Kencur, a ginger from Southeast Asia, has been shown to be effective against the proliferation of cancer cells in animal tests. However, these results remain very preliminary.
Kencur, also known as aromatic ginger, camphor galangal is a plant native to South Asia. You probably know it as an aromatic spice that adds flavor to your dishes. But this plant would also be adorned with health virtues.
An effect demonstrated in animal tests
Researchers from Osaka Metropolitan University have found promising results that Kencur, a tropical herb in the ginger family native to Southeast Asia, has anti-cancer effects.
Led by Associate Professor Akiko Kojima of the Graduate School of Human Life and Ecology, researchers demonstrated that Kencur extract and its main active component, ethyl p-methoxycinnamate (EMC), significantly suppressed growth cancer cells at the cellular level and in animal testing.
Action on a cancer cell proliferation factor
While previous studies of EMC indicated its anticancer potential by decreasing the expression of mitochondrial transcription factor A (TFAM), which is associated with cancer cell proliferation, the exact mechanism remained unclear until now.
“The results of this study confirm the anticancer effects of Kencur extract and its main active ingredient, EMC. It is strongly expected that TFAM will become a new marker of anti-cancer effects in the future as research advances in related areas.“, Professor Kojima said.
These results are however very preliminary and will have to be confirmed in animals before they can be tested in humans.