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Examining Turmeric's Role in Fighting Cancer

Alternative methods of fighting cancer may be found in natural supplements.
For the past two years, I’ve been on a quest to find the best alternative methods of fighting breast cancer. I’ve done a lot of research and have found many things to add to my daily regimen. I never thought I’d find one of the most important items in my spice cabinet, but I did! The spice I’m speaking of, turmeric, isn’t well-known in most American homes and is more popular in Middle Eastern countries.  

As with the addition of any supplement, I would encourage you to talk with your medical professional. Everyone is different, and what works for one person may not necessarily work for another. 

What is turmeric? Turmeric is a perennial plant native to Southeast Asia, China and India. The plant has large, oblong leaves and yellow funnel-shaped flowers. Underneath the plant, a thick yellowish orange rhizome is present. When the rhizome is dried and crushed into a powder, the beautiful golden spice, turmeric, is harvested. This coveted spice is used by cooks all over the world to add a warm flavor and color to foods. Turmeric has also been used for centuries in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicines to treat inflammation and cure infections. Curcumin is the yellow pigment extracted from turmeric. It is one of three known curcuminoids present in turmeric. Curcumin has demonstrated incredible anticancer benefits. In countries where people eat turmeric daily, research has shown that there are lower rates of certain types of cancer. Ingesting levels of about 100 to 200 mg a day over long periods of time seem to work best in most cases.

In an article by Cancer Research UK it was said that studies on cancer cells have shown “…that curcumin does have anticancer effects. It seems to be able to kill cancer cells and prevent more from growing. It has the best effects on breast cancer, bowel cancer, stomach cancer and skin cancer cells.”

Curcumin has been extensively researched for many years and although promising results have been obtained from laboratory trials, it is still not seen as a widely prescribed cancer therapy. Drug companies don’t patent natural substances and with no potential for profits, they have good reason not to do so. Even though curcumin and the benefits aren’t widely known, there are very important reasons to consider using the spice turmeric. It can be used in cooking various recipes or ingested by taking supplements in capsule form. I happen to enjoy doing both.

Talk about this article with other patients, caregivers, and advocates in the Breast Cancer CURE discussion group.
Bonnie Annis is a breast cancer survivor, diagnosed in 2014 with stage 2b invasive ductal carcinoma with metastasis to the lymph nodes. She is an avid photographer, freelance writer/blogger, wife, mother and grandmother.
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