Turmeric is a spice grown in India and other tropical regions of Asia. It is commonly used to flavor everything from curry dishes, to pickles and American mustard. To be honest, I am not a big fan of any of those foods BUT the Silver Lining is that this herbal spice is not used just for food! It has an active ingredient called curcumin which is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory that is believed to have anti-cancer effects. Many studies are still being conducted to further determine curcumin’s role in cancer prevention. However, according to The American Cancer Society, many studies have shown that curcumin slows the growth and spread of some cancers (*applause here*)
Promoted as an anti-inflammatory herbal remedy, turmeric is believed to prevent the growth of cancer, particularly in the mouth, esophagus, intestines, stomach, breast, and skin. Other studies have shown that it also helps non-cancerous diseases such as arthritus, Alzheimer’s disease, stomach ulcers, allergies, diabetes, and other chronic illnesses. Talk about a Silver Lining! This spice does it all!
Unfortunately, research on tumeric is still very limited, especially regarding the ways in which it interferes with other drugs. Therefore, the FDA does not regulate herbal supplements such as turmeric because there have not been enough studies performed to determine its efficacy or potential risks. It’s is ultimately difficult to say whether or not tumeric as an herbal supplement is completely harmless or has consistent positive effects. According to the American Cancer Society, the most notable side effect of long-term, high-dose usage of tumeric is the potential for ulcers, gastric upset, and blood thinning which can complicate surgical procedures or interfere with medications.
If you are interested in using turmeric as an herbal remedy during treatment, please, please, PLEASE consult your physician and nurses. While some studies show that this herbal supplements have great anti-cancer effects, other studies have shown that it may help protect the malignant cells (a/k/a bad cancerous cells) from being damaged by the radiation and/or chemotherapy treatments.