Rediscovering the Cancer-Fighting Power of Turmeric

Health & Wellness
Reading Time: 4 mins
Publication Date: 07/01/2015
Fact Checked
Our fact-checking process begins with a thorough review of all sources to ensure they are high quality. Then we cross-check the facts with original medical or scientific reports published by those sources, or we validate the facts with reputable news organizations, medical and scientific experts and other health experts. Each page includes all sources for full transparency.
Reviewed

Asbestos.com is the nation’s most trusted mesothelioma resource

The Mesothelioma Center at Asbestos.com has provided patients and their loved ones the most updated and reliable information on mesothelioma and asbestos exposure since 2006.

Our team of Patient Advocates includes a medical doctor, a registered nurse, health services administrators, veterans, VA-accredited Claims Agents, an oncology patient navigator and hospice care expert. Their combined expertise means we help any mesothelioma patient or loved one through every step of their cancer journey.

More than 30 contributors, including mesothelioma doctors, survivors, health care professionals and other experts, have peer-reviewed our website and written unique research-driven articles to ensure you get the highest-quality medical and health information.

About The Mesothelioma Center at Asbestos.com

  • Assisting mesothelioma patients and their loved ones since 2006.
  • Helps more than 50% of mesothelioma patients diagnosed annually in the U.S.
  • A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.
  • 5-star reviewed mesothelioma and support organization.
Learn More About Us

Testimonials

"My family has only the highest compliment for the assistance and support that we received from The Mesothelioma Center. This is a staff of compassionate and knowledgeable individuals who respect what your family is experiencing and who go the extra mile to make an unfortunate diagnosis less stressful. Information and assistance were provided by The Mesothelioma Center at no cost to our family."
Lashawn
Mesothelioma patient’s daughter
  • Google Review Rating
  • BBB Review Rating

How to Cite Asbestos.com’s Article

APA

Parekh, T. (2020, October 16). Rediscovering the Cancer-Fighting Power of Turmeric. Asbestos.com. Retrieved November 29, 2022, from https://www.asbestos.com/blog/2015/07/01/cancer-fighting-turmeric-curcumin/

MLA

Parekh, Tejal. "Rediscovering the Cancer-Fighting Power of Turmeric." Asbestos.com, 16 Oct 2020, https://www.asbestos.com/blog/2015/07/01/cancer-fighting-turmeric-curcumin/.

Chicago

Parekh, Tejal. "Rediscovering the Cancer-Fighting Power of Turmeric." Asbestos.com. Last modified October 16, 2020. https://www.asbestos.com/blog/2015/07/01/cancer-fighting-turmeric-curcumin/.

If you’re preparing an Indian curry or Asian dish tonight, you may consider adding turmeric for a little extra flavor, some warm, yellow hues and a pinch of its cancer-fighting benefits.

Turmeric is a deep yellow spice used for centuries in Asian countries, particularly China and India, mostly in cooking, and often as a fabric dye.

But there is growing research into its medicinal properties, particularly the beneficial powers of curcumin, one of the most active compounds found in the spice.

Historical evidence dating back thousands of years shows people in China and India often used curcumin to treat a number of conditions, from coughs and colds to skin diseases and wounds.

Although it’s been touted for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, tests to confirm further medicinal properties over the last few decades show mixed results.

But the popular spice is back in the limelight thanks to modern clinical trials evaluating the compound’s cancer-fighting properties.

Clinical Trials Involving Curcumin and Cancer

Many studies have shown curcumin can suppress tumor cells and is safe to consume even at high doses.

Researchers at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Ohio and Georg-Speyer-Haus research institute in Frankfurt, Germany, published a study in September 2014 titled, “Curcumin, Special Peptides Boost Cancer-Blocking PIAS3 to Neutralize Cancer-Activating STAT3 in Mesothelioma.”

The study on tissue samples showed how curcumin activates the specific protein that can slow or stop the growth of mesothelioma cells.

Professor of medicine at Case Western Reserve University and lead researcher of the study, Afshin Dowlati, M.D., told Asbestos.com the study “is very significant.” Although the study wasn’t performed on humans, Dowlati said curcumin “has shown clearly that it can reduce the cancer growth.

A big challenge for researchers is finding ways to increase curcumin’s absorption into the body. The stomach doesn’t absorb as much of the compound when it’s ingested as a spice.

Studies at the University of Michigan found combining curcumin with piperine, the active compound in black pepper, improves absorption into the body’s cells.

Dowlati is confident curcumin clinical trials involving humans could begin before 2017.

Where Can You Find Turmeric?

Turmeric can be found in most health food stores, as well as Indian and Asian markets.

It is a root, much like ginger, which is part of the same family. You can purchase it powdered or fresh.

Try both and decide which works best for you. You will find that its fresh form is extremely potent in color, so take care not to stain your counters or clothes.

Turmeric has a mild, tangy flavor and can easily blend into plenty of dishes, unlike ginger, which is much stronger. It’s also available in pill form, but use the least processed kind.

Fresh or powdered turmeric is a more potent source of curcumin. It’s cheaper, too.

How Can You Use Turmeric?

Here are a few easy ways to incorporate turmeric into your daily life:

  • Grate or grind the fresh root into any juice, soup or smoothie.
  • Mix 1 teaspoon of powder with a little honey and take daily as a supplement.
  • Add to rice or curry dishes.
  • Add a pinch to scrambled eggs.
  • Boil with a little ginger and honey to make a tea. It’s great when you have a cold.
  • Pickle turmeric by adding lemon juice and salt to peeled and chopped pieces of the fresh root. Keep refrigerated in a jar and eat a few pieces every day.
  • Don’t forget: Adding in a little black pepper will help increase the absorption of curcumin.
  • Search online for recipes under “golden milk,” which combine dairy or nondairy milk with turmeric, ginger, honey, vanilla and a pinch of black pepper for a truly power-packed beverage.
Free Mesothelioma Resources
Get Access to Free Resources for Patients & Loved Ones