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Natural remedy of the month - Turmeric                 August 2008   

Natural remedy of the month



TurmericIf you eat curry, you will probably have eaten turmeric. It is a bright yellow spice that comes from the bulb of a plant in the ginger family and is really common as a food flavouring in Asian dishes. It is also used as a yellow colouring in a range of other foods including chutneys and pickles.

Recently, there has been a lot of talk about its health properties, especially in cancer prevention.

The root of a turmeric contains curcumin and it is this part of the plant that has excited scientists. Some believe that it can help prevent cancers including bowel cancer and tests are continuing.

According to Cancer Research UK, a number of laboratory studies on rodents have shown that curcumin does have anticancer effects.  It seems to be able to kill cancer cells and prevent more from growing.  It had the best effects on breast, bowel, stomach and skin cancer cells.  A recent American study in mice seemed to show that curcumin helped stop the spread of breast cancer cells to other parts of the body. 

However, more clinical trials on humans are needed before we will really know if curcumin has any potential to prevent or treat cancer in people.

The National Institutes of Health in Washington in America has funded numerous studies on curcumim because of the potential antioxidant properties on a range of organs in the body. They are especially looking at the effect of turmeric in fighting arthritis, diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, and even reversing the process underlying Alzheimer's disease.


More research is also needed on how safe turmeric is when used for medical reasons – especially on any side effects of taking it in large amounts.

However, using turmeric in the quantities required for cooking is very safe and, once more research has been completed, we may find this tasty spice is more important than ever!


Nutricentre Discount for laterlife visitors If in any doubt about any of the information covered in health realted articles and it's relevance for you, consult your GP.





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