So if you’ve been following my Instagram, you’ll know that on Saturday (on my birthday no less), I was discharged from hospital after having two more tumours removed from my bladder. For the fourth time, I’ve been released back into the wild as someone with the capacity to develop a potentially fatal disease at any given moment. It’s a terrifying cross to bear. The only thing right now that is giving me any comfort is the fact that I am absolutely committed to giving my body everything it needs to ensure I stay in perfect health for the rest of my life.
Right back at the start of my cancer journey I read a book by Ann Cameron called Curing Cancer with Carrots. Ann enlisted the help of Ralph Cole, who saw his cancer completely disappear after drinking 5 cups of carrot juice each day. After 6 weeks of adding carrot juice to her diet and doing nothing else, Ann’s tumours started to shrink. Within four months, two inoperable tumours that were growing between Ann’s lungs had disappeared and she was free from any signs of cancer.
In her wonderful book (that’s really a complete guide to dealing with a cancer diagnosis), Ann attributes the effectiveness of carrot juice against cancer to two compounds found in carrots, luteolin (a flavenoid with the potential for cancer prevention) and falcarinol (a natural pesticide that has been confirmed to prevent cancer by Danish researchers). They found feeding rats falcarinol reduced their tumours by 1/3. Carrots are also high in other carotenoids such as lycopene, beta-carotene and lutein, which act as antioxidants with powerful cancer fighting properties.
Luckily carrots are in season, so the organic market that makes a fortune out of me every time the tumours return has them for around $3.50kg ($1.85lb). That’s still relatively expensive compared to conventional, which are usually around $2 per kg. If the organic market doesn’t have them, I try to get carrots from Kim Young and Sons. These carrots are grown in Ohakune, the carrot capital New Zealand. They are not organic, but they are grown in the rich, fertile, volcanic soil at the base of Mt Ruapehu, using natural pest control. They fed with snow melt water and kept in cold ground storage. If you can’t afford organic carrots, just do the best you can. Don’t avoid conventional produce just because it’s not organic.
As well as falcarinol and luteolin, carrots are loaded with nutrients to help with healing and wellness. In this scientific article, the abstract states:
Carrot is a root vegetable with carotenoids, flavonoids, polyacetylenes, vitamins, and minerals, all of which possess numerous nutritional and health benefits. Besides lending truth to the old adage that carrots are good for eyes, carotenoids, polyphenols and vitamins present in carrot act as antioxidants, anticarcinogens and immunoenhancers. Anti-diabetic, cholesterol and cardiovascular disease lowering, anti-hypertensive, hepatoprotective, renoprotective and wound healing benefits of carrot have also been reported. The cardio- and hepatoprotective, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic effects of carrot seed extracts are also noteworthy.
To give this juice an extra healing kick, I also picked up some fresh turmeric and ginger from the organic market as well. Turmeric is a popular spice in south-east Asian cuisine, a continent with a low rate of most cancers. Turmeric has been used in both Indian and Chinese medicine for centuries, with good reason. In this scientific article the authors conclude:
Overall, our review shows that curcumin [the active ingredient in turmeric] can kill a wide variety of tumor cell types through diverse mechanisms. Because of numerous mechanisms of cell death employed by curcumin, it is possible that cells may not develop resistance to curcumin-induced cell death. Furthermore, its ability to kill tumor cells and not normal cells makes curcumin an attractive candidate for drug development. Although numerous animal studies and clinical trials have been done, additional studies are needed to gain the full benefit from curcumin.
Ginger is a rhizome (subterranean stem) that has been in use medicinally for centuries. Ginger comes from the Zingiberaceae family which includes Turmeric, Cardamon and Galangal (or Thai Ginger). The active properties such as gingerol (which give ginger it’s ‘zing’) are what give ginger it’s anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, anti-cancer and antioxidant effects.
6-Gingerol has been found to possess anticancer activities via its effect on a variety of biological pathways involved in apoptosis [programmed cell death], cell cycle regulation, cytotoxic activity, and inhibition of angiogenesis.
And this one:
The cancer preventive activities of ginger are supposed to be mainly due to free radical scavenging, antioxidant pathways, alteration of gene expressions, and induction of apoptosis [programmed cell death], all of which contribute towards decrease in tumor initiation, promotion, and progression.
Ginger adds a delicious zing when used fresh and call also be consumed dried in a powdered form, as an oil, juiced or blended in smoothies.
If you try this juice, please tag me on Instagram @wellnesswithplants and use the hashtag #wellnesswithplants – I’d love to see your photos!
- 2 kg (4 lbs) carrots (you can halve this if you are not juicing for cancer prevention)
- Small knob ginger (as much as you can handle)
- Small knob turmeric (as much as you can handle)
- Juice all ingredients in a slow, masticating juicer.