One Spice Fits all Imbalances.

Via Dr. John Douillard
on Aug 15, 2012
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India has among the lowest rates of prostate, breast, colon and lung cancer in the world.

Some researchers attribute these numbers to the regular consumption of a common household spice, which has also been shown to offer support for cognitive function and inflammation. The best part? Chances are, this spice may already be in your cabinet.

A cancer diagnosis can feel like a death sentence, with 1.4 million new cases of cancer per year resulting in more than 500,000 deaths per year in the U.S. While this is still a life-threatening diagnosis, new research may give hope.*

This research has scientists amazed at how a simple spice can promote healthy cell replication, and even support the health of patients undergoing chemotherapy.

This is only one small role this spice plays in promoting optimal health.* For thousands of years in Ayurveda, this common spice was used for physical pain, liver ailments,  healthy skin, mental clarity, intestinal health, bile flow and fat metabolism.

Keep reading for a taste of other incredible benefits offered by turmeric, plus one super-simple tip for boosting its absorption.

Turmeric Supports Healthy Cell Replication

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 percent reduction in the risk of death, now can only afford a 60-70 percent mortality risk reduction (1). This means that, while we should still use colonoscopies as a screening tool, we have to take action to offset the risk of colon cancer in other ways as well.

In one study, curcumin, the extract of turmeric, out-performed Western drugs in supporting healthy cellular replication and repair, along with supporting natural and timely cell death, called apoptosis (2,3).

One research team wrote, “Curcumin appears to possess all of the desirable features of a desk-designed, multi-purpose drug.”

Cognitive Support

Perhaps one of our biggest concerns as we age is to somehow protect ourselves from the ravages of Alzheimer’s disease. Turmeric has at least 10 neuro-protective actions that support healthy cognitive function (5).

Because the brain is predominately fatty tissue, fat-soluble toxins may accumulate in the brain and cause damage. As a fat-soluble substance, turmeric may have an affinity for chelating (removing) fat-soluble toxins out of the deep tissues.

Turmeric crosses the blood-brain barrier, where it may attach to neurotoxins, such as beta amyloid plaque, and support healthy antioxidant activity (6).

A Healthy Inflammatory Response

Inflammation may start in the gut because of an irritated and compromised intestinal wall. The most common cause of this is most likely stress. Stress receptors line the gut and, when we are under a lot of stress, the intestinal mucous membranes produce excessive reactive mucus. This reactive mucus may compromise absorption and detoxification pathways in the gut, leading to congestion in the body’s lymphatic system, which also lines the gut.

Turmeric supports the mucosa of the gut, thins the mucus, and supports the flow of bile. In addition to breaking down nutritional fats that we need, bile is also 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 Percent

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 finding ways to boost the absorption of turmeric, with some good success.

While modern herbal extracts have potent therapeutic value, it is difficult to match the blueprint of the original plant. In addition, the body may build a tolerance to an extract. Whole herbs, while not as potent as extracts, have a sustainable effect. In Ayurveda, whole herbs are combined with other whole herbs and spices to boost function, which can be as potent as today’s modern extracts.

For example, in 1998, researchers at St. John’s Medical College in Bangalore, India found that turmeric taken with black pepper—both common ingredients in curry—increased the absorption of turmeric by an astonishing 2000 percent, with no adverse effects!

What is interesting is that in India, curry powder is loaded with turmeric, peppers and other spices. Turmeric is added to many dishes in India, and during the cooking Naan and Curryprocess, 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.

The average person in India eats about 2 to 2.5 grams of turmeric a day—that’s about four to six capsules of turmeric a day—almost every day of their lives. Interestingly, India has among the lowest rates in the world of prostate, breast, colon and lung cancer. Some researchers believe this may be due to the quantity of turmeric consumed on a regular basis.

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.


Editor: Brianna Bemel


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About Dr. John Douillard

Dr. John Douillard, DC, CAP is a globally recognized leader in the fields of natural health, Ayurveda and sports medicine. Over the past 30 years, he’s helped over 100,000 patients repair their digestive system and eat wheat and dairy again. He is the creator of, a leading Ayurvedic health and wellness resource on the web with over 6 million views on YouTube. LifeSpa is evolving the way Ayurveda is understood around the world with over 1000 articles and videos proving ancient wisdom backed by modern science. Dr. John is the former Director of Player Development and nutrition advisor for the New Jersey Nets NBA team, author of six books, a repeat guest on the Dr. Oz show, and has been featured in Woman’s World Magazine, Yoga Journal, the Huffington Post and dozens of other publications. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Receive his valuable health reports in your inbox - sign up for free! ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- For information on Dr. John's newest book, Eat Wheat, please visit, and connect with Dr. Douillard on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Eat Wheat is now available in bookstores. It can be ordered from Amazon, and all major booksellers.


15 Responses to “One Spice Fits all Imbalances.”

  1. helen says:

    dont eat rice with that curry.India has a very high rate of diabetes type 2 .

  2. Mary says:

    Hi Helen,

    A lot of the diabetes cases are a result of adopting a Western diet. The consumption of rice does not cause diabetes.

  3. Laura says:

    I LOVE turmeric! Thanks for the many reminders of why I should remember to cook with it!

  4. Will Space says:

    This is great! Isn’t Dandelion used in every almost culture as an herb and as a base for a lot of herbal remedies too?

  5. hikermomma says:

    All well and good, but what are recommendations exactly? I've been adding 1/2 teas turmeric (+ginger + cayenne) to my Perfect food green juice and ground flax for quite some time. I have NO idea if it's benefiting me in any way. I can only hope. Should I be boiling the herbs first?

  6. […] circulation, prevents nausea, lower cholesterol, relieves pain). My other favorites are cinnamon, turmeric and cayenne […]

  7. […] just to make the whole house smell cinnamony. Besides being delicious, the addition of cinnamon (as well as other spices) to your diet can be a huge health boost as […]

  8. MorePlease says:

    Well great but where are even a few tips on how to get tumeric into your diet? Or was that not the point of the article? Is tumberic available in capsule form? I think the only way to get the benefit of the article is to buy the books.

  9. Margret says:

    I think it's always important to mention contraindication. Turmeric, while natural,when used medicinally can be harmful especially when other medications are being used- such as blood thinners. I'm not a doctor, but I'm a personal chef and I was recommending (and using) turmeric for clients who suffer inflammation. I accidentally ran into info about blood thinners and had to immediately inform a client who I knew was on thinners for her COPD. So many sites tout the value, but not the risks-it's important to have all the information, right?. Here's some info I just now quickly Googled.

  10. Lisa says:

    It is totally available in capsule form – try where you buy vitamins or supplements. I do. The science appears to be there.

  11. wigglesmom says:

    I have a condition in which I build up a great deal of mucus on my colon wall. I just had to get three colonics in the span of one week to remove it all as it seemed to be paralyzing my large intestine. I was very sick with a constant headache from the toxins. I'll now incorporate turmeric daily so that the build up does not happen again.

  12. DaveTelf says:

    The most delicious way to get organic, cold-pressed Hawaiian turmeric into your diet is (( ))

    Every bottle has 15 grams of turmeric and ginger, plus the peppers/fats to increase bio-availability.

  13. DaveTelf says:

    True, this is a contraindication because turmeric itself is a mild blood thinner. It has a similar effect in the body as ibuprofen, except instead of breaking down the liver, it cleanses and rejuvenates your liver and kidneys. I am also not a doctor, but think the best bet would be to double the dose of turmeric and drop the pharmaceuticals altogether.

    The only other contraindication is for pregnant women, as turmeric is known to induce labor and accelerate the birthing process. So if you're not ready to have your baby, go easy on the turmeric. At the same time, you might just want to try taking a huge dose before you resort to C-section.

  14. magdalena says:

    I sprinkle it on eggs, tuna, fish, oatmeal, rice, potato salad, grilled chicken breast, fruit, adds a lovely color.

  15. Johnf139 says:

    Wow! This blog looks exactly like my old one! It’s on a completely different topic but it has pretty much the same page layout and design. Excellent choice of colors! deddgbgckabb