Turmeric or Curcuma longa (also known as Indian saffron) is a plant of the Zingiberaceae family, which grows in tropical areas of South Asia. Rhizomes of this plant are gathered, boiled and then dried and grounded into the powder. Turmeric powder is used as spice and for dyeing, but this powder has also found its place as the medicine herb.
What is It Used For
One component of turmeric – curcumin is especially useful for medical purposes. Among many uses of turmeric, it is discovered that it has anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and antibiotic purposes. Ayurvedic scripts also claim that turmeric can benefit human health, and digestive system is said to be positively influenced by this spice. Patients suffering from arthritis or dementia can also be treated with turmeric.
How to Use
Turmeric can be found as the powder, tablet or capsulated, and these products can contain turmeric or only isolated curcumin.
Always consult your doctor before you start with turmeric (or curcumin) treatment. You should know that the amount of turmeric used as spice won’t have any therapeutic effect against your cancer. Much higher doses are necessary to treat the disease, and your doctor should decide the dose needed in your case.
Curcumin is discovered to be of great help in patients suffering from various tumors. This substance can help fighting against skin cancer, breast cancer, but also against the stomach and bowel cancers.
Turmeric (or isolated curcumin, also) can be helpful in cancer treatments because of several reasons. It is proved that curcumin has antioxidant properties. As such, it can neutralize free oxygen radicals, one of the factors responsible for heart problems and cancers. The use of curcumin can therefore decrease the risk of developing different cancers.
Curcumin is also found to inhibit certain tumor growth enzymes, which can stop the growth and progression of the cancer.
There were several studies performed on animals, researching the effect of turmeric and curcumin on cancers. The studies performed on mice concluded that turmeric can reduce about 40% of benign colon cancer or some 70% of prostate cancer. However, there are few researches conducted on humans. One study proved that if the woman was treated with curcumin, ovarian cancer cells become more sensitive to chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
When to Avoid
Turmeric or curcumin products should not be used if you are suffering from gastrointestinal ulcers, gallstones or obstructed bile ducts.
Pregnant women are also advised not to take any of these turmeric or curcumin products.