Medicinal Spices: Can Turmeric Fight Cancer?

June 1, 2017
With its bright color and distinctive taste, turmeric is much more than just a spice. Research points to certain properties that can be a powerful weapon in the prevention of and fight against cancer.

You know about its bright yellow color and strong, distinctive taste that gives a special touch to food. However, did you know that turmeric may have the ability to help fight cancer?

Today, we’ll tell you about some interesting studies about the properties of curcumin, the main component of the spice.

Turmeric, an ancient remedy

Turmeric powder to help fight cancer

Turmeric comes from the Curcuma longa plant, which is originally from India. People in India have been using this spice for hundreds of years to season food. Now, you can find it in all kinds of dishes all over the world.

In addition, it’s also famous for its medicinal properties. Various scientific studies highlight one special turmeric power: the ability to fight cancer.

However, it could potentially have the ability to protect your liver from the many diseases and conditions that can affect this important organ, especially cirrhosis. This is because turmeric is anti-inflammatory.

Also read:

Foods that Detoxify Your Liver and Improve Your Health

An article in Frontiers journal indicates that the spice has many healing properties. It’s an antimicrobial, antioxidant and antiviral. In addition, it may even help people who suffer from degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s disease.

Turmeric: it’s role in the fight against cancer

Turmeric powder to help fight cancer

Consistently consuming turmeric may help you prevent cancer.

One of the things this amazing spice does in your body is prevent chronic inflammation and DNA damage. As if that weren’t enough, it also reduces potential problems in your cells.

Studies show that curcumin may have a blocking effect in the development of cancer. However, scientists still don’t know the dose that you need to do this. Some doctors say it should be 3.6 grams a day.

According to new discoveries, the spice may have the unique ability to prevent the invasion and spread of cancer cells. In addition, it could also activate proteins to naturally block the disease and prevent tumors from forming. Therefore, those who are already diagnosed with cancer could possibly use turmeric to prevent metastasis.

Pre-treatment with curcumin improves the effectiveness of chemotherapy or radiation, especially for ovary or liver cancer.

A group of patients with advanced stage pancreas cancer received a treatment of 400mg of curcumin a day as a complement to medical treatment. Their tumors shrank considerably and there were no signs of toxicity from consuming the spice.

Turmeric and and the fight against breast cancer

Turmeric and ginger

The American Cancer Society has published several studies about this dangerous disease. Turmeric is one of the “superstars” in the studies about fighting breast cancer.

Researchers explain that curcumin may have the ability to affect a process called apoptosis. Basically, this means that cancer cells self-destruct when the environment they are in is not ideal for growth.

The mechanism in play here with turmeric is quite complex because it consists of instantaneous molecular reactions. However, we can sum it up like this: “If inflammation goes down, cancer improves.”

Doctors confirm that the spice is remarkable as a preventative treatment for the disease. However, it’s also great for those who do have cancer. That’s because it works to protect your body from the effects of cancer treatment.

How can I take advantage of the benefits of turmeric?

There are all kinds of recipes you can use this spice in. They aren’t just very tasty but also a great way to consume curcumin to prevent and fight the side effects of cancer.

A few options are:


A plate of fried rice

This is one of the best examples of Indian food. However, note that we recommend basmati and parboiled rice because they’re more nutritious and easily digestible.

Once cooked, add a teaspoon of turmeric. You can also add cilantro and black pepper.


You can season fried or scrambled eggs with a bit of olive oil and a pinch of salt, a little pepper and turmeric.


Spicy lentils are very common in India. Once cooked, mix with coconut oil, black pepper and turmeric. This also works with chickpeas or other beans.

We recommend reading:

8 Protein-Rich Plant-Based Foods You Should Add to Your Diet


Make a refreshing iced tea for hot days with turmeric. Then, add honey or lemon juice and a few ice cubes. If you like, sprinkle some black pepper in, too.


Turmeric and banana smoothie to help fight cancer

All you need is a banana, honey, lemon and turmeric and you have a delicious, nutritious smoothie. You can also try adding coconut milk and grated ginger.

Golden milk

This beverage is made with turmeric paste, water and almond oil. Then, combine it with milk (almond milk is best), honey and cinnamon. Drink it before bed to help with muscle and joint pain.

  • Aratanechemuge, Y., Komiya, T. A. K. A. S. H. I., Moteki, H. I. R. O. Y. U. K. I., Katsuzaki, H. I. R. O. T. A. K. A., Imai, K. U. N. I. O., & Hibasami, H. I. R. O. S. H. I. G. E. (2002). Selective induction of apoptosis by ar-turmerone isolated from turmeric (Curcuma longa L) in two human leukemia cell lines, but not in human stomach cancer cell line. International journal of molecular medicine9(5), 481-484.
  • Chen, X., Pei, L., Zhong, Z., Guo, J., Zhang, Q., & Wang, Y. (2011). Anti-tumor potential of ethanol extract of Curcuma phaeocaulis Valeton against breast cancer cells. Phytomedicine18(14), 1238-1243.
  • Shankar, S., & Srivastava, R. K. (2007). Bax and Bak genes are essential for maximum apoptotic response by curcumin, a polyphenolic compound and cancer chemopreventive agent derived from turmeric, Curcuma longa. Carcinogenesis28(6), 1277-1286.
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