A while back, I wrote a blog about turmeric, an ancient spice with a lot of modern applications. You’d be amazed by the vast and varied benefits that turmeric offers.
Turmeric gets its rich yellow color from the natural pigment, curcumin. Curcumin has the potential of lowering cholesterol levels, improving cardiovascular health, reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s and diabetes, and fighting certain cancers, particularly pancreatic and breast cancer.
According to the American Cancer Society, almost 195,000 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed in the US this year, and over 40,000 will die from the disease.
Pancreatic cancer is the 9th most commonly diagnosed cancer in the United States. Pancreatic cancer is initially difficult to detect and it is estimated that roughly 29,000 people are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer every year.
Both breast and pancreatic cancers present in forms of tumors.
Compounds found in spices may reduce the risk of breast cancer formation by stopping the growth of the stem cells that spawn the tumors.
Researchers from the University of Michigan released a study: “Targeting breast stem cells with the cancer preventive compounds curcumin and piperine” in which they report that curcumin, found in turmeric, and piperine, found in black peppers, decreased the number of stem cells while having no effect on normal differentiated cells.
“If we can limit the number of stem cells, we can limit the number of cells with potential to form tumors,” Madhuri Kakarala.
The results of the study suggest these dietary compounds could reduce the risk of cancer by targeting stem cells. While the amount of curcumin and piperine ingested were at doses 20x’s more than would be consumed in a meal, supplements afford a reasonable vehicle for higher dosages.
”The concept that dietary compounds can help is attractive, and curcumin and piperine appear to have very low toxicity.” Kakarala
Another small study, published in the American Association for Cancer Research’s Clinical Cancer Research, was conducted by researchers at the University of Texas – MD Anderson Cancer Center.
Curcumin was given to patients with advanced pancreatic cancer. Although the amount of curcumin found in the blood serum was low, indicating low level bioavailability, several patients did see a decrease in pancreatic tumors.
A 2009 study in German involving the Wilms’ Tumor Gene1, (WT1), showed astounding results. When curcumin was given with siRNA (silencing RNA that interferes with the gene expression) almost 90% of the WT1 was downgraded. They concluded:
“Targeting WT1 gene expression with siRNA may enhance the efficacy of curcumin to inhibit cell proliferation.”
Turmeric an essential ingredient in curry powder, can also be purchased as a “stand alone” spice. The rhizome (root) of turmeric has been used for ages in the east (Asia/India) as traditional medicine to help with gastrointestinal upset, arthritic pain, and “low energy”.
I am going to add 2 recipes for turmeric….turmeric tea and golden milk….both are soothing beverages that can calm the mind and the stomach. Both taste pleasant and you can add honey to sweeten the flavor, if you so choose.
- 4 cups water
- 1 tablespoon ground turmeric
- lemon (optional)
- honey (optional)
Bring water to a boil. Reduce heat and add ground turmeric. Simmer for 10 minutes. Strain into a mug using a mesh strainer or cheesecloth. Add honey and/or lemon to taste.
- 1/8 teaspoon Turmeric
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 cup milk
- 2 tablespoons almond oil (organic)
- honey (optional)
-Boil Turmeric in about 1/4 cup water for 7-10 minutes – this forms a thick paste, add water as needed, keep stirring
-While this mixture is boiling, bring 1 cup milk & 2 tablespoons almond oil up to a gentle boil
-As soon as it starts to boil, TAKE IT OFF THE STOVE! (don’t let it scorch)
-Combine the milk with the turmeric mixture
-Add honey (optional) to taste
Stay healthy, take your Women Vitamins, and be blessed, Kersten
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- Women Vitamins: Turmeric-Ancient and Advanced Spice of Life (womenvitamins.wordpress.com)
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