Cancer is characterized by unrestrained proliferation and loss of organization, a process that is intimately linked to, and controlled by, reciprocal signaling between the genetically altered tumor epithelium, the stroma, the components of the basement membrane and inflammatory mediators. Much work has been done to characterize the genetics of cancer cells. In this review, we describe the experiments that have been performed, which point to the significant role of the tissue microenvironment in the developmental regulation of normal and neoplastic cells. Using a variety of model systems, the works of a number of laboratories have converged on a hypothesis where the correction of 1 or 2 signaling defects can revert tumor cells to a normal phenotype, both in vivo and in culture, even when the tumor cells possess multiple genetic and epigenetic lesions. This paradigm has been successfully used to treat acute promyelocytic leukemia, and it remains the task of biomedical researchers to identify additional targets for the reversion of other human malignancies.
Another well know spice in the kitchen cinnamon is also known for it's medicinal properties. While not really an herb I still think it's important to list it in our list of herbs and their uses. Cinnamon actually comes from the inner bark of a tree in the laurel family. It's been used for centuries and was a hot commodity for trade in ancient times. In fact during the first century A.D. in Rome cinnamon was 15 times more expensive than silver. The Chinese were probably the first to use cinnamon as a medicinal herb and used it to treat fevers, and diarrhea. In more modern times cinnamon has been found to stabilize blood sugar levels in diabetics, as it has an insulin kind of effect.