Turmeric is a spice native to India that has been used in Ayurvedic and Traditional Chinese medicine for at least 4,000 years. It has been listed in ancient texts for a multitude of disorders and is well on its way to multitudes more in contemporary scientific literature. Modern medicine is taking a look at turmeric and confirming its role as a healing tool for today's illnesses. Here are five disorders that are helped with turmeric.
Turmeric is proven to be effective against a variety of cancers. In vitro studies have shown that curcumin inhibits proliferation and encourages apoptosis (cell death) in renal cancer cells. There are ongoing trials studying in vivo effects. Additionally, turmeric is an all round adaptogen, protecting cells that are healthy and sensitizing cancer cells to radiation and chemotherapy, enhancing cancer recovery.
The curcumin in turmeric has been shown to help with colorectal, prostate, lung and oral cancers, and also multiple myeloma. In vitro tests have proven its use in renal cancer. Its benefit is in prevention of cancer cell creation but its greatest help seems to be in in the destruction of cancer cells while protecting healthy ones. Several studies have shown that turmeric can prevent skin cancer and delay the growth of cancer lesions on the skin. Turmeric is even used in some sun screens.
As of April 2017, there were 62 studies being done on curcumin in the treatment of various cancers.
Turmeric can help with arthritis. Studies have been done for several decades and prove that turmeric is an effective treatment for several forms of arthritis. In an analysis of all studies done for treating arthritis with curcumin, evidence indicates that curcumin is effective for treating arthritis sufferers if taken in an extract of up to 1,000 mg per day.
Ayurvedic medicine has also used it to treat arthritis sufferers and it's used for sprains and swelling so it can be a strong pain reliever as well.
Turmeric has long been used for skin health in Auyervedic medicine and recent Western studies have looked at ways to increase skin absorption of curcumin for use in wound healing, psoriasis and melanomas.
Curcumin also purportedly helps improve collagen formation so it's a useful anti-aging therapy. Studies indicate it has potential to heal UV induced photo aging as well as oxidative stress from aging. It is used in some sun screens as well.
Scientists believe there is a connection between cancers, aging and inflammation. It is no surprise then that the miracle spice is being looked at as an anti-aging therapy including its use in treating Alzheimers.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, turmeric is used for abdominal pain and general gastrointestinal complaints. It has been shown to improve digestion and stimulate the body's ability to digest fats.
In modern medicine, it is used to treat symptoms of IBS and Colitive disorders as part of the autoimmune set of disorders.
Bringing it to the table
In many instances, natural remedies need to be taken over a long period or in very high concentrations to match the efficacy rates that scientists and clinicians like to see. In the case of turmeric, however, it seems that when eaten regularly as part of a traditional diet, the spice can offer protection for a variety of serious illnesses. It might be easiest to just suggest that it is time to start looking at curries and South Asian cuisines as a necessary part of a healing diet.
MSKCC Website: https://www.mskcc.org/cancer-care/integrative-medicine/herbs/turmeric