Buckwheat Honey as Anticancer:
For many years, the standard treatments for cancer have been surgery, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy, the latter two being themselves toxic to other viable cells of the body.19, 20 Because of the serious side effects of radio- and chemotherapy, there have been many studies investigating the use of natural products for cancer prevention and treatment. Of these natural products, honey has been widely researched and been shown to have antimutagenic54 and antitumor effects.19, 55, 56 In the study by Wang et al., (2002),54 investigating the antimutagenic effect of honeys from seven different floral sources, buckwheat honey displayed the greatest inhibition of Trp-p-1 mutagenicity.54 Trp-p-1 is a commonly encountered food mutagen.
The mechanism of the anticancer activity of honey as a chemo-preventative and therapeutic agent is still being elucidated, but there are reports supporting induction of apoptosis (programed cell death), inhibition of cell proliferation, and cell cycle arrest.19, 20 Honey has also been shown to work synergistically with present-day chemotherapeutic drugs. For example, honey potentiates the antitumor activity of 5-fluorouracil and cyclophosphamide.20 Honey has shown anticancer activity against multiple different cancer types, including breast, colorectal, renal, prostate, endometrial, cervical, and oral cancer.20 There is now a sizable body of evidence that honey is a natural immune booster, natural anti-inflammatory agent, natural antimicrobial agent, natural cancer "vaccine," and natural promoter for healing chronic ulcers and wounds, which are all some of the risk factors for cancer development.19 Buckwheat honey has shown strong therapeutic potential in a number of these areas and more work is ongoing investigating buckwheat honey for the prevention and treatment of cancer.