Peaceful Mountain Acupuncture

A weekly blog about Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine.

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Location: Rio Rancho, New Mexico, United States

This blog is going to be, primarily a venue for me to express my thoughts about Life and the complexities of the physical plane. My story is simple, I am an easy going individual and a moderate recluse. I am comfortable walking or sitting, talking or being silent. I am always seeking new friends and acquaintenances. I tend to look deeply and question myself about the lesson behind the experience. If you like what you read, please leave me a note, if you have a blog please leave me a link so I can read your writing as well. Thanks

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Ginger, as you have never thought about it before

A few weeks ago my Mom was telling me about an article she read; I believe it was in Newsweek. Anyway it was "Health from A-Z." I was expecting her to mention acupuncture, or Chinese Herbal medicine. She surprised me, as she is known for doing.
N is for nutrient. The one that she was telling me about is Ginger, or what we call Sheng Jiang. Settles the stomach, warms the center. Is also gaining recognition for its effectiveness in helping stop chemotherapy induced nausea. That was all well and good, but not surprising.

What surprised me was when she told me it is being tested for treating ovarian cancer. I was very surprised to learn that it is effective in killing ovarian cancer cells.

I had to read up on that. Here is a quote from the article linked above: "In laboratory studies, researchers found ginger caused ovarian cancer cells to die. Further, the way in which the cells died suggests ginger may avoid the problem common in ovarian cancer of cells becoming resistant to standard treatments."

Lets take a second to think this through. Then I will go off on my tangent... as usual.
If one could use a natural herbal product to kill cancer, why are we not hearing about this? Well to be sure, it has to be investigated more thoroughly. That is obvious and essential.

The type of ginger they use is a powdered form, not the sheng jiang form, but the Gan Jiang form. In TCM's perspective it is spicy and hot. It "Warms the Spleen and Stomach and dispels Cold." It also dispels Internal Cold.

TCM has many different ways of looking at and conceptualizing cancer. Two that resonates with me are "Lingering Pathogens, and Latent Heat" but what is interesting here is that I would see this as using Fire to fight Fire. As a former fire-fighter I can see the validity of that approach. If you can burn out the fuel before it spreads you can actually contain the fire.

Of course always remember that when I use the term "fire" in this context I do not mean the same as what is burning the logs in your fireplace. In the same way as when I mention organs "I do not mean the bio-medical physical-substrate organ. I mean the energy that "runs" the organ. Or in this example the energetics of this dis-ease that manifest as, or have the function of fire. "It is the same thing, only completely different."

So back to the article. If ginger causes the cancer cells to die and in such a way that they may not become resistant to other treatments it could hold a huge potential.

What I am wondering is: is there a way that this could be applied directly. Through laproscopy could a GYN surgeon directly apply ginger as a paste to the cancerous cells on a woman's ovaries? I know about liability, but look at it this way, if a woman is being faced with death, or chemotherapy that will honestly make her wish she was dead at times; would it not make sense to try this. There are organic farmers, get the ginger, dry it out while the lawyers are finessing release of liability forms, then apply it directly to the cells.

What can happen? Well if it is as hot as TCM sees it she may be uncomfortable, that is true and maybe it will be too hot, maybe not. They can flush it out if it is too hot. If not, well maybe it will stop the cancer. Maybe it will not. But if it does not she still has the same choices as before.


Think about that. I do not know the statistics right off, but I do know that ovarian cancer is a deadly serious condition. Don't we owe it to all the women in our lives to try something like this? If it does not work, there would be no damage done. TCM has used ginger for thousands of years. Internally and externally.

The statistics are easy, the same article says: "More than 20,000 women are expected to be diagnosed with ovarian cancer this year, and 15,000 will die from the disease, according to the American Cancer Society. For information about ovarian cancer, go to or call the U-M Cancer AnswerLine at 800-865-1125."

I think this needs to be explored, and not discarded unless it proves that it does not work. But the study from the Unversity of Michigan seems to have promise


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