Many natural healers and herbalists consider cancer a result of an imbalance inside the body that existed for a long time involving a number of systems. A common theory proposes that the changes in the genetic structure or function of the cells due to free radical damage could result to irrepressible cellular growth. The immune system’s job is to get rid of these cells before they proliferate. However, due to the weakened immune system, it is a lot easier for cancer cells to grow. With this, natural support for the prevention of cancer is very important, and it generally comprises exercise, meditation, diet as well as herbal remedies. One herb highly regarded for its anti-cancer qualities is turmeric. It is believed that using turmeric for cancer not only ‘kills’ cancer cells but prevents aggravation of the disease with its potent anti-oxidant property.
Curcumin, the active ingredient found in turmeric, has been proven a potent tool in fighting against cancer as it aids in restoring the body’s immune system that starts to weaken in most people due to long-standing environmental factors and poor diet. This powerful substance works to boost immune function by bringing back the functions of important immune cells such as CD4 and CD8 T-cells. According to researches, curcumin increases protein production, which is necessary for the increase of immune cells along with reducing the proliferation of certain proteins that destroy immune cells.
Some scientists believe taking turmeric for cancer could prevent and inhibit the growth of certain types of cancer, specifically tumors of the intestines, stomach, breast, skin, esophagus and mouth. One study reported that curcumin blocks or inhibits the formation of cancer-inducing enzymes in rats.
Over the last 50 years, extensive studies have indicated its potential in preventing and treating cancer. How does curcumin fight cancer? This spice can inhibit the action of COX-2, an enzyme known to generate negative, inflammation-inducing local enzyme called eicosanoids. This inflammation is a proven precursor to cancer. In addition, it has also been reported to downregulate vascular epithelial growth factors. Every tumor requires a constant supply of blood and the growth factors help build this. Curcumin stops the production of growth factors. Turmeric has also been shown to destroy B lymphoma cells. On top of that, curcumin is proven to have strong synergistic influence against cancer with EGCG found in green tea and resveratrol. With these beneficial effects, curcumin already stopped at least two steps in the cancer process. Perhaps, with continuous studies, knowledge on curcumin will increase so possibly more effects will be discovered.
Indeed, there is significant expectation and enthusiasm for curcumin in different parts of the world. However, the real concern here is if one can take sufficient turmeric or curcumin orally to deliver it in tolerable doses for your breast, colon or prostate cells. Currently, plenty of supplements of turmeric for cancer are available in the market, along with various substances added in various formulations to enhance its bioavailability. However, like any other herbal medicine, always consult your physician for supervision, particularly if you are taking conventional drugs that may interact with turmeric.