Here’s an article from a longtime columnist and friend of elephant, the famous Dr. John Douillard.
Who knew how powerful this common spice really is? Quick, run over to your spice cabinet and get healthy now.
For more great articles by Dr. John Douillard, check out LifeSpa. ~ Lindsey Block
Fighting Cancer with Ayurveda.
For thousands of years in Ayurveda a common cooking spice has not only helped protect against cancer, it also: decreases physical pain and liver ailments; increases mental clarity, intestinal health and bile flow, fat metabolism and lowers cholesterol.
Today, studies have backed up these claims! Yes, I realize this may sound too good to be true, but scientists are just as amazed as I am, as the research on turmeric keeps pouring in.
In one study, curcumin, the extract of turmeric, actually suppressed tumor growth better than a standard chemotherapy drug for colon cancer (2). And there are numerous studies showing curcumin’s ability to match chemotherapy drugs for breast cancer and leukemia (3). In studies for cancers of the breast, cervix, colon, stomach, liver, blood, skin, ovaries, pancreas and prostate, the extract of turmeric has shown impressive anti-cancer activity in all three stages of cancer development (4).
There are just so many studies on the effectiveness of turmeric on cancer that I couldn’t begin to list them all. One Indian research team wrote, “Curcumin has emerged as one of the most powerful chemopreventive and anti cancer agents.” Recently, in the Annals of Internal Medicine, a very large study revealed that many cancers are not detected during a routine colonoscopy. What was once an insurance plan to screen for colon cancer offering a 90% reduction in the risk of death, now can only afford a 60-70% mortality risk reduction (1). This means that while we should still use colonoscopies as a screening tool – we have to take action to prevent the risk of colon cancer in other ways as well.
Protection From Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Stroke
As I mentioned, turmeric doesn’t stop at helping us fight cancer – it seems to be emerging as the new panacea. One research team wrote, “Curcumin appears to possess all the desirable features of a desk-designed, multi-purpose drug.” Perhaps, one of our biggest concerns as we age is to somehow protect us from the ravages of Alzheimers Disease. Turmeric has at least 10 neuroprotective actions that are useful in the prevention or treatment of age related neuro-degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and stroke (5). As a fat soluble substance turmeric has an affinity for chelating (removing) fat soluble toxins and heavy metals like lead and aluminum out of the deep tissues. Because the brain is predominately fatty tissue, fat soluble toxins accumulate in the brain and cause damage. Turmeric crosses the blood brain barrier where it removes neuro toxins in the brain and boosts natural antioxidants like glutathione and superoxide dismutase that are key in the prevention of disease. It also removes beta amyloid plaque in the brain, which is the leading cause of Alzheimer’s disease(6). Decrease Inflammation and Digestive Problems If I had to highlight only one other property of turmeric – in addition to its anti viral, anti bacterial, anti fungal and anti oxidant properties – I would have to bring your attention to its anti inflammatory properties. Inflammation starts in the gut because it is triggered by the poor assimilation of beneficial nutrients and the inability of the gut to properly break down and dispose of waste. The most common cause of this is stress. Stress receptors line the gut and when we are under lots of stress, it impacts the gut by causing the intestinal mucus membranes to produce excessive reactive mucus. This reactive mucus compromises absorption and detoxification pathways in the gut, leading to congestion in the body’s lymphatic system which initiates the inflammatory process. Turmeric heals and repairs the gut, thins the mucus and increases the flow of bile. Bile is responsible for breaking down toxic cancer causing chemical fats as well as nutritional fats that we need. Bile is our body’s primary immune response in the gut to emulsify toxic chemicals and other fat soluble toxins that you may have ingested. These include heavy metals, parasites, pesticides, candida, fungi and more.
Increase Absorption of Turmeric by 2000%
One of the problems with turmeric is that it is fat soluble, which makes it more difficult to absorb. That is why many of the studies have been done on curcumin, which is the extract of turmeric and easier to absorb. So for the past ten years much research has gone into boosting the absorption of turmeric with some good success. The problem I see with turmeric extracts and so-called cutting edge extracts of extracts is that they become something different. In nature they do not exist and are never ingested in such concentrated doses. Such concentrations can act more like drugs and over time have side effects that we may not identify for another 10 years. These extracts may be extremely useful for the treatment of a cancer and disease but such potencies may not be ideal for everyday use. What is interesting is that in India, curry powder is loaded with turmeric, peppers and spices. Turmeric is added to many dishes in India, and during the cooking process the turmeric is naturally extracted and concentrated. Boiling and cooking helps naturally break down the turmeric in such a way that the absorption of medicinal grade constituents like curcumin are greatly enhanced. In 1998 researchers at St. John’s Medical College, Bangalore, India found that turmeric taken with black pepper – a common ingredient in curry- increased the absorption of turmeric by an astonishing 2000%, with no adverse effects!
Eating Turmeric Prevents Cancer
The average Indian eats about 2-2.5 grams of turmeric a day – that’s about 4-6 capsules of Turmeric Plus (a formula of Turmeric and black pepper) – and Indians on average do that everyday of their lives. Interestingly, India has among the lowest rates in the world of prostate, breast, colon and lung cancer. Epidemiologically, scientists are linking their increased intake of dietary turmeric to their low cancer risk. In another study, curry eaters had better cognitive function than non curry eaters, indicating that increasing our dietary intake of turmeric will deliver the clinical benefits of turmeric. How to Add the Benefits of Turmeric Into Your Life * You don’t have to eat curry all the time! Try our Organic Turmeric Spice Mix in your favourite dishes – it blends well with many flavors such as Mexican, Thai, Indian, Cajun, etc. Your meal will become a natural medicine that has been time tested, safe and effective for thousands of years. Just sautee or cook it with stir fries, pastas, grains, beans, vegetables, soups and stews. Add a dash to chai tea, vegetable juices, and more. * Take 4-6 capsules every day of Turmeric Plus (if you do not add it to your food). Making these two spices a way of life might just save your life!
References: 1. Ann Intern Med. 2009 Jan 6;150(1):1-8. 2. Mol Cancer Ther. 2007 Apr;6(4):1276-82. 3. 3. Int J Mol Med. 2007 Sep;20(3):329-35. 4. AAPS J. 2006;8(3):E443-9. 5. Adv Med Biol. 2007;595:197-212. 6. Chem. 2005 feb 18;280(7):5892-901.
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