Turmeric is a bright, yellow or orange-colored spice often used to make curry powder. But it’s more than a spice. According to Anthony Gucciardi (“Beating Cancer with Nutrition“):
“Curcumin—a natural phenol and primary compound of turmeric—has been found to possess properties that reduce the expression of deadly molecules within cancer cells, and can potentially slow the spread of breast cancer.
“Of course this isn’t the only time turmeric and curcumin have been shown to battle and prevent cancer. Researchers at UCLA that curcumin exhibits cancer-blocking properties powerful enough to block cancer growth. In addition, curcumin has previously been found to reduce tumors by 81% in more than 9 studies, which also gives credence to the natural anti-cancer health benefits of turmeric and curcumin intake.
“While many foods are powerful health enhancers, curcumin alone is known to positively impact over 560 diseases according to peer-reviewed research. Beating cancer with nutrition means to acquire the knowledge of how the foods people eat every day can be utilized to treat or prevent illness and disease. While the advancements humanity has made throughout history are great, mainstream medicine has been going down a dark road. It is time to shift from a pharmaceutical-dependent state to nutrition-based prevention and treatment.
“While an amazing anticancer substance, studies have also pinpointed curcumin as a tool against more than 572 other diseases. Some of these include, in order of study count: oxidative stress, inflammation, DNA damage, lipid peroxidation, chemically-induced liver disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and liver fibrosis. Curcumin has even been found to influence more than 700 genes, which could explain its link to DNA repair.”
My mother had a problem with psoriasis that troubled her throughout her life. I can remember seeing angry, red splotches about the size of a quarter on the back of her neck from the time I was about 8 or 10 years old. Thirty years later, she died from colon cancer.
I have no supporting evidence, but I’ve dimly suspected for at least twenty years, that my mother’s persistent psoriasis and the associated inflammation were somehow linked with my mother’s terminal cancer.
I also have had a problem with psoriasis. I was first aware of a splotch in the inside of my thigh when I was about 5 years old. It disappeared for several decades. It might show up every few years if my life was particularly sedentary. But as soon as I started working physically, or exercising, the problem disappeared.
22 years ago, I started writing for a living and my life became increasingly sedentary. For the past few years, the psoriasis has returned. It started small, but slowly grew. I probably have 1 or 2 square inches of affected skin. It’s not that much, but it’s all on my face and scalp, so it can be embarrassing. I’ve tried different treatments. Some things (cortizone) seemed to work. Others did not. Nothing, so far, has offered a permanent cure. The “solution” is probably to exercise more, but in order to exercise, I have to abandon the chair in front of my internet connection–and that’s a price I’m yet inclined to pay.
About 4 months ago, a friend told me that turmeric (a component spice of most curry recipes) is a powerful antioxidant, so I decided to give it a try. Initially, I grated fresh, raw turmeric into my food. More recently, I’m simply adding dried, turmeric powder to my meals.
At first, I didn’t like the flavor. It’s an earthy spice that sometimes reminds me of eating mud. But after using turmeric for just two or three days, my body started to crave turmeric. I can’t seem to get enough of it. I currently consume one heaping tablespoon of dried turmeric powder per day. I add it to steak, chicken or salmon. I add it to vinegar and oil salad dressings and the flavor almost disappears. If I don’t get my turmeric “fix” at least once a day, my body starts nagging me to cook another meal that includes turmeric.
I don’t mind the “nagging” because within just two or three days after I started taking turmeric, my psoriasis diminished by 70% to 80%. Turmeric is not a cure (at least not for me) for psoriasis, but the symptoms–especially the associated inflammation and itching–were quickly and significantly reduced.
Therefore, I’m more than a little fascinated–and concerned–that turmeric is:
1) shown by clinical studies (above) to be associated with suppressing cancer; and
2) shown by my own personal experience, to be associated with suppressing the symptoms of psoriasis.
That research and my personal experience seem to support my long-time suspicion that my mother’s psoriasis and terminal cancer may have also been somehow linked.
I think I better start exercising. And eating more turmeric.