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Researchers at the University of Texas have found that small doses of curcumin, a common ingredient in curry, not only can stop the growth of melanoma cells but also cause the cells to self destruct. The research further indicated the more curcumin that was added to melanoma cells, the greater the number of dead cells. Increasing the amount of curcumin also stopped the melanoma cells from reproducing. This is exciting news to say the least.
What is Melanoma?
In the simplest terms, melanoma is the bad kind of skin cancer. The cancer cells develop as odd shaped and colored moles on the surface of the skin and sometimes in the eye. Melanoma can metastasize (spread) to other organs in the body such as the liver, lungs, and brain. Doctors diagnose about 53,000 people each year with melanoma. Most skin cancer deaths are caused by melanoma. If there is some good news, it’s that if caught and treated early, melanoma can be cured.
What is Curcumin?
Curcumin is the active ingredient in the herb turmeric. Curcumin is a member of the ginger family and is ground from the root of the curcuma longa plant. It has been used for thousands of years in India and many Asian countries as a food preservative, coloring agent, folk remedy and a food flavoring.
Curcumin vs. Chemotherapy
According to one of the researchers associated with the UT study, one of the most exciting aspects of curcumin is its low toxicity. People seam to be able to handle large doses of curcumin with no side effects. This is in contrast to chemotherapy were most forms of the treatment cause serious adverse reactions.
Where to buy Curcumin
If you want to get started taking curcumin you should be able to find it in supplement form at your favorite natural pharmacy. Make sure to get the kind that is 95% curcumin. It is too early to have dosage levels for fighting cancer but most practitioners are recommending a dosage of 400-600 mg 3 times daily.
Below is a great recipe if you want to start using this powerful spice on some or your food preparations:
Uncle Mike’s Turmeric Chicken Cha Cha
This recipe will give you a big dose of turmeric. Remember, the active ingredient in turmeric is curcumin. When you go to the store to get your spices look for turmeric, you will not find curcumin. I use Spice Islands brand but there are usually others available depending on the store. Be careful with this spice as if you get it on your clothing it is very hard to remove.
Mix equal parts of soy sauce and light olive oil together in a bowl
Pour Soy/Olive oil mixture over chicken breasts and let them marinate for a few hours
Prepare a spice mixture of 3 parts turmeric and 2 parts garlic powder
Cover the marinated chicken with the spice mixture (I just sprinkle it on with a salt shaker)
Bake for one hour at 325 degrees
Remove and cook on grill for 4 minutes on each side over medium heat
The last step is optional but is my favorite step during the summer season. If you don’t use the grill then bake for about an hour and fifteen minutes
Copyright 2005 Michael Brooks