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Why a yellow spice called turmeric could help fight cancer

11:48 PM, May 13, 2013   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Dr. Cynthia Anderson, a radiation oncologist at Baptist Health, said her favorite spice is turmeric. She likes it in her food, yes, but she said the research on turmeric is promising when it comes to fighting cancer and boosting energy.

"It's known to have anti-inflammatory properties so it reduced inflammation, which reduces the body's stress levels," Dr. Anderson explains. "We have a lot of data now to show this herb has something called curcumin," she said.

Studies are ongoing now to see if it can minimize cancer fatigue and possibly be an "anti-cancer fighter" itself. 

One of Anderson's patients, Sherry, was fighting pain after breast cancer surgery. Sherry mixes a teaspoon or even a tablespoon of the yellow turmeric powder in a homemade peach smoothie every day.

Sherry swears by it. She said other pain relievers didn't help. But turmeric reduced swelling and gave her enough energy that she can wax the floor and vacuum her home. 

She said she quit taking turmeric to see if that mattered.  She believes it did. So she took turmeric again.

Mayo Clinic said the evidence is still too new to suggest consuming turmeric in food for anything more than spice.  But Mayo said the research is ongoing.

Also, it is not recommended for pregnant women to take turmeric.

If you'd like to research any herb, Dr. Anderson said to check out the app from Sloan-Kettering, the prestigious cancer hospital, called About Herbs.

By the way, Sherry found her breast cancer as a loyal Buddy Check follower.

First Coast News

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