The Role of Curcumin (Turmeric) in Cancer Treatment and Prevention
Answered by: Susan Eagles
Question from: Jeanne
Posted on: February 21, 2007

Is the spice turmeric made into a paste and applied topically? Are the benefits the same by ingesting it?

Yes, it is beneficial to take turmeric internally for cancer treatment and prevention. Donald Yance, in his book "Herbal Medicine, Healing and Cancer" (available at Richters), states that turmeric helps prevent mutation of cells, therefore decreasing the probability of cancer initiation and spread. Other herbs that help to prevent mutation include burdock, garlic, ginger and citrus peel. Yance also states that turmeric blocks cancer by diverting carcinogenic material away from the cells, allowing it to be metabolized by the liver to a less toxic, more excretable substance. Yance also includes turmeric’s role in inhibiting the arachidonic acid cascade. Arachidonic acid (AA) is derived from animal fats and omega-6 oils. The AA cascade refers to the release of inflammatory and cancer promoting factors. I recommend Yance’s book for comprehensive information on herbs and diet that are helpful in the treatment and prevention of cancer.

In skin cancers including melanoma, a skin cancer that spreads rapidly through the blood stream, turmeric should be used both externally, applied as a paste, and internally.

For other medicinal uses of turmeric, please see our website . Choose Q&A from the main menu, then enter "turmeric" for the search.

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