Turmeric Fights Cancer and Many Other Diseases
Turmeric is a spice grown in India and other tropical regions of Asia. It has a long history of use in herbal remedies, particularly in China, India, and Indonesia.
The root and rootstock, or rhizome, of the plant contain curcumin, which is considered to be the active ingredient. Curcumin is not related to cumin, which is a spice made from the seeds of a different plant.
Turmeric is a common food flavoring and coloring in Asian cooking. Animal and laboratory studies have found that curcumin, an antioxidant that is an active ingredient in turmeric, demonstrated some anti-cancer effects in the lab.Several types of cancer cells are inhibited by curcumin in the laboratory, and curcumin slows the growth and spread of some cancers in some animal studies. Clinical trials are underway to find out if it can help humans as well.
Curcumin is being studied to find out whether it helps other diseases such as arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, and stomach ulcers. It is also being studied to see
whether it can help lower “bad cholesterol” and improve outcome in kidney transplants. A few early studies have been done in humans.
How is it Used
Some scientists believe turmeric may prevent and slow the growth of a number of types of cancer, particularly tumors of the esophagus, mouth, intestines, stomach, breast, and skin.
Turmeric is promoted mainly as an anti-inflammatory herbal remedy and is said to produce fewer side effects than commonly used pain relievers. Some doctors prescribe turmeric to relieve inflammation caused by arthritis, muscle sprains, swelling, and pain caused by injuries or surgical incisions. It is also promoted as a treatment for rheumatism and as an antiseptic for cleaning wounds. Some doctors claim turmeric interferes with the actions of some viruses, including hepatitis and HIV.
There has also been claims that turmeric protects against liver diseases, stimulates the gallbladder and circulatory systems, reduces cholesterol levels, dissolves blood clots, helps stop external and internal bleeding, and relieves painful menstruation and angina (chest pains that often occur with heart disease). It is also used as a remedy for digestive problems such as irritable bowel syndrome, colitis, Crohn’s disease, and illnesses caused by toxins from parasites and bacteria.
Turmeric root is on the Commission E (Germany’s regulatory agency for herbs) list of approved herbs, used for an upset stomach and loss of appetite. It is available in powdered form as a spice in most grocery stores. It can also be made into a tea or purchased as a tincture, capsule, or tablet, and is sometimes sold in combination formulas with other herbs. Ointments or pastes made from turmeric can be applied to the skin. Although there is no standardized dose for turmeric, some practitioners recommend taking a teaspoon of the powdered spice with each meal.
The use of turmeric was described in traditional Chinese and Indian medicine as early as the seventh century AD. In various Asian folk medicine traditions,
turmeric has been used to treat a long list of conditions, including diarrhea, fever, bronchitis, colds, parasitic worms, leprosy, and bladder and kidney inflammations.
In India and Malaysia, there is a custom of making turmeric paste to apply directly onto the skin, a practice now under study for the possibility that it may prevent skin cancer. The bright red forehead mark worn by some Hindu women is sometimes created by mixing turmeric with lime juice.
Curcumin, an active ingredient in turmeric, is an antioxidant. Antioxidants are compounds often found in plants that can protect the body’s cells from damage caused by activated molecules known as free radicals. Laboratory studies have also shown that curcumin interferes with several important molecular pathways involved in cancer development, growth, and spread.
Further clinical trials are going on to find out what role turmeric and curcumin may play in the prevention or treatment of cancer.
Curcumin is being studied to see whether it helps other diseases as well. One small study of curcumin and another antioxidant called quercetin was done in adults who had kidney transplants. Those who took the combination in high dosages had fewer transplant rejections than those who received lower doses or placebo.
If curcumin can really help prevent heart disease, cancer and Alzheimer’s well then this would have obvious benefits for longevity. For this reason, it has become very popular as an anti-aging supplement. Given that oxidation and inflammation are believed to play a role in ageing, curcumin may have effects that go way beyond just prevention of disease.
Source: American Cancer Society
Source: Organic Health