Tag Archives: cancer

Why are you whispering? Check Them Before You Wreck Them!!

Editor’s note:  I received the same message today that I received last year.  Oddly enough, today would have been my mother’s 75th birthday.  She’s gone now, thanks to metastasized breast cancer.  If you do nothing else for yourself, please do the and share it with the people in your life.


It’s that time of year again, and by that I mean it’s the time for slacktivism in the name of breast cancer. While the games haven’t surfaced (yet), There’s a different one currently going on.  I woke up to see a notification on messenger from my friend’s daughter that said the following:

She sent the words, I made the graphic.

As per my usual stance, I had to tell her no because these things make me angry but assured her that I would get a reminder out.  If you’re new to following me, I must explain that I get really angry with the slactivism.  You see both of my parents died of cancer.  My father died of a mesothelioma (the ones that the attorneys advertise) and my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer just 6 months later.

She went through months of medication and radiation, constantly in pain from the literal burns to her skin.  6-1/2 years later, and after yet another clean bill of health from her bi-annual checkups from her breast oncologist, we went on the vacation she’d always dreamed of to Alaska. She had fallen getting in and out the boat she boarded to go salmon fishing.  She caught a nice one too, over 2 feet long!


When we got home her shoulder suddenly started getting worse instead of better.  That’s when they found a spot on her liver.  They did further testing and revealed that a tumor was in her liver and not on it as it appeared initially and was progressing pretty rapidly.   With the confirmation, they gave her 4-6 months to live, but she died one month later when the tumor had grown so large that it literally caused her liver to rupture/explode.


Oddly enough her death certificate lists the cause of death, not as liver cancer, but as metastasized breast cancer, meaning that breast cancer returned had spread.  We knew that the breast cancer could come back in the breast and we knew that it could spread to other areas of the body, but none of us knew that it could spread to other organs while it wasn’t present in the breast, making it that much more serious and why we should be diligent about keeping ourselves alive and healthy.


Now for those who haven’t been around someone with cancer, there are several forms of treatment; chemo and radiation being to the two biggest.  Radiation therapy causes a burn to the skin that’s like the worst sunburn you’ve ever had. It was brutal, and it hurt her so badly, just putting a t-shirt on was painful and putting on a bra and going to work, much less going to work all day.  Think about working with the worst sunburn you’ve ever had and then multiply it several times.  It can also cause other issues like lumps under the skin (doesn’t that sound like it would be pleasant to add to the already wonderful situation.

Chemotherapy is another type of radiation therapy but instead of being topical (directed to the skin from outside the body) it is invasive, meaning taken internally.  And because it’s an invasive therapy, it means that it can have side effects anywhere in the body instead of it remaining in the area targeted like radiation therapy does.  There’s too long of a list for me to cover all the side effects of chemotherapy;  if you’d like to see them and learn more please visit the National Cancer Institute’s Chemotherapy Side Effects series, there are 18 documents in total.

Educating yourself and others are what needs to be done to finally win this battle.  Cancer has claimed *BILLIONS* of lives.  There is nothing to whisper about behind the scenes. Preventing cancer is not in poor taste, it’s not obscene.  For the record not only do men have wives, mothers, girlfriends, sisters and daughters who have, have had or possibly will have this and they need to know about this too, men can also get breast cancer.  Tell me the last time you saw a game of tag about that?

So speak up and speak out.  Stop whispering and playing online games, and thinking you’re off the hook because you bought something with a pink ribbon on it in the past 20 years.  We need to save the people, not the tatas.

So please, check them before cancer wrecks them.  If you’re a woman who is sexually active, consider doing it with your partner since chances are they are more intimate with your boobs than you are (or at least they try to be).  The Five Steps of a Breast Cancer Exam

So remember…

 

{{{hugs}}}

Maggie ॐ 

 
  Maggie Valera
“Art and Giving are Food for the Soul”

 

P.S.  While we’re talking about it, guys need to be reminded too.

 

 

Advertisements

The Uncomfortable Conversation (long)

Death.  Dying.  Funerals.  It happens to everyone but very few are comfortable talking about it.

(Trigger Warning: Death, Suicide, Cancer, Death of a Child)

299

I think it becomes more comfortable as you get older, not because you’re getting closer to the inevitable but you’ve had more experience with it.  My great-Grandmother and great Uncle both passed in the early 70’s and I was young and mostly oblivious.  I don’t remember taking issue with it or having a problem with it.  Infact I remember nothing about it at all.  Odd.  I remember both of them, but not their deaths.

My Mom’s mom (aka the good Grandma) passed away in 1980 (I was 13).  Freaked me out.   She had a long battle with cancer that we mostly didn’t witness due to living out of state.  We made a trip back to see her for the last Christmas and then she passed 2-1/2 months later.  I only got to go with my Mom because she had recently had surgery and couldn’t travel well by herself and the airline ran a special allowing kids to fly free with a paid adult.

The rituals of funerals were overwhelming and confusing, only to be made worse with my oddball family.  Someone greeted me at the funeral home telling me they were sorry for my loss then in a sullen gesture with both hands out offered me something to take telling me “give this to you mother with my sympathies”.  I felt like I was involved in some deep family ritual that no one warned me about.  Being raised Catholic, you learn that there are appropriate and proper responses to everything and I was at a complete loss at what I was supposed to say.  Only to look down and see myself holding… a pair of socks?  As it turns out, that was my cousin (known to be a bit of a drama queen) and my mom had left the socks at her house on the last visit back East.  Sheesh.

I was adamant about not wanting to see my grandmother in the casket, preferring to remember her living… which my mom was completely supportive of  …. and along comes a cousin who decides that my decision is disrespectful and takes it upon himself to try and (literally) drag me into the room with the casket.  I should mention I was a tomboy, strong and always ready for a fight.  No problem for fighting off the rogue cousin.  Well, until I broke free and my split second of victory was shattered by winding up in the room next door seeing some complete stranger in a casket.  Well, it was creepy, but at least it wasn’t Grandma.

Needless to say there’s a reason that most family functions on that side of the family… weddings, funerals, etc have designated bouncers.  Too many, um, “forceful” opinions.  We were later kicked out of the funeral home because someone brought coffee and donuts and apparently that’s against health regulations in Brooklyn (or was at the time at least).

It wasn’t all bad though, we got our much needed comic relief at the cemetery.  We were approaching the gravesite when my very superstitious great-Aunt began saying how she hated walking through civilian cemeteries because she always felt like she was stepping on someone.  Military cemeteries have those nice uniform rows and civilian cemeteries are every which way.  We left the graveside only for the same great-Aunt to step into a rabbit hole and begin SHRIEKING “Help! They’re pulling me in!!!”  My great Uncle was frantically trying to help her while we were all laughing uncontrollably.  To date this is still one of the funniest memories I have.

Next came the dad of my best friend and (unofficially adopted) family when I was 20.  I focused on her, her mom, brothers and sisters and kept my eyes away from the front as much as possible.  I was working really hard at being a grown up although I wasn’t feeling rather successful at it.

It wasn’t until nine years later when my own father was diagnosed with cancer that the subject of death and dying now became a major point of discussion.

My dad had mesothelioma, a fast growing tumor that usually is found on the lower lobe of the lung, but his was wedged between his heart and lungs.  By the time they finally found it, it had rooted into his heart and nothing could be done.  He was sent home and hospice was contacted.

I don’t know why, but I became almost obsessed with knowing what he wanted and paranoid that we wouldn’t do the right thing.  I’m still really glad I asked because we all would have gotten it wrong.  Rather than the family plot back in New York City, he opted for cremation.  Pop had left the church years before (only attended if his parents were in town, to minimize drama) but in light of his diagnosis he wanted a priest and I was the one given the task.

Father Dave was an amazing man.  We had quite a few long conversations.  It was thanks to Father Dave that I finally felt like a grown up, confessing that I was not Catholic despite my upbringing and later lighting up a cigarette (due to the length of the conversation and stress of it all – don’t worry, I quit 15 years ago).  It was rather profound for me; no lightning strike and I didn’t burst into flame.  And then the oddest thing happened.  Father Dave thanked me.  I was so confused.  What could he possibly have to thank me for?  He said it was my honesty.  He appreciated that I didn’t put on a show for him, I didn’t pretend to be of the faith because I thought it was what he would want to hear. He also appreciated that I was willing to ask his opinions as another person rather than demanding answers and challenging his position and profession.

My daughter has always been the type of person that doesn’t like surprises and deals exceptionally well with things if she’s informed along the way.  She was very precocious 4-year old at the time.  I explained to her what was going on, detailing that some cancer is like rust (her other grandfather died of lung cancer when she was 2) and that other cancers are like water balloons that just keep getting bigger.  It made perfect sense to her and infact later she took it upon herself to explain it to her great Grandmother who was suffering more from denial than dementia at that point.

Kid was out playing when it was determined that Pop had slipped into a coma and the end was near.  I explained that it was “time” and that he would be leaving us soon.  She grabbed the chunky book that she always made him read to her and climbed in the hospital bed with him.  She proceeded to “read” the book and then sang a song to him.  Finally she gave him a kiss and then let him know that she had to go because it was bedtime.

Pop passed in the middle of the night and the funeral home came to pick up his body.  Frankly I always thought they kept bankers hours till then.  The next morning I met my daughter in her bedroom so we could talk and discuss what she would be seeing (or rather not seeing) since he was gone.  She informed me that she already knew that he was gone.  When I asked how she knew she told me that he had come up to see her before he left.  Kid when on to say that he had woken her up, let her know that he was leaving, told her to be good and that he’d see her later and that he loved her, then tucked her in and told her to go back to sleep.  I still get overwhelmed just thinking about that conversation 19 years later.

Father Dave had recommended the funeral home, noting that a lot of people complained that it looked more like an antique store rather than a funeral home.  Perfect choice.  I hate funeral homes.  On the day of the viewing, we were getting ready to leave the house when my daughter told me she had to get something and ran up to the bedroom returning with the same chunky book that she had read to him just a few nights before.  When I asked about it, she told me that she wanted to give it to him now since he wouldn’t be around for his birthday and she wouldn’t be able to give him a present then.

I learned a lot watching her.  No fear, just acceptance.  It was amazing to see someone, anyone, deal with this so matter of factly.  Not cold like a doctor, but just from a “this is okay, it happens” standpoint.  At the funeral home she greeted visitors at the door, showed them to the guest book and then walked them to the casket and left them here. No one instructed her to and no one had to tell her to give them time to themselves once they got to the casket. Somehow she just knew what to do.

Because of my dad, death became a topic of conversation for all of us.  Infact Kid informed me one day that she would prefer to have me “creamerated” so that if I died before she had kids then she could keep me around to meet them, she would do something with my ashes later “when she was done with me”.  Pretty deep for a 4 year old I thought.  When preschool started that fall she was asked to draw her family, we had to explain the box (of ashes) to her teacher who was quite confused.

A few short years later we had a rough couple of months.  From January to May there were 13 funerals between friends and family.  The hardest were in the first month.  My father’s mother who had been suffering from severe dementia passed from a ruptured aneurism, my Grandfather was completely lost.  They had been married 63 years and retired for the last 20, then in the last five years due to the dementia he was her world and she his.  My sister stayed with him to help him out and kept my daughter with her to give him another focus.

Mom & I came back to Columbus to return to work, only to get a call the following morning that a friend’s 8 month old baby had passed the night before.  Meningococcal meningitis. It usually hits college aged kids, but it got her instead.  From the time she was symptomatic to the time she passed it was 20 minutes.  Losing a baby… anyones baby, rocks your world.  Especially if you have kids.  All I could do was think of all the times my daughter had been sick.  It was also gut wrenching to watch the young single mother with her heart and purpose ripped from her as she sat next to the casket.

Two weeks later, the world as I knew it ended.  My best friend (and ex-fiancee) committed suicide.  I’m still reeling from this one all these years later.  There are no answers.  I suffered a nervous breakdown from the two events back to back. To make matters worse, due to a backlog at the coroner’s office and the required autopsy due to the nature of his death, there was a memorial service held in his honor but “he” was not in attendance.  There was no funeral. To this day I can’t picture Michael this way.  I used to have dreams that he would call me and tell me that he joined the witness protection program.  I guess Hollywood and my subconscious found a way to rationalize what I could not.

Mom passed at home like Pop did, with hospice care in 2002.  We only had a one day viewing before her cremation. My daughter, my sister, brother-in-law and I, were all much too drained emotionally to do much else.  Others felt cheated (?) if you will, that there wasn’t more time to visit and say good bye.  Something we had not considered because we were there through it all.

Grandpa went downhill rather quickly after Mom died.  He’d buried his parents, his baby brother, countless friends, his son and now his daughter-in-law.  The only ones left were his two granddaughters and his great granddaughter and he wasn’t sticking around for that.  It was agonizing for all involved to watch him as he deteriorated.  Of all the death “experience” we’d had, none of it was from old age.  To see him in a constant state of mourning and feeling punished by God, reasoning why else could he have outlived all these people only to linger and watch?  He passed a week before his 97th birthday.  This now left me as the oldest of the family at the age of 37.

What I have realized from all of this is that funerals are for the living.  They help us process what has happened and accept the transition that this person has made from life to death.  It’s important for us to see this in some manner. In as much as I didn’t want to see my Grandmother in her casket all those years ago, we still had the funeral, the entire family mourning and the cemetery. The pieces were together.

While it’s noble to say that when you die you don’t want a funeral, please consider that others need it or some form of one to help them process what has happened and deal with their loss.


Here’s where my conversation takes a little bit of a left turn if you will.  When my father’s mother passed in January 1997, it was too cold for the plot to be prepared in a timely manner due to the ground being frozen.  We had a second smaller service in the cemetery chapel rather than at the graveside.  Before leaving I expressed my wishes to go to the gravesite anyway.  It’s a family plot, my great Grandparents and great Aunt and Uncle are all buried there.  I was also trying to do a bit of family genealogy and there was a discrepancy regarding my great Grandmother’s date of birth.  I was hoping that I would find the date I was looking for on the headstone.

The headstone at that site is one larger piece of marble with the last name on it, then the first names and dates are on a second base slab below it.  As I mentioned, the gravesite was not ready for burial, but it was dug and there were large boards covering it.  I visited for a few minutes, realizing that I hadn’t been there since the last time it had been opened in 1971.  The board that was laid across the plot was blocking the information on the bottom of the stone and I attempted to move it just a couple of inches so I could see the dates.  Instead, the board fell in the hole, everyone started yelling because they thought I fell in and I scared myself and screamed anticipating to see a similar scene to the pool scene in Poltergeist (the one with the pool).  Instead, what I saw were caskets that looked “showroom new” 26 years after burial.  How is that possible?

Medgar Evers, the famous civil rights activist, was assassinated in 1963.  The person responsible for his death wasn’t finally convicted until 1994.  As part of the pretrial process, Evers’ body was exhumed to gather evidence.  His son was told to leave the room, as no loved one should see remains like that, but was soon invited back in.  It looked as though his father had only been recently buried with the casket and his body intact, not at all looking as it “should have” having being buried for 31 years.

It’s now 2014.  You can’t go a week without the term “green” or the prefix “eco” landing somewhere in your life.. whether you choose to pursue it or not.  And all I can think of is those caskets.  How long will they sit there “showroom new”?  I’ve read about how embalming fluids are toxic in the ground… although you’ve got to get through the casket now don’t you?   I’ve heard and read about how cremation isn’t very “earth friendly” because of the energy used and what is emitted into the atmosphere.

Population on this planet has literally doubled in the course of my lifetime, which means that there are more people dying.  Where are we putting them?  Have you ever seen a new cemetery open for business?  I haven’t.  I know that more are building and entombing above ground.  My grandfather once told me (in reference to the family plot) that each plot should “hold” 3 people, that they bury at 3, 6 & 9 feet and then can add to it every 25 years to allow for decomposition.  Well that’s obviously not the case with what I’ve witnessed first hand.

Frankly I don’t think we were supposed to go past the pine boxes, burial shrouds and pyres of our ancestors. While I don’t pretend to know what the answer is I do think we need to be looking for a solution before it becomes a huge problem.

I did see this video the other day which is what prompted this post (along with another conversation with my daughter).

I think its a very innovative step towards a solution for a growing problem that no one is talking about… yet.  I hope it prompts others to consider the issues being faced and those that will come eventually and it challenges them to work on other solutions as well.


We need to have these conversations with our families, no matter how awkward or uncomfortable.  It’s part of life, it’s part of the process of preparation.  Not just for planning one’s own funeral, but for helping them in dealing with our eventual death.

I considered my parents cancer to be somewhat of a blessing in that we had time to begin the process together.  I could help them be comfortable with their own upcoming death and they could help me begin the grieving process.

While we can never be fully prepared and the loss is always felt, having time to discuss things and wrap your brain around it does seem to lessen the overwhelmingness somewhat.  From where I sit, it seems that those who suffer a sudden loss have so much more to deal with and process and sometimes never quite work their way through it. Having dealt with both, I’d much rather deal with illness rather than something sudden and unexpected.

As for me, my plans are simple.  After my loved ones get to see me in my new state, I will be cremated.  My ashes will be divided between my daughter and all my besties.  They can all deal with the transition and say good bye as they see fit.  One is already planning on planting me with a tree.  I originally heard about Keith Richards (of the Rolling Stones) doing this with his dad and I absolutely love the idea.  As a tree I will be able to breathe well again, continue to live in a new form and continue to add to the quality of life of others as well.  I did some looking around and found this awesome biodegradable urn from Eternitrees.

Of course knowing my love of irony and crafts (along with one bestie in particular), someone could wind up making me into an ashtray…  and that’s okay too.  It’s about their closure, not mine.
{{{hugs}}}

Maggie

Frankincense: Could it be a cure for cancer?

Frankincense resin, and incense

The gift given by the wise men to the baby Jesus probably came across the deserts from Oman. The BBC’s Jeremy Howell visits the country to ask whether a commodity that was once worth its weight in gold could be reborn as a treatment for cancer.

Oman’s Land of Frankincense is an 11-hour drive southwards from the capital, Muscat.

Most of the journey is through Arabia’s Empty Quarter – hundreds of kilometres of flat, dun-coloured desert. Just when you are starting to think this is the only scenery you will ever see again, the Dhofar mountains appear in the distance.

 

Map of Oman

On the other side are green valleys, with cows grazing in them. The Dhofar region catches the tail-end of India’s summer monsoons, and they make this the most verdant place on the Arabian peninsula.

Warm winters and showery summers are the perfect conditions for the Boswellia sacra tree to produce the sap called frankincense. These trees grow wild in Dhofar. A tour guide, Mohammed Al-Shahri took me to Wadi Dawkah, a valley 20 km inland from the main city of Salalah, to see a forest of them.

“The records show that frankincense was produced here as far back as 7,000 BC,” he says. He produces an army knife. He used to be a member of the Sultan’s Special Forces. With a practised flick, he cuts a strip of bark from the trunk of one of the Boswellia sacra trees. Pinpricks of milky-white sap appear on the wood and, very slowly, start to ooze out.

 

Boswellia sacra

Boswellia sacra produces the highest-quality frankincense

“This is the first cut. But you don’t gather this sap,” he says. “It releases whatever impurities are in the wood. The farmers return after two or three weeks and make a second, and a third, cut. Then the sap comes out yellow, or bright green, or brown or even black. They take this.”

Shortly afterwards, a frankincense farmer arrives in a pick-up truck. He is white-bearded, wearing a brown thobe and the traditional Omani, paisley-patterned turban.

He is 67-year-old Salem Mohammed from the Gidad family. Most of the Boswellia sacra trees grow on public land, but custom dictates that each forest is given to one of the local families to farm, and Wadi Dawkah is his turf.

Read More

 

Balance Your pH Level

Health comes with alkalinity not acidity.  We need to know how acidic our body is to know how much correction is needed to balance our pH levels.

10 Most Cancer Causing Foods To Avoid

The statement “everything causes cancer” has become a popular hyperbole, and one that some people use as rhetorical fodder to excuse their own dietary and lifestyle failures, particularly as they pertain to cancer risk. But the truth of the matter is that many common food items have, indeed, been scientifically shown to increase cancer risk, and some of them substantially. Here are 10 of the most unhealthy, cancer-causing foods that you should never eat again:

Soda

1) Genetically-modified organisms (GMOs)

It goes without saying that GMOs have no legitimate place in any cancer-free diet, especially now that both GMOs and the chemicals used to grow them have been shown to cause rapid tumor growth. But GMOs are everywhere, including in most food derivatives made from conventional corn, soybeans, and canola. However, you can avoid them by sticking with certified organic, certified non-GMO verified, and locally-grown foods that are produced naturally without biotechnology.

2) Processed meats

Most processed meat products, including lunch meats, bacon, sausage, and hot dogs, contain chemical preservatives that make them appear fresh and appealing, but that can also cause cancer. Both sodium nitrite and sodium nitrate have been linked to significantly increasing the risk of colon and other forms of cancer, so be sure to choose only uncured meat products made without nitrates, and preferably from grass-fed sources.

3) Microwave popcorn

They might be convenient, but those bags of microwave popcorn are lined with chemicals that are linked to causing not only infertility but also liver, testicular, and pancreatic cancers. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recognizes the perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) in microwave popcorn bag linings as “likely” carcinogenic, and several independent studies have linked the chemical to causing tumors. Similarly, the diacetyl chemical used in the popcorn itself is linked to causing both lung damage and cancer.

4) Soda pop

Like processed meats, soda pop has been shown to cause cancer as well. Loaded with sugar, food chemicals, and colorings, soda pop acidifies the body and literally feeds cancer cells. Common soda pop chemicals like caramel color and its derivative 4-methylimidazole (4-MI) have also specifically been linked to causing cancer.

5) ‘Diet’ foods, beverages

Even worse than conventional sugar-sweetened soda pop, though, is “diet” soda pop and various other diet beverages and foods. A recent scientific review issued by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) of more than 20 separate research studies found that aspartame, one of the most common artificial sweeteners, causes a range of illnesses including birth defects and cancer. Sucralose (Splenda), saccharin and various other artificial sweeteners have also been linked to causing cancer.

6) Refined ‘white’ flours

Refined flour is a common ingredient in processed foods, but its excess carbohydrate content is a serious cause for concern. A study published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Mile Markers, and Prevention found that regular consumption of refined carbohydrates was linked to a 220 percent increase in breast cancer among women. High-glycemic foods in general have also been shown to rapidly raise blood sugar levels in the body, which directly feeds cancer cell growth and spread.

7) Refined sugars

The same goes for refined sugars, which tend to rapidly spike insulin levels and feed the growth of cancer cells. Fructose-rich sweeteners like high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) are particularly offensive, as cancer cells have been shown to quickly and easily metabolize them in order to proliferate. And since cookies, cakes, pies, sodas, juices, sauces, cereals, and many other popular, mostly processed, food items are loaded with HFCS and other refined sugars, this helps explain why cancer rates are on the rise these days.

8) Conventional apples, grapes, and other ‘dirty’ fruits

Many people think they are eating healthy when they buy apples, grapes, or strawberries from the store. But unless these fruits are organic or verified to be pesticide-free, they could be a major cancer risk. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) found that up to 98 percent of all conventional produce, and particularly the type found on its “dirty” fruits list, is contaminated with cancer-causing pesticides.

9) Farmed salmon

Farmed salmon is another high-risk cancer food, according to Dr. David Carpenter, Director of the Institute for Health and the Environment at the University of Albany. According to his assessment, farmed salmon not only lacks vitamin D, but it is often contaminated with carcinogenic chemicals, PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls), flame retardants, pesticides, and antibiotics.

10) Hydrogenated oils

They are commonly used to preserve processed foods and keep them shelf-stable. But hydrogenated oils alter the structure and flexibility of cell membranes throughout the body, which can lead to a host of debilitating diseases such as cancer. Some manufacturers are phasing out the use of hydrogenated oils and replacing them with palm oil and other safer alternatives, but trans fats are still widely used in processed foods.

Source: Natural News

Banner

Turmeric: Funny Name, Amazing Health Benefits

While the holistic health community has recognized the benefits of turmeric for over a thousand years, it’s only recently that Western medical practitioners have come on board.

Turmeric
Turmeric is an orange-colored spice imported from India, is part the ginger family and has been a staple in Middle Eastern and Southeast Asian cooking for thousands of years.  It is propagated by cuttings from the root, needs well drained soil and a humid climate.  The rhizome is then unearthed in winter.  Here in the West though turmeric most commonly known as the ingredient that turns salad mustard  and curry bright yellow.
During the last two decades, turmeric’s ancient use as a treatment for digestive and liver problems have been largely confirmed by scientific research.  It has also been shown to inhibit blood-clotting, relieve inflammatory conditions and help to lower cholesterol.
Ayurvedic and Chinese medicines utilize turmeric to clear infections as well as inflammations on the inside and outside of the body.  But beyond the holistic health community, Western medical practitioners have only recently come on board in recognizing the benefits of turmeric.

Mountain Rose Herbs. A Herbs, Health & Harmony Com

Blocking cancer

Doctors at UCLA recently found that curcumin, the main component in turmeric, appeared to block an enzyme that promotes the growth of head and neck cancer.
In that study, 21 subjects with head and neck cancers chewed two tablets containing 1,000 milligrams of curcumin.  An independent lab in Maryland evaluated the results and found that the cancer-promoting enzymes in the patients’ mouths were inhibited by the curcumin and thus prevented from advancing the spread of the malignant cells.

Natural Health

Powerful antioxidant

The phytochemical curcumin has antioxidant properties that prevent the formation of neutralized existing free radicals.  It stops precancerous changes withing DNA and interferes with enzymes necessary for cancer prevention.  Early studies have indicated that curcumin may help prevent or treat several types of cancer including prostate, skin and colon.  In laboratory tests, turmeric has inhibited the spread of HIV.

ReUseIt.com

Potent anti-inflammatory

Dr. Randy J. Horwitz, the medical director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine and an assistant professor of clinical medicine at the University of Arizona College of Medicine in Tucson, wrote a paper for the American Academy of Pain Management in which he discussed the health benefits of turmeric.
“Turmeric is one of the most potent natural anti-inflammatories available,” Horwitz states in the paper.
He went on to cite a 2006 University of Arizona study that examined the effect of turmeric on rats with injected rheumatoid arthritis. According to Horwitz, pre-treatment with turmeric completely inhibited the onset of rheumatoid arthritis in the rats. In addition, the study found that using turmeric for pre-existing rheumatoid arthritis resulted in a significant reduction of symptoms.


“Raw is best”

Natalie Kling, a Los Angeles-based nutritionist, says she first learned about the benefits of turmeric while getting her degree from the Natural Healing Institute of Neuropathy. “As an anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antiseptic, it’s a very powerful plant,” she says.
Kling recommends it to clients for joint pain and says that when taken as a supplement, it helps quickly. She advises adding turmeric to food whenever possible and offers these easy tips. “Raw is best,” she said. “Sprinkling it on vegetables or mixing it into dressings is quick and effective.”
If you do cook it, make sure to use a small amount of healthy fat like healthy coconut oil to maximize flavor.  Kling also recommends rubbing turmeric on meat and putting it into curries and soups.
“It’s inexpensive, mild in taste, and benefits every system in the body,” Kling says. “Adding this powerful plant to your diet is one of the best things you can do for long term health.”
Caution:  Curcumin should not be taken by anyone who has a biliary tract obstruction or is taking anticoagulants, as curcumin stimulates bile secretion and acts as a blood thinner.
Banner