Sip Your Way to Safety: Microwaved Red Ginseng May Stop Lung Cancer Spread

Cancer is a terrifying disease, primarily because unlike other diseases, cancer cells can spread, grow, and take over your body. In the battle against cancer metastasis, a group of South Korean researchers may have discovered an effective method to suppress lung cancer with the help of a popular root: red ginseng.

The Power of Red Ginseng

Categorized among the three varieties of ginseng – fresh, white, and red – this particular root must grow for a minimum of five years before being used. Red ginseng has been used for centuries in traditional Korean medicine for its strong anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, and anti-cancer properties, primarily consumed as a tea, extract, or supplement.

Microwaved Red Ginseng

Researchers at The Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) discovered that two molecules in red ginseng, Rk1 and Rg5, can block proteins that cause the spread of lung cancer when processed using microwave technology. These active molecules from red ginseng can suppress lung cancer cells from causing tumors in other parts of the body, leading to the possibility that it could be effective on cancers besides lung cancer as well.

In previous studies, the same researchers found that microwaved red ginseng can combat the spread of prostate, cervical, and skin cancers, while providing protection against drug-related kidney damage.

Why Microwaving Matters

According to the research, microwaving red ginseng increases the concentration of the metastasis-fighting active molecules, Rk1 and Rg5, more than 20 times when compared to steaming or drying the root. Once supercharged in the microwave, these compounds can block proteins that act as a signaling beacon for cancer, effectively shutting off the signal that tells mutated cells to spread.

This is not the first time researchers have found positive effects from microwaving. In 2012, the University of Newcastle in Australia found that microwaving green tea made it healthier, making it easier for your body to absorb and benefit from the health-giving components.

Future of Red Ginseng and Cancer

The South Korean researchers believe that their results could lead to the development of new cancer-fighting drugs. Dr. Jungyeob Ham stated, “Although components of red ginseng previously have been shown to kill cancer cells, this study proved that these components of red ginseng have other anti-cancer effects and can inhibit lung cancer metastasis. This provides scientific evidence that may lead to the future development of anti-cancer drugs derived from natural products.”

While researchers continue to investigate the full potential of red ginseng as a cancer-fighting remedy, you can still enjoy a cup of red ginseng tea, made even more beneficial by microwaving it.