Do Herbs Help Reduce Cancer Pain?

By Donovan Govan. [GFDL ( or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (]

That tasty Sunday roast could hold the secret to helping fight the pain of cancer and other diseases, according to researchers it’s the herbs on the roast and not the actual meat or veggies, which are the wonder drugs of nature.

Herbs and Pain Relief

Thyme and rosemary, traditional ingredients to add a bit of spice to roasts, stuffing and roasted potatoes, act as a sort of natural painkillers, according to a recent scientific research study. These herbs both contain key chemical compounds which act as an analgesic, or pain killer, for those suffering with cancer, tumors and other diseases.

The compounds in the herbs are called diterpenoids and they occur naturally in a handful of different plants, fungi and other organisms. There are two types of diterpenoids, carnosol and carnosic acid, both of which are extremely effective.

These chemicals inhibit or stop inflammation in the body, according to the results of a study performed by German and Italian scientists for the specialist British Journal of Pharmacology.

The good news is that the chemicals occur naturally in both thyme and rosemary, two common herbs that are used in a variety of different recipes and cooking to provide a bit of extra flavor to foods.

It is yet another boost for the superfood claims of rosemary, in particular, as in March, the herb was discovered to have a common link in an Italian village where a large portion of residents live to be 100 years old.

Tests done on human cells and in mice found the diterpenoids in rosemary and thyme block the enzymes in the body that produce inflammation and pain associated with it.

Conclusion to the Study

The enzymes which are prevalent in people suffering from cancer and tumors. Incorporating herbs like rosemary and thyme into the diet and medicines used to treat cancer could be an extremely beneficial method of relieving pain, said researcher Dr. Guiseppe Bifulco of Italy’s Salerno University.
He said in closing, “Two key enzymes of inflammation are primary targets of carnosol and carnosic acid which are bioactive ingredients of herbs that are used as spices-namely sage and rosemary

Lastly, he added, “Our study provides comprehensive insights into their anti-inflammatory mechanism.”


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