A bitter cumin study…Treating chemo side effects with plant extracts…And, finally, 20 reasons to add turmeric to our diet…

Busy days…But this morning I did find time to read a few Science Daily articles that I hope you will find interesting, too.

  1. This article (http://goo.gl/EdGgc) tells us about bitter cumin, a spice that is used extensively in traditional medicine to treat a range of diseases from vitiligo to hyperglycemia. It is considered to be antiparasitic and antimicrobial and science has backed up claims of its use to reduce fever or as a painkiller. A recent study has shown that it is chock-full of antioxidants. Sound familiar? Yeah…thought so… 😉 The full text is available online, by the way (http://goo.gl/U8rI9). I took a super quick look at it and found this: The seeds have a hot sharp taste; acrid, astringent to the bowls, antihelmintic; cure ulcers, used in skin diseases, leucoderma and fevers. It’s like a déjà vu…
  2. Another interesting new study (http://goo.gl/f5q7x) deals with a common side effect of conventional cancer treatments, that is, the impairment of the immune system, which can result in life-threatening secondary infections and so on (see the article for more information/details). In this study, Indian researchers tested extracts from several plants used in traditional or folk medicine against microbials found in the mouths of oral cancer patients. Of the 40 patients involved in the study, 35 had compromised immune systems with severely reduced neutrophil counts. Eight of the plants tested were able to significantly affect the growth of organisms collected by oral swab, and pure cultures of bacteria and fungi grown in the lab. This included wild asparagus, desert date, false daisy, curry tree, caster oil plant and fenugreek. Well, well…Ah, FYI, I see that the full text is available online (http://goo.gl/3S3t2). I don’t have time to read it right now, though…
  3. Thanks to a Facebook friend/blog reader, I read a list (http://goo.gl/2Kcde) detailing some of the benefits of turmeric. The list gives only 20 good reasons to add turmeric to our diet (I could find many more than that!), plus it’s a bit dated (i.e., 2007)…lots has happened since 2007, of course…but it’s still quite a decent summary. Ah, there’s a slight (!) mistake in item no. 17: it should be “curcumin,” not “turmeric”! (Let’s not forget that the Indian spice turmeric contains only a small percentage, only between 8 and 9%, of its active ingredient, i.e., curcumin…)


  1. hi margaret,
    just quoting you :
    “curcumin,” not “turmeric”! (Let’s not forget that the Indian spice turmeric contains only a small percentage, only between 8 and 9%, of its active ingredient, i.e., curcumin…)”

    before your readers dismiss turmeric.. dont you think the whole food version and the substances available in turmeric (altho its only 8% to 9% curcumin) could probably be helping on its efficacy? so its probably beneficial to take both (the whole food version – turmeric and the supplement form- Curcumin)


  2. Hi Lanie, I don’t dismiss turmeric at all. On the contrary, I use it in my cooking as often as possible (though I found out it’s not so good on pasta and pizza…;-)). It’s great in soups and bean-based dishes and omelettes, e.g. In short, I agree with you wholeheartedly.
    Indeed, whenever I make an Indian dinner (yum yum), I take my curcumin caps WITH my food, which I usually don’t do.

  3. Hi Margaret

    I’m a fellow multiple myeloma patient, not smouldering, but responding very well to medical treatment and am facing a stem cell transplant within the next few weeks, with the inherent heavy dose of chemotherapy.

    I came across your blog via another MM blogger’s site and am amazed to see so much research into curcumin. I noted one thing you wrote above… “Let’s not forget that the Indian spice turmeric contains only a small percentage, only between 8 and 9%, of its active ingredient, i.e., curcumin.” And I wondered if you have found a way to take curcumin that is not just eating turmeric?

    I did buy some curcumin capsules, but they were very expensive, so I then found I could buy empty capsules and fill them by hand with turmeric, which I take each day – about 1gram a day. I don’t have scales small enough to gauge the exact weight.

    Any helpful thoughts/comments would be appreciated. And please feel free to check out my blog: http://jetblackliving.wordpress.com/


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *