MD, PhD, FMedSci, FRSB, FRCP, FRCPEd.

After 25 years of full-time research into alternative medicine, I thought that I have seen it all. But I was wrong! Here is an article that surpasses every irresponsible stupidity I can remember. It is entitled ‘Ginger is the monumentally superior alternative to chemotherapy‘:

Let’s say that your doctor has given you a cancer diagnosis. Let’s revisit animal wisdom. If a squirrel was looking over a tasty morsel of ginger on one side, or a vial full of Mehotrexate, Danorubicin or Tioguanine on the other, what would that intelligent squirrel choose? The answer is obvious. And it’s the right answer, because ginger roots, after being dried and cooked, manifest an ingredient called 6-shogaol.

This naturally occurring element is up to 10,000 times more effective at killing cancer cells than those vials of destructive drugs, reports David Guiterrez from Natural News, who states that “researchers found that 6-shogaol is active against cancer stem cells at concentrations that are harmless to healthy cells. This is dramatically different from conventional chemotherapy, which has serious side effects largely because it kills healthy as well as cancerous cells.”

END OF QUOTE

As David Guiterrez from Natural News might not be the most reliable of sources, I did a bit of searching for evidence. This is what I found:

A study examining the efficacy of ginger, as an adjuvant drug to standard antiemetic therapy, in ameliorating acute and delayed CINV in patients with lung cancer receiving cisplatin-based regimens. It concluded that as an adjuvant drug to standard antiemetic therapy, ginger had no additional efficacy in ameliorating CINV in patients with lung cancer receiving cisplatin-based regimens.

A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicenter study in patients planned to receive ≥2 chemotherapy cycles with high dose (>50 mg/m2) cisplatin. Patients received ginger 160 mg/day (with standardized dose of bioactive compounds) or placebo in addition to the standard antiemetic prophylaxis for CINV, starting from the day after cisplatin administration. The authors found that in patients treated with high-dose cisplatin, the daily addition of ginger, even if safe, did not result in a protective effect on CINV. 

Yes, there are also a few trials to suggest that ginger is effective for reducing nausea and vomiting after chemotherapy, but by and large they are older and less rigorous. And anyway, this is besides the point. The question here is not whether there is good evidence to show that ginger is helpful against chemo-induced nausea; the question is whether Ginger is clinically effective in ‘killing cancer cells’. And the answer is an emphatic

NO!!!

And this means the above-quoted article irresponsible, unethical, perhaps even criminal to the extreme. I shudder to think how many cancer patients have read it and consequently given up their conventional treatments opting for Ginger instead.

43 Responses to Ginger: 10,000 times more effective at killing cancer cells than conventional drugs?

  • How many cancer patients have read it and reached for the ginger? I’d guess about none probably. People aren’t that stupid. I hope.

    • so do I
      but that does not change the irresponsible stupidity of the article

    • People are not stupid but they can be desperate- we all have a duty to protect people when they are vulnerable.

    • Not stupid, just lacking in knowledge and critical-thinking skills. And, as pointed out elsewhere here, some people are desperate—and desperate people sometimes make desperate choices.

      • It’s really much more complex than that.

        Quite a few registered medical practitioners actually do believe homeopathic preparations, needling skin, spinal manipulation, manual waving of the air (or even simply holding a hand above a patient), has a helpful effect on pathological processes. e.g. – the late Peter Fisher who made consistent attempts to have camistry integrated with orthodox medicine.

        I believe he came to his senses later in his career, but simply couldn’t move on and give up his approach and became a charlatan – but he seems to have started off actually believing nonsense, notwithstanding having the intellectual ability to be appointed a consultant rheumatologist. He was, and is, not alone.

        I have no idea how folks come to have these beliefs, but many intellectuals with highly developed critical thinking skills and extensive knowledge are also religious. Strange species Homo sapiens .

        • I have no idea how folks come to have these beliefs

          Basically, I’d say that we evolved to take short cuts whenever possible, especially in our thinking. Also, we’re very good at seeing patterns – even where there aren’t any. And third, our mutual empathy as a social species means that we generally hate to see someone suffer. We always feel the urge to do something about it.
          All this is good for survival in a natural environment with various threats, but the price for this habit of fast-‘n-sloppy thinking is that proper (scientific) reasoning takes an extraordinary amount of effort (also see Thinking, Fast & Slow by Daniel Kahneman).
          So when someone is not well, people feel the urge to do something about it, no matter what. And yes, that is what happens: something ‘special’ is done, and hey, presto: the patient quite often feels better almost instantly (through the placebo effect and personal attention, as we now know). And what’s more remarkable: most of the time, the patient recovers. So it must have worked! As a consequence, the ‘healer’ gets respect and admiration, and rises in the social hierarchy. This of course is a strong incentive to keep ‘healing’ people.

          Yes, nowadays, people absolutely should know better. But apparently, these ancient traits can’t be shaken off so readily. In many cases where basically intelligent people turn into quacks or alternative apologists, you’ll often find that one special event (e.g. a coincidence that is mistaken for causality) or an ‘insight’ (a mental short cut, or a deceptively simple explanation) changed their minds. Subsequently, the above mechanisms gather momentum, making it harder to abandon the new belief as time goes on.
          One extreme example is this Dutch lady, who not only tried literally every single type of cancer quackery under the sun, but has developed utterly ludicrous ‘insights’ about what cancer actually is, and how it should be treated. And what’s worse, she has gathered a loyal following of people (mostly other cancer patients), assuming for herself the role of what I can only describe as cult leader. Dozens if not hundreds of people actually believe the total nonsense that this woman spouts, presumably because it gives them answers and hope where regular medicine can’t (again this mechanism of wanting to do something, anything…).
          I’ve also seen legitimate MD’s turn into quacks, simply because they had a great idea and took the short cut of ‘knowing’ that they’re right, instead of going through all the hassle of research, peer review etcetera.

          Note that these are just a few of my thoughts on the matter – if you have comments on this, I’d be most interested to hear (I also have plans for a book on this subject, i.e. why people believe these things, see my answer to your question a few days back).

        • Richard Rawlins – you say ‘I have no idea how folks come to have these beliefs…’ referring to those that use CAM.

          Prior to that you said ‘I believe he came to his senses later in his career, but couldn’t move on and give up his approach and became a charlatan…’ referring to the late Peter Fisher. I am sure his family, friends and colleagues and the wider community touched by him would disagree with your belief.

          Yes,indeed, strange species Homo sapiens.

  • When sick people are perceiving a painful future due to an invasive disease, they start having hope against when some one like Ginger advocate promises, even if the promises are false. Edzard is right, in saving people from such false propaganda. We know 20 other natural factors can reduce impact of cancer: good diet, sun, moon, beach bathing, walks, dances, community service and so on.
    But some one to come and try to prove that one thing, ginger, in this case can do such Herculean tasks, is false propaganda.

    These I see, especially from my country of birth, India, are running Global Practice by Marketing such stupid ideas! So these folks are just crooks who magnify natural effects of good spices or herbs beyond their natural contributions of health. I support Dr. Edzard. Blessings. Pal

    • “We know 20 other natural factors can reduce impact of cancer: good diet, sun, moon, beach bathing, walks, dances, community service and so on.”
      REALLY?
      Any evidence?

      • I’m not sure about sun, moon and beach bathing, but there is no doubt about the importance of good diet. Exercise has been shown to improve the outlook in all kinds of cancer, which I would expect to apply to walking and dancing, and a few domiciliary visits to cancer patients should be enough to convince most people of the impact of community services (similarly I wouldn’t demand a clinical trial before concluding that the Ambulance Service reduces mortality from road traffic accidents). There is also no doubt that a positive attitude also helps (I believe that this has been demonstrated in studies, even if you can’t randomise for it), though in this case I think the mechanism is that more motivated patients are more likely to look after themselves properly and to report complications and other problems soon enough to do something about them.

        I know that many people are convinced of the effectiveness of ginger for chemotherapy-related nausea and vomiting, and since vomiting has a large psychosomatic component a belief in ginger has an important placebo effect in clinical practice. It also gives the patient a sense of control, and generally it is taken in the form of ginger biscuits and ginger tea, which many people may already have in their kitchen cupboard and find more acceptable than swallowing pills.

        Having said that, if there is a pharmacological effect of ginger on vomiting it is probably fairly small, and to test it with cisplatin (one of the most highly emetogenic cytotoxics in regular use) in combination with powerful and effective antiemetics (presumably 5HT3 inhibitors plus dexamethasone plus PRN antidopaminergics) is maybe not the best model to find subtle effects. If I were designing such a trial I would be inclined to try it with a more weakly emetogenic drug such as fluoruracil and then test it against a mild-to-moderate antiemetic, for instance domperidone.

        David Guitarrez seems to be talking abject nonsense. I don’t even know it he is right about the preferences of squirrels, and he hasn’t managed to spell the names of any of the cytotoxics he mentions. I wouldn’t be surprised if there are substances in ginger with a pharmacological effect (other than the obvious one on temperature receptors in the mouth) as many plants have evolved to be toxic to predators, but that has probably already been investigated by the pharmaceutical industry.

        Daunorubicin, by the way, is named after the Dauni, a people living in Puglia, Italy in ancient times. Puglia is where the red fungus from which daunorubicin is extraced was first discovered. Methotrexate and thioguanine are synthetic, but arguably daunorubicin is a natural product, along with paclitaxel (from yew), bleomycin (fungal), vinca alkaloids (periwinkle plant), etoposide (from the may apple, rather confusingly called the mandrake in the USA, which is a different plant from the mandrake in the rest of the world) and other cytotoxics in common use.

        • You only need to look in your own backyard…. ncbi

          Conclusions:
          The anticancer potential of ginger is well documented and its functional ingredients like gingerols, shogaol, and paradols are the valuable ingredients which can prevent various cancers. This review concludes to favor ginger but some ambiguities necessitate further research before claiming its efficacy

          Keywords: Anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidative, ginger, reactive oxygen species.

          “CONCLUSIONS
          The health-promoting perspectives of ginger are well known. It can treat a wide range of diseases via immunonutrition and anti-inflammatory responses. As a result of anti-inflammatory effect of ginger, it can reduce muscle pain after intense physical activity. Likewise, the anticancer potential of ginger is well documented and its functional ingredients like gingerols, shogaol, and paradols are the valuable ingredients which can prevent various cancers, angiogenesis and metastasis, induction of apoptosis, and inhibition of cell-cycle progression. Besides these, it improves cardiovascular disorders, diabetes mellitus, and gastrointestinal health.”

          Anti-cancer effects:
          The mechanism of ginger for acting as chemopreventive spice remains a matter of conflict among researchers. Ingredients like [6]-gingerol,[6]-shogaol, [6]-paradol, and zerumbone in ginger exhibits anti-inflammatory and antitumorigenic activities.[36,37] Ginger and its bioactive molecules are effective in controlling the extent of colorectal, gastric, ovarian, liver, skin, breast, and prostate cancers.[36,38–43]

          Colorectal cancer is more prevalent in vegetarians and ginger could be effective in reducing the extent of this disease. Manju and Nalini studied the efficacy of ginger against 1, 2 dimethylhydrazine (DMH)-induced colon cancer. They observed that ginger supplementation can activate various enzymes such as glutathione peroxidase, glutathione-S-transferase, and glutathione reductase and suppress colon carcinogenesis.[44] Kim et al. administered Zerumbone orally in mouse models and observed inhibition in multiplicity of colonic adenocarcinomas through suppression of colonic inflammation in a dose-dependent manner. The mechanism of that includes inhibition of proliferation, induction of apoptosis, and suppression of NF-κB and heme oxygenase (HO)-1 expression.[41]

          In gastric cancer, the tumor necrosis factor-related inducing apoptosis ligand (TRIALS) plays a major role by promoting apoptosis. Cascades of caspase proteins activate by ginger and its functional components.[45] Ishiguro et al. explained a model for [6]-gingerol and[6]-shogaol action against gastric cancer cells. They observed that [6]-gingerol inhibits TRAIL-induced NF-κB activation by impairing the nuclear translocation of NF-κB, suppresses cIAP1 expression, and increases TRAIL-induced caspase-3/7 activation.[38]

          Yagihashi et al. reported that [6]-gingerol can inhibit both proliferation and invasion of hepatoma cells. Cell cycle arrest and apoptosis induction are the main causes of [6]-gingerol in these cancerous cells.[46] Habib et al. suggested that ginger extract can reduce the elevated expression of NF-κB and TNF-alpha in rats with liver cancer.[29]

          Inhibition of angiogenesis in the mouse skin is the mechanism of ginger for treating of skin cancer.[47 [6]-Gingerol exhibited considerable cytotoxicity by growth inhibition of human epidermoid carcinoma cells mediated via reactive oxygen species (ROS) induced apoptosis.[48]

          The effectiveness of ginger and its biomolecules has been demonstrated for controlling of ovarian cancer. Ginger inhibited NF-κB activation and diminished the secretion of VEGF and IL-8 helping to treat ovarian cancer.[49]

          Zhang et al. showed that zerumbone induced apoptosis in pancreatic carcinoma cells through p53 signal pathway, formation of apoptotic bodies, condensed nuclei, and the increased activity of caspase-3. So, zerumbone is a new therapeutic candidate for controlling of pancreatic cancer.[50] Lee et al. indicated that ginger can cure breast cancer via inhibiting cell adhesion invasion motility.[42 [6]-gingerol can affect prostate cancer models by modulation of proteins involved in apoptosis pathway.[51]

          https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3665023/

          Read it well, you may just begin eating much more Ginger

          • you need to learn how to read science papers and understand what they mean in terms of clinical application.

          • And you need to learn how to read.

            That’s the difference between you and me.
            I care more about practical and experiential application than clinical application. I don’t oppose clinical studies…. but I perform my own test now.

            Scientific medicine is highly over-rated in my view. Many clinical studies don’t rate much better than placebo effects…. and you know it. When I consider the ill side effects of most meds, the net gain is just not there, and the risk/reward ratio leaves much to be desired. This is my experience, you can call me a liar, but you can not refute my experience…. I own it.

          • oh dear!

          • EE

            Lemme reduce the magic of ginger to simple terms for you, so you can understand.

            Ginger reduces inflammation, inflammation leads to cancer.

            There you have it.

          • a bit too complicated for me!

          • Edzard

            Seriously, you have a website here that poo-poos homeopathy. Do you really think that followers of homeopathy care much about clinical trials, FDA approvals and the like ?

            Most homeopaths ended up on their current coarse due to failed allopathic medicine…. don’t ya think ?
            Not many were born homeopaths.

            If ya wanna preach about Clinical Evidence… you’re attracting the wrong crowd. You’ve got a few members of your choir singing along with you…. congratulations.

          • as usual, you are wrong.
            this blog has 2000 – 4000 readers per day.

          • This read is more to my point with regard to evidenced based medicine.

            https://bmcmedicine.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12916-015-0494-1

  • Paul Chahal said: “We know 20 other natural factors can reduce impact of cancer: good diet, sun, moon, beach bathing, walks, dances, community service and so on.”
    I take it that by ‘”impact” he refers to a patient ‘feeling better’ after engaging with the modalities set out – not that the underlying pathological process has been affected.

    Surely we don’t need hard evidence to know that ‘feeling better’ makes patients feel better?
    Some call that ‘placebo effects’! Pal made no claims that his list affected pathology.

  • You can cure cancer with this natural remedy and/or get rid of GERD/Acid Reflux with it. I made ginger tea every day for about 6 months and got rid of the GERD/Acid Reflux I had. It was miraculous actually because I had been hospitalized twice for the GERD. Ginger was by far more effective and cost effective as well – no more hospital visits. My father-in-law has stomach cancer so he is the perfect person to test the ginger on. He currently is on chemo – but it isn’t helping anymore.

    I’m a fan of natural remedies. I cured my husband’s skin cancer on his back in just 3-ish months. He had had surgery to remove one big cancer blob on his back a year ago and the surgeons really took a good chunk of flesh out that took months to heal up (with scars). He had another blob appear that we couldn’t get to right away and it grew to about the size of a fat marble and was hard as a rock. I heard about people using a cream with eggplant on skin cancer to cure it, and then read an article that said that one eggplant had more healing ability for the skin than the entire jar of the eggplant cream for sale on Amazon so I decided to make my own. I juiced 3 small purple eggplants, cooked down the juice on low heat till I had a fraction of the liquid left, let it cool and then put it in a holistic jar of lotion and added some bees wax to make it more solid. After about 3-ish months, my husband’s skin cancer is gone!!! No surgery or hospital bills. The area where the cancer was formed a circle and hollowed itself out gradually and then filled itself in with new skin. It was amazing to see at the different stages. Natural cures to work. Most people are too lazy to cook let alone make a holistic cream or take ginger to heal themselves. I’d tell folks thought that you have nothing to lose by trying them.

    BTW there is nothing wrong with David Guiterrez articles in any way. He is pretty spot on and I am a fan of his. When big tech started censoring him, I knew he was onto something. NaturalNews is a great site. Been reading it for years.

    • @Josie123

      Just out of curiosity… What on earth is a “holistic jar of lotion”? Or a “holistic cream”?

      • I think it’s designed to appeal to people for whom quantum jars are too modern.

      • What I mean by holistic cream is one without these chemicals (https://www.mercola.com/infographics/personal-care-products.htm)

        Most grocery store creams have these chemicals in them, but you can get some holistic creams from people who make their own and sell in small batches, or make some yourself. What’s the point of putting lotions/creams on your skin if it has carcinogens in it?

        • @Josie123

          Holistic definition from dictionary.com:
          adjective
          incorporating the concept of holism, or the idea that the whole is more than merely the sum of its parts, in theory or practice:
          holistic psychology.
          Medicine/Medical. identifying with principles of holism in a system of therapeutics, especially one considered outside the mainstream of scientific medicine, as naturopathy or chiropractic, and often involving nutritional measures: holistic medicine.

          I think you may need to revise your use of the word. You’re using it in a way that makes you look a bit daft. (As also your believing all the anti-medical tripe posted at mercola.com.)

        • Have the holistic creams that you recommend been analysed for content (every naturally occurring substance is also a chemical) and have they been tested for safety?

  • Citing for-profit fake health sites is a sure sign of gullibility and ignorance. The first thing to look for if you want to know if a website is reliable and trustworthy is to see if they are selling supplements, medical gadgets or wonder cures. There are worse, but NaturalNews and Mercola are certainly among the least reliable sources of information about medicine and health. They are run to make their owners rich, not to promote your well being. Any information on these sites is likely to be false and misleading.

    • They are some of the most reliable sites! Love them! But we’ll argue this till we are blue in the face. I’m wasting my time with you.

      • @ Josie123

        I am your fan and I just loved what you said about this Holistic Jar of Lotion. Interesting 😀

        • Hi Pamela!

          Thanks for being a fan. You know, it was a pleasant surprise to find that the eggplant cream I made worked so well. I only half expect it to, but it worked far better than hubby and I expected. No more surgery for skin cancer for him! It was really interesting to see how it worked. A circle formed around the cancer. Then the area gradually hollowed out, and then started filling back in with new flesh. The skin cancer is completely gone (and verified by a dermatologist).

          If you make the eggplant cream for yourself, you can add the juiced and boiled down eggplant into a holistic 8-oz jar/bottle of cream (no preservatives, additives, no GMO ingredients, etc.) along with 10 drops of frankincense essential oil and about 10 drops of myrrh essential oil and mix it up. I tried it without the egglplant juice first (before I learned about it) but it didn’t do anything other than smell nice and make his skin smooth. The eggplant juice was the key ingredient; everything else seems to be just synergystic with it. I started trying it on my face too after seeing the results hubby got with the now gone skin cancer. After using it for a few weeks now, I think my skin tone is more even and any brown spots I had on one of my cheeks are almost gone. I think this cream could potentially be good as a sunscreen if one adds some zinc oxide to it. Worth an experiment soon on the beach.

          Unlike what some others think here – no infinite studies needed, nor any red herrings and tangents down rabbit holes. It either works or it doesn’t – not complicated. No PhDs required. Just consistent usage until the desired result is achieved, and a keen eye for observation. Even a cave man can do it 🙂 People are free to agree or disagree.

          Now you know at least two great websites to go to also! Feel free to pass along the recipe to family/friends. Have a great weekend!

  • I see things in an entirely opposite way to Björn Geir. I look to NaturalNews and Mercola to continue to point out critical deficiencies in Evidence Based Medicine. Some researchers realise the problem with EBM as do many of us who have worked for BigPharma.
    https://www.bmj.com/content/362/bmj.k2799/rr-1

    As some will know there are lots of lawyers worldwide looking at litigation on a massive scale against Drs and drug companies responsible for the millions of unexpected ADRs caused by EBM.
    I think that a few multi 100 billion $ law suits should help make our phoney ‘Evidence Based’ Medicine truly Evidence Based and hold clinicians and companies responsible.

    Edzard’s blog I think helps bring attention to the absolute faith that some clinicians have in EBM and the efforts made to suppress those who try to stop the EBM delusion and SCAM.

    • You’ve clearly understood nothing.

      • I think that you need another stock reply Alan. How about ‘Bizarre’?
        Didn’t know that you were still on this turf Alan. Thought that you might be elsewhere arguing with all your old delightful ‘friends’. I think that it is you who doesn’t understand anything.

    • The letter from the BMJ which you reference makes a lot of very good points, even if it wasn’t properly proofread prior to publication. Many clinical trials are badly designed, or have flaws in their statistical analysis. Not enough doctors have sufficient training in statistics to read scientific papers critically, which is essential before accepting (or rejecting) their conclusions. The reference to Richard Peto’s analysis by astrological sign in the ISIS-2 study is a salutory lesson in the pitfalls of sub-group analysis.

      However, Joseph Mercola is a known fraud, and NaturalNews seems about par with the National Enquirer as regards critical examination of any evidence.

      I doubt if lawsuits will do anything to help evidence-based medicine. They are entirely about money, and inasmuch as they affect medical practice at all it is to make it more defensive which is seldom in the best interests of patients. Civil cases are decided “on the balance of probabilities”, which is a very poor test of truth and greatly influenced by who has the best lawyers.

  • I expect that at this point in time most people would agree with you Dr MK but us sceptics of EBM are growing in number. I have had my experiences and despise the system that props up EBM. I hold out hope that lawyers will what they have to do but at least help facilitate change and root out all of the corruption.

  • Thanks Josie123.

    Here we make a kasaya (tonic paste) of dry ginger, turmeric, Tulsi leaves, pepper and have it with honey for Cold, Cough. I mean home-made remedies are taken but for minor ailments.

    I will try eggplant remedy as mentioned by you for my skin.

  • Josei123

    ” Unlike what some others think here – no infinite studies needed, nor any red herrings and tangents down rabbit holes. It either works or it doesn’t – not complicated. No PhDs required. Just consistent usage until the desired result is achieved, and a keen eye for observation. Even a cave man can do it 🙂 People are free to agree or disagree. ”

    Fantastic way of putting it, I concur with you.

    • this would be correct, if the therapeutic response were a mon-causal event – but it isn’t!
      think of:
      regression towards the mean,
      natural history of the disease,
      placebo-effect, etc. etc.

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