Health Column: Can Turmeric Cure Cancer?

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Millions of Americans are diagnosed with cancer every year and scientists are struggling to find a cure. Yet, unbeknownst to many is an ancient Indian spice that has been scientifically proven to possess anti-cancer properties.

Turmeric, also known as Indian saffron has been used throughout not only Indian, but Asian culture for thousands of years. It belongs to the ginger root family and is known for its vibrant orange color. Recently, scientists began noticing a trend as they analyzed not only conventional medicine but herbal remedies used for various health ailments. They discovered that one of the key properties of the spice is that it contains curcumin, which has proven antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.

“Curcumin, actually killed precancerous cells in 25 individuals who participated in a series of clinical trials,” reported one study. 

Research from clinical trials also found that cancer rates were far lower among individuals in countries where Turmeric was a main spice incorporated into traditional dishes. Reports have also indicated that the anti-inflammatory benefits of curcumin may be more effective than those of Tylenol or Aspirin. 

Curcumin has been found to be absorbed in the colon lining not the bloodstream making it particularly effective in treating and preventing various types of colon cancer, which has been found to be one of the most deadly forms of cancer because it’s often misdiagnosed. Many cancer patients have even reported that taking daily turmeric pills eases the harsh side effects of chemotherapy such as vomiting and nausea.

The multitude of health benefits of turmeric has caught the attention of physicians and Oncologists across the world. However, turmeric should not just be taken for cancer prevention, but for overall health and wellness. There are many ways to consume Turmeric such as in the fresh form of the root, in powdered form, or in pill form. 

When buying supplements of turmeric, always check for black pepper within the ingredients: this helps the turmeric absorb more effectively and allows the body to break down and utilize curcumin. The supplement should also contain at least 90% curcumin in order to be effective.

So, can turmeric cure cancer?

More clinical trials need to be conducted and there is not yet any conclusive evidence that it can cure cancer. However, data generated thus far has demonstrated that turmeric can stop the growth of precancerous cells in various test subjects and does present numerous health benefits. Therefore, try incorporating turmeric into your diet several times a week—or even not daily—and see if it can help or even heal your body. You may be amazed what a little root can do.

Photo courtesy of Loody’s Kitchen

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