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Saturday, January 25, 2020

Could this Tiny Little Herb be a Game-Changer in the Cancer Fight?

Sometimes when we're in the trenches fighting cancer, struggling with the emotional and physical weariness, it's very easy to feel all alone.

And to forget that their are angels working diligently in their labs around the world to find new treatments that will turn the tide on this cancer fight.  Their work continues, often in the shadows, to investigate and track down leads that give hope to each and every cancer fighter.

Some of those angels work at the Kimmel Cancer Center in Philadelphia. Their team in the cancer center has focused their work on a traditional  herbal medicine called Nigella Sativa.

They have found that this ancient herb can actually kill Pancreatic Cancer cells... in controlled studies... in their lab.

Can I get a shout out?!!

Very exciting news on the pancreatic cancer front.  But... you knew there would be a But right?!

But... the research is still so very preliminary.  The work is yet to be replicated in a large human study.

Yet, this is a breakthrough worthy of sharing.  And worthy of watching.

So what, exactly, is Nigella Sativa?  You might be surprised to find it sitting in your spice rack already.

You may know it by one of its more common names: 

Black Seed
Black Cumin
Black Caraway
Small Fennel

Nigella Sativa is actually an annual flowering plant found in mostly in Asia.  

The flowers are small, usually a pale blue and white, growing up to 12 inches tall, producing a fruit with seeds that are used to flavor many cuisines.

In addition to its culinary uses, the Nigella Sativa's seeds are also know for their medicinal properties.  Through the ages, the black cumin seeds, or Black Seed Oil, have been used in various traditional herbal remedies for a wide range of ailments such as respiratory disorders, headache and back pain, diabetes, infection, hypertension and digestive tract afflictions.

Among the wide range of illnesses treated with Nigella sativa there were some early studies showing the black seeds had some anti-cancer properties in both prostate and colon cancers.  Dr. Hwyda Arafat led her team at the Kimmel Cancer Center in using the active ingredient in the black seed extract, called Thymoquinone, to treat a human pancreatic cancer cell line in the lab.

The results were nothing short of amazing.  The team found that adding thymoquinone killed approximately 80% of the cancer cells.  Their work demonstrated that the thymoquinone triggered programmed cell death in the pancreatic cancer cells.

While the Kimmel Cancer Center has still not been able to pursue a human trial, there has been a small study done at the Bezmialem Vakif University in Turkey with 20 pancreatic cancer patients...

The study used the nigella sativa seed and pure honey in conjunction with chemotherapy and radiation and was conducted by a team of 8 doctors in the Department of Oncology. The results were reported in the Journal of Nutritional Health and Food Engineering.  

Again, news worth sharing!

The results from their trial revealed that chemotherapy supported by Nigella Sativa and pure honey consumption increased the survival time when used before and during treatment of pancreatic cancer patients. 

And that is a Huge win for the pancreatic cancer world!  Still not the cure we are fighting for, but it is a breakthrough for more time.  

More time to spend with family... More time to fulfill those dreams... More time to say I love you...

And more time to find the Cure!

Graced to Hope this night,

P.S. Always, always check with your oncology team before adding or changing your diet and/or supplements.  Nigella sativa may be a game-changer in the cancer fight, but it also comes with its fair share of warnings... when used in high doses, the black seed oil can become toxic.  Never try to dose yourself with herbal remedies without the care and guidance of a qualified doctor... 

My Love, Always!

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