Can Turmeric Cure Cancer?

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The recovery of a 67-year-old who had battled blood cancer and replaced conventional treatments with 8 grams of curcumin a day has shocked doctors.

Turmeric and cancer
Turmeric is promoted as an alternative cancer treatment. There is some evidence that curcumin, a substance in turmeric, can kill cancer cells in certain cancers. But we need more research.


Turmeric is a spice grown in many Asian countries.
Research on curcumin as a cancer treatment is ongoing.
It may have side effects if taken in large amounts.

What is turmeric?
Turmeric is also known as Indian saffron, jiang huang, haridra and haldi. It is a spice grown in many Asian countries. It belongs to the ginger family and is a main ingredient of curry powder. The scientific name for turmeric is Curcuma longa.

The main active ingredient in turmeric is curcumin or diferuloyl methane. Laboratory studies have shown curcumin has anti cancer effects on cancer cells.

Why people with cancer use it
Some laboratory studies on cancer cells have shown that curcumin has anti cancer effects. It seems to be able to kill cancer cells and prevent more from growing.

Curcumin is being looked at in clinical trials and some of the results have been promising. Larger studies are needed.

At the moment there is no clear evidence in humans to show that turmeric or curcumin can prevent or treat cancer.

How you have it
Turmeric can be taken raw, as a powder, a paste or extract. It is also available as an oil.

The Bottom Line
Turmeric is a potent spice that could offer health benefits.

While some research shows it may be a cancer-fighter, more studies need to be done to confirm turmeric’s role in cancer prevention and treatment.

“An anti-inflammatory diet (such as the Mediterranean diet), regular exercise, sufficient restful sleep, stress management, and certain supplements, such as turmeric, are important components of risk reduction and as a part of an overall cancer treatment plan,” Alschuler says.

Side effects of turmeric
It is important to remember that turmeric used in cooking is very safe.

People have reported stomach pain when eating too much turmeric. They have also reported skin problems when taking it for a long time. So, if you use curcumin for reasons other than cooking, talk to your doctor first.

One of these in 2013 was an international laboratory study on bowel cancer cells. It looked at the effects of combined treatment with curcumin and chemotherapy. The researchers concluded that the combined treatment might be better than chemotherapy alone.

A problem highlighted by a number of review studies is that curcumin does not get absorbed easily. This makes it work less well as a treatment. Researchers are looking at ways of overcoming this problem.

There have been some clinical trials looking at curcumin in people with colorectal cancer, prostate cancer and other cancer types. The studies were small and there were limitations to the trials.

Curcumin was well tolerated in those that took it. There was some evidence that curcumin may have an anti-inflammatory effect in the body. Although some of the results look promising, they do not give enough evidence to say curcumin is an effective treatment for cancer. More studies are needed and with larger numbers of people.

Curcumin for a sore mouth (mucositis) during cancer treatment
A systematic review Open a glossary item in 2019 looked at curcumin given topically (gel or mouthwash) to people with head and neck cancer who were having chemotherapy and radiotherapy. They wanted to see if curcumin could help treat or prevent mucositis Open a glossary item. Curcumin did delay mucositis, reduced pain and seemed to speed up wound healing. More studies are needed so that we can compare the results.

How Do You Take Turmeric?
Turmeric comes in raw form and as a powder, paste, extract, or oil.

“For general health promotion, adding turmeric powder to your daily diet as a spice or even added to daily smoothies is appropriate. It is a key ingredient in curries, so this is a great way to ingest turmeric,” Alschuler says. “To obtain specific and more pronounced anti-inflammatory effects from turmeric, curcumin extracts are generally recommended.”

Exact dosages of curcumin for cancer prevention or therapy haven’t been established. In clinical studies, participants typically take supplemental doses of between 1 g and 6 g.

Some research has shown curcumin is safe to take at doses as high as 12 g per day over three months.

“It is recommended to consult with a knowledgeable healthcare provider to discover which form of curcumin would be best and what dose would be most helpful,” Alschuler says.

Take a look at this collection The Lost Book Of Remedies, taken word for word out of a circa 1845 manual.

What is The Lost Book of Remedies? The Lost Book of Remedies PDF contains a series of medicinal and herbal recipes to make home made remedies from medicinal plants and herbs. Chromic diseases and maladies can be overcome  by taking the remedies outlined in this book. The writer claims that his grandfather was taught herbalism and healing whilst in active service during world war two and that he has treated many soldiers with his home made cures.

How does it work?

The premise is that many modern day medicines work on the basis that they treat the symptoms and not the cause, but contained within The Lost Book of Remedies are a number of tinctures and tonics made from plants and leaves that will treat the cause of the illness, thus eradicating the disease altogether.

The book is a direct copy of the little notebook carried around by the author’s grandfather when treating his patients.  However, the illustrations of the plants have been updated to photographs so that they are easier for you to identify.

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