Did You Know that an extract of the turmeric root contains a phytochemical called curcumin, which has been shown to eliminate cancer cells from the body?
Turmeric, the perennial herb which is prized in Ayurvedic medicine, is known to most of us as the gold-colored Indian spice used to make curry and mustard. Now, it is regarded by many medical practitioners as “nutritional chemotherapy.”
It is a low-cost, natural substance that countless people take every day to prevent cancer — and at chemotherapy levels to treat cancer in early and advanced stages without side effects.
Curcumin is one of hundreds of constituents found in the root of the turmeric plant. People often use the words turmeric and curcumin interchangeably, but they’re actually not the same thing. Turmeric is the whole food or whole herb, whereas curcumin is an extracted component of turmeric — the latter being the one that has been singled out for it therapeutic properties.
Curcumin’s medicinal use and benefits dates back 6,000 years ago to the ancient Egyptian pharaohs and Ayurvedic medical practitioners in India. Today, curcumin is used for its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-arthritic, anti-tumor and anti-amyloid (to combat neurodegenerative diseases) effects.
When curcumin’s cancer-fighting properties were first discovered by Western medicine, an American pharmaceutical company tried to patent turmeric. Needless to say, health practitioners and suppliers from India were outraged considering they have been using this herb for thousands of years to heal and treat major diseases.
“Curcumin has broad anti-cancer effects during initiation, promotion, and progression of tumors. Several studies suggest that curcumin can cause cancer to regress… has action against carcinogens… substantially reduces the formation of mutagenic (cancer causing) chemicals… and eliminates DNA damage to prevent the development of cancer.” — Karta Purkh Singh Khalsa (KP), Yogaraj in Ayurveda, author of Herbal Defenses, and one of the country’s foremost natural healing experts.
Curcumin has been shown to be effective in both cancer prevention and treatment because it contains potent levels of:
- Phytochemicals — non-nutritive plant chemicals that have protective or disease preventive properties;
- Polyphenols and chemopreventives — compounds that actually block chemicals from getting inside cells and suppress tumor formation;
- Antioxidatives and anti-carcinogenics — agents that act as free-radical scavengers, anti-mutagens, and bio-protectors that stop pre-cancerous and cancerous growth.
Curcumin is currently being targeted as a way to reduce high breast cancer rates because of its ability to slow and stop the division — and thus the spread — of cancerous cells. In a study on human breast cancer cells, curcumin reversed growth by 98%. Another study using curcumin in mice was successful in slowing the growth of cancer from the breast into lungs, throat, and other areas.
Researchers at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center conducted a study that showed when curcumin was added into cell cultures containing multiple myeloma (a type of cancer), it stopped the cancer cells from reproducing — and the remaining cells died.
Curcumin also obstructs cancerous cell growth by activating and protecting the release of human glutathione. Glutathione is a key antioxidant that the body produces to maintain normal cellular activity and is the only antioxidant that resides inside the cell.
From this prime position, glutathione and curcumin inhibit cellular mutagens that would otherwise promote cancer.
Curcumin has also been shown to reduce chemically-induced cancer by 90% — such as mouth and tongue cancers caused by smoking. Curcumin interferes with the process of the p450 enzyme in the liver that would otherwise convert environmental toxins into carcinogens, which mutate cells and promote cancerous growth.
“Curcumin has been found to influence over 60 molecular targets in the cancer process. With an established safety record and a fraction of the cost of conventional chemotherapy, plant compounds like curcumin represent an enormous and almost untapped resource for cancer treatment.” — Jonathan Treasure, co-founder of Centre for Natural Healing, co-author of Herb, Nutrient, and Drug Interactions: Clinical Implications and Therapeutic Strategies.
Health and Wellness Associates