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Prevention Strategy 16 - Tumeric: So much more than a spice

There are very few natural remedies on which oncologists agree, but the positive effect of Tumeric in combatting various cancers is widely accepted. When I presented my list of supplements to my oncology pharmacist at Dana Farber in Boston, her reaction to my daily supplementation of Tumeric was one of overwhelming approval. Western science confirms that Turmeric is a first rate anti-inflammatory herb, and its impact on cancer patients is extremely favorable.


Turmeric is a spice that has a peppery, warm, and bitter flavor, and a mild fragrance slightly reminiscent of orange and ginger. While it is best known as one of the ingredients used to make curry, it also gives ballpark mustard its bright yellow color. Tumeric is in the same family of spices as ginger and cardamom.


People whose diets are rich in Turmeric are found to have lower rates of breast, prostate, lung and colon cancers. Researchers at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston suggest that curcumin, an active component in Turmeric, may also help prevent the spread of breast cancer. In studies with lab mice, researchers found that curcumin helped stop the metastasis of breast cancer cells to the lungs and bones. Turmeric has also been used in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine for thousands of years to fight inflammation and joint pain.


When Turmeric and black pepper are combined, they make a potent anti-cancer combination. Several studies have found that a compound in black pepper called piperine makes the cancer-fighting curcumin in Turmeric as much as 1,000 times more effective. In a study at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center that was published in the Breast Cancer Research and Treatment Journal, researchers found that curcumin and piperine, when combined, were able to target cancer stem cells, the original cells in a tumor that the larger tumor "stems" from.


There are 20 known health benefits of Tumeric. This website lists all 20:

I take a Turmeric supplement with piperine 500mg twice a day and have done so since my diagnosis. In addition to its cancer-fighting properties, Tumeric is noted to act as a natural antiseptic and antibacterial agent, a natural liver detoxifier, to prevent and slow the progression of Alzheimer's, and to aid in fat metabolism and thus assist with weight control. Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, it’s a natural treatment for arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, and boosts the effects of the chemo drug paclitaxel, a drug widely used to treat breast cancer. Studies are underway to study the positive effect Tumeric has been shown to have on Cystic Fibrosis patients, and is being evaluated for potential use as an addition to current treatment protocols.



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