Turmeric, the Potential Cure for Cancer Found in Indian Food

Turmeric, the main ingredient in curry, has had a reputation for being a "holy powder" with healing powers for centuries in India. From its anti-inflammatory effects to its ability to slow bleeding, there's a long list of ailments for which turmeric is a remedy, and a growing pile of evidence shows that cancer is on that list, too. In a study published on Thursday, researchers at UCLA's Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center describe how curcumin, the primary component of turmeric, effectively changes the molecular behavior of human saliva and slows the growth of mouth cancer. Previous studies have shown that cumin is effective in treating various types of cancer, and with the new knowledge, scientists hope to turn curcumin into part of the cure.

The UCLA team first found evidence of curcumin's cancer-fighting effects in 2005 and have been studying the exact effects since then. This latest study sampled the saliva of 21 subjects who suffer from head and neck cancers before and after they chewed on curcumin. Lab results showed that the compound activated cancer-fighting enzymes in the subjects' saliva. The discovery could shed light on other research that shows how turmeric boosts the effects of chemotherapy and helps slow cancer growth in other parts of the body like the colon and ovaries in women. Simply eating turmeric isn't enough, explained lead researcher Dr. Marilene Wang. The compound needs to be concentrated in supplement form to show any real effects, but researchers are hopeful.

Read the full story at The Atlantic Wire.

Presented by

The Atlantic Wire is your authoritative guide to the news and ideas that matter most right now.

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

Video

Pittsburgh: 'Better Than You Thought'

How Steel City became a bikeable, walkable paradise

Video

A Four-Dimensional Tour of Boston

In this groundbreaking video, time moves at multiple speeds within a single frame.

Video

Who Made Pop Music So Repetitive? You Did.

If pop music is too homogenous, that's because listeners want it that way.

More in Health

Just In