Autophagy is news for Nobel prize and suddenly there is world-focus on this word! This particular phenomenon is not new for us in India. This is well-understood concept in Ayurveda. Ojovisramsa is impairment in distribution of Ojas. Ojas is a immunological factor.

“Ginger-derived compound 6-shogaol against breast cancer cells both in monolayer and in cancer-stem cell-like spheroid culture.”

This post is about Ginger triggered Autophagy!

Ginger truly does top the list of effective natural home remedies.

Being used throughout history by different cultures around the world, ginger harnesses an incredible healing power proven for a host of ailments. The spice is packed with essential nutrients and rejuvenating compounds.

While ginger has been shown to help countless ‘minor’ problems such as an upset stomach, amazingly the health benefits of ginger also include combating cancer more effectively than pharmaceutical cancer drugs.

इमां खनाम्योषधिं वीरुधं बलवत्तमाम् । ऋग्वेद: सूक्तं १०.१४५
“What I dig is very potent herb to increase strength.”

Excuse my faulty translation but there are interesting dots to connect.

1) शारीरिक & प्राणिक बल are necessary to earn पुरुषार्थ (धर्म,अर्थ,काम,मोक्ष) and perform our duties towards the Universe with least errors.

2) In my understanding, when grown in soil nurtured and kindled with Prana(प्राण) by gobar, mutra and butter milk of Desi Gau, Vegetables from कंद वर्ग (the ones that we dig) grows in the epicenter of rich Pranic environment. And this Prana is not Raw Prana like other vegetables and fruits get from the Sun by photosynthesis and external environment. It is digested Prana or churned prana. Churning prana makes its potency manifold. So they are full of प्राणिक बल. Since they are the roots, they have most possible essence of all physical nutrients.

3) कंद वर्ग’s vegetables is main food for ऋषि पञ्चमी. That means, to nurture the ऋषि अंश settled at our subtle senses can realize their full potential with the help of कंद वर्ग.

4) In most cases, you dig them only when they plant completes its life cycle. For example, I dig my turmeric only when all its leaves are dried and gone.

Keep an eye on seasonal कंद वर्ग vegetables and include them in your meals. Of course, nothing worth without Gau mata.

जामवंत के बचन सुहाए। सुनि हनुमंत हृदय अति भाए॥
तब लगि मोहि परिखेहु तुम्ह भाई। सहि दुख कंद मूल फल खाई॥

Now read on about Ginger and Autophagy! 🙂


6-Shogaol Inhibits Breast Cancer Cells and Stem Cell-Like Spheroids by Modulation of Notch Signaling Pathway and Induction of Autophagic Cell Death

Cancer stem cells (CSCs) pose a serious obstacle to cancer therapy as they can be responsible for poor prognosis and tumour relapse. In this study, we have investigated inhibitory activity of the ginger-derived compound 6-shogaol against breast cancer cells both in monolayer and in cancer-stem cell-like spheroid culture. The spheroids were generated from adherent breast cancer cells. 6-shogaol was effective in killing both breast cancer monolayer cells and spheroids at doses that were not toxic to noncancerous cells. The percentages of CD44+CD24/low cells and the secondary sphere content were reduced drastically upon treatment with 6-shogaol confirming its action on CSCs. Treatment with 6-shogaol caused cytoplasmic vacuole formation and cleavage of microtubule associated protein Light Chain3 (LC3) in both monolayer and spheroid culture indicating that it induced autophagy. Kinetic analysis of the LC3 expression and a combination treatment with chloroquine revealed that the autophagic flux instigated cell death in 6-shogaol treated breast cancer cells in contrast to the autophagy inhibitor chloroquine. Furthermore, 6-shogaol-induced cell death got suppressed in the presence of chloroquine and a very low level of apoptosis was exhibited even after prolonged treatment of the compound, suggesting that autophagy is the major mode of cell death induced by 6-shogaol in breast cancer cells. 6-shogaol reduced the expression levels of Cleaved Notch1 and its target proteins Hes1 and Cyclin D1 in spheroids, and the reduction was further pronounced in the presence of a γ-secretase inhibitor. Secondary sphere formation in the presence of the inhibitor was also further reduced by 6-shogaol. Together, these results indicate that the inhibitory action of 6-shogaol on spheroid growth and sustainability is conferred through γ-secretase mediated down-regulation of Notch signaling. The efficacy of 6-shogaol in monolayer and cancer stem cell-like spheroids raise hope for its therapeutic benefit in breast cancer treatment.


Zerumbone, a ginger sesquiterpene, induces apoptosis and autophagy in human hormone-refractory prostate cancers through tubulin binding and crosstalk between endoplasmic reticulum stress and mitochondrial insult.

Zerumbone, a natural monocyclic sesquiterpene, is the main component of the tropical plant Zingiber zerumbet Smith. Zerumbone induced antiproliferative and apoptotic effects against PC-3 and DU-145, two human hormone-refractory prostate cancer (HRPC) cell lines. Zerumbone inhibited microtubule assembly and induced an increase of MPM-2 expression (specific recognition of mitotic proteins). It also caused an increase of phosphorylation of Bcl-2 and Bcl-xL, two key events in tubulin-binding effect, indicating tubulin-binding capability and mitotic arrest to zerumbone action. Furthermore, zerumbone induced several cellular effects distinct from tubulin-binding properties. First, zerumbone significantly increased, while paclitaxel (as a tubulin-binding control) decreased, Mcl-1 protein expression. Second, paclitaxel but not zerumbone induced Cdk1 activity. Third, zerumbone other than paclitaxel induced Cdc25C downregulation. The data suggest that, in addition to targeting tubulin/microtubule, zerumbone may act on other targets for signaling transduction. Zerumbone induced mitochondrial damage and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress as evidenced by the loss of mitochondrial membrane potential and upregulation of GRP-78 and CHOP/GADD153 expression. Zerumbone induced an increase of intracellular Ca(2+) levels, a crosstalk marker between ER stress and mitochondrial insult, associated with the formation of active calpain I fragment. It induced apoptosis through a caspase-dependent way and caused autophagy as evidenced by dramatic LC3-II formation. In summary, the data suggest that zerumbone is a multiple targeting compound that inhibits tubulin assembly and induces a crosstalk between ER stress and mitochondrial insult, leading to apoptosis and autophagy in HRPCs.