Benefits of Turmeric

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Turmeric or curcumin is a spice found in curry and other ethnic foods. Turmeric has received much attention as being an anti-inflammatory spice that may have cancer-preventing or cancer-fighting properties. Historically, turmeric has been used for gastrointestinal upset, skin disorders, and other ailments caused by inflammation. Is turmeric a herbal that cancer patients should consider? Read below to see what science and research is currently suggesting on turmeric.


  • Although turmeric has potential cancer-fighting properties when taken in pill form, it is known to interact with some chemotherapy drugs.
  • As with all supplements in pill form, the FDA does not regulate these products therefore what is on the label may not be what is in the bottle.
  • Our bodies prefer the whole food form over pill form. Foods when consumed work synergistically and tend to be better absorbed when consumed with other nutrients. Turmeric is known to be best absorbed with fat as well as black pepper (such as in a curry sauce or golden milk mixture).
  • The research on Turmeric doesn’t strongly support taking it as an oral supplement. In fact, some of the most compelling research on Turmeric has been redacted.

The bottom line is a diet full of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats, lean proteins and spices (such as cinnamon, turmeric and ginger) can all work together to make you feel healthy and strong.

Golden Milk Recipe (perfect for bedtime or when having an upset stomach):

  • 1 cup of canned coconut milk or carton almond milk
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract or pure vanilla
  • 1/8 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of black pepper
  • 1 tsp almond butter
  • 1-2 tsp honey (to taste)

Place ingredients in a small saucepan and heat on medium whisking while warms. When at preferred temperature place in a mug and enjoy. Extra can be placed in a container sealed in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.

If you are a patient and have questions about your diet, please ask your oncologist at your next appointment about receiving a complimentary nutritional session with Melanie Mitchell, Cancer Partners’ Registered Dietitian.

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