US scientists believe that ginger may help to fight ovarian cancer.
University of Michigan researchers announced at the American Association of Cancer Research that tests show ginger kills cancer cells. The study also found that the spice had the added benefit of stopping the cells from becoming resistant to treatment.
Ginger is already known to ease nausea and control inflammation, but the findings by the US team offer cancer patients new hope. Researchers used ginger powder, similar to that sold in shops, which they dissolved in a solution and applied to ovarian cancer cells. They found it caused the cells to die in all the tests done.
Report author Rebecca Liu said: "Most ovarian cancer patients develop recurrent disease that eventually becomes resistant to standard chemotherapy, which is associated with apoptosis.
"If ginger can cause autophagic cell death in addition to apoptosis, it may circumvent resistance to conventional chemotherapy."
The researchers warned the results were very preliminary and they plan to test whether they can obtain similar results in animal studies. But they added the appeal of ginger was that it would have virtually no side-effects and would be easy to administer as a capsule.