Ginger has a component in it that is called gingerol. It is believed that the gingerol in ginger is the component that has the ability to fight cancer.
One research article (1) looked into the use of gingerol in the treatment of cancer. They found that gingerol has anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory abilities. It noted that, while it is known that gingerol kills cancer cells, the mechanism of action of gingerol on cancer cells has not yet been found.
The article went on to say that gingerol inhibits leukotriene A(4) hydrolase (LTA(4)H) and that this may be one of the mechanisms of action behind the effectiveness of gingerol against cancer cells. As this was an in vitro study, more research needs to be done in order to see if there are other mechanisms of action by which gingerol kills cancer cells besides blocking LTA(4)H in human trials.
Source: 1.Jeong CH, et al. -Gingerol suppresses colon cancer growth by targeting leukotriene A4 hydrolase. Cancer Res. 2009 Jul 1;69(13):5584-91.
Dr. Adem Gunes