another study in mice found that ashwagandha extract inhibited the growth of breast cancer cells and induced cell death.
Ashwagandha is also shown to have anti-tumor activity in animal studies. One study in rats found that ashwagandha inhibited the growth of lung cancer cells (A549 cells) and induced cell death.
A few clinical studies have been conducted to evaluate the efficacy of ashwagandha in treating breast cancer.
One clinical study enrolled 30 women with breast cancer who were undergoing chemotherapy. The women were given either ashwagandha extract or a placebo for 8 weeks. The study found that the women who took ashwagandha significantly reduced the size of their tumors compared to those who took the placebo.
Overall, the evidence suggests that ashwagandha may effectively treat breast cancer. However, more research is needed to confirm these findings.
Best Ways to Take Ashwagandha for Breast Cancer
It seems like every day, there’s a new cancer diagnosis. And while there are many different types of cancer, they all come with their treatments and side effects.
One of the most common types of cancer is breast cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, about 1 in 8 women in the United States will develop breast cancer.
While there are many different treatment options for breast cancer, some women may also want to explore natural therapies. One biological therapy that is effective in treating breast cancer is ashwagandha.
If you’re taking Ashwagandha for breast cancer, you must talk to your doctor. This is because ashwagandha can interact with some medications.
Finding the proper dosage is essential once you’ve decided to take ashwagandha for breast cancer. The recommended dosage is 3-5 grams per day. You can take ashwagandha in capsule form or make tea from the dried herb. If you’re taking it in capsule form, it’s essential to take it with food.
Ashwagandha is a safe and effective natural therapy for breast cancer. Talking to your doctor before taking it and finding the proper dosage is important.
Precautions to Take when Using Ashwagandha for Breast Cancer
When using natural therapies to treat cancer, there are many things to consider. One of the most important is ensuring you properly treat your situation. This is especially important when using herbs, as they can act differently in different people.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when using Ashwagandha for breast cancer:
- Talk to your doctor first: Ashwagandha may interact with certain medications, so it is essential to talk to your doctor before taking it.
- Start with a low dose: When using Ashwagandha for cancer treatment, starting with a low dose and increasing it gradually is essential.
- Be patient: Ashwagandha may take several weeks or months to start working.
- Watch for side effects: Ashwagandha is generally considered safe but can cause side effects like any herb. The most common side effects include upset stomach, diarrhea, and headaches.
Dosage and Side Effects
The recommended ashwagandha dosage for breast cancer is approximately 500-2000 mg daily (depending on the patient’s weight and other factors).
Side effects of ashwagandha are typically mild and include upset stomach, diarrhea, and gas. More severe side effects are rare but can have liver damage, kidney damage, and an increased risk of bleeding.
If you experience these side effects, stop taking ashwagandha and speak with a healthcare provider.
The claims of ashwagandha working as a cancer-fighting herb are not new. This amazing plant has been used for centuries to fight various diseases and ailments, improving users’ health outcomes.
With regular intake of ashwagandha, you will notice your body functioning better and becoming stronger in the long term. However, we still don’t know whether taking ashwagandha is safe for women who have breast cancer or have ever had breast cancer in their family.
Until studies clear these safety issues, it would be wise to exercise caution when using this herb.
FAQs | Ashwagandha and Breast Cancer (or Any Cancer)
Can you take ashwagandha with breast cancer?
There has been relatively little study on the impact of ashwagandha on breast cancer. Some preliminary research suggests that ashwagandha may aid in the prevention of the formation of some types of cancer cells, but additional research is required to validate these findings. If you are thinking about taking ashwagandha, see your doctor first to be sure it is safe for you to do so.
How much ashwagandha should I take for breast cancer?
The amount of ashwagandha you should take for breast cancer may vary depending on your age, weight, and the severity of your ailment. However, a typical breast cancer recommendation is taking 1-2 grams of ashwagandha daily.
Does ashwagandha increase estrogen levels?
Ashwagandha and estrogen levels study is inconclusive. Some research indicates that ashwagandha may boost estrogen levels, while others show no impact. More study is needed to discover how ashwagandha affects estrogen levels.
Is ashwagandha good for lung cancer?
There is no scientific proof that ashwagandha helps treat lung cancer. However, some anecdotal findings show that it may assist patients with lung cancer to improve their quality of life.
Is ashwagandha safe for estrogen-positive breast cancer?
There have only been a small number of studies done on the subject. However, some scientists feel that ashwagandha may assist in lowering estrogen levels in the body, which may be advantageous for patients with estrogen-positive breast cancer. As a result, taking ashwagandha if you have this form of cancer is generally deemed safe.
Is ashwagandha safe for breast cancer patients?
A little study has been conducted on the impact of ashwagandha on breast cancer patients. However, some research suggests that ashwagandha may help to limit cancer cell proliferation and enhance the quality of life for cancer patients. As a result, if you have been diagnosed with breast cancer, you should see your doctor before taking ashwagandha.
Other Articles in This Series
- Ashwagandha Skin Benefits You Didn’t Know About
- Ashwagandha and Heart Health
- Amazing Health Benefits of Ashwagandha for Diabetes
- Ashwagandha for Infertility: Does It Work?
- The Truth About Ashwagandha for Stress and Anxiety
- Is Ashwagandha Good for Sleeping?
- Can We Use Ashwagandha for Inflammation?
- Ashwagandha and Immune System
- Chronic Fatigue | Does Ashwagandha Give You Energy?
- Benefits of Ashwagandha for Arthritis
- Does Ashwagandha Help with Depression?
- 11 Benefits of Ashwagandha for Menopause
- 3 Proven Ashwagandha Benefits for Sexual Dysfunction (Based on Research)
- Ashwagandha and Parkinson’s (Should You Try It?)
- Ashwagandha for Alzheimer’s Disease | What Does Science Say?
- Science Direct: Keeping abreast about ashwagandha in breast cancer
- ASCO Post: Ashwagandha
- Clinical Cancer Research: Selective Killing of Cancer Cells by Leaf Extract of Ashwagandha: Identification of a Tumor-Inhibitory Factor and the First Molecular Insights to Its Effect
- Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center: Ashwagandha
- PubMed Central: Withania somnifera: from prevention to treatment of cancer
- Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center: The Truth about Ashwagandha and Cancer: Answers from an MSK Expert
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