Turmeric and curcumin are among the most popular herbal medicines, with many health benefits and few side effects. Here, Dr Sarah Brewer explains the concrete evidence – and how to use them.
It’s the spice that everyone’s talking about – barely a week goes by without us hearing about another purported health benefit of turmeric.
The kitchen cupboard staple, widely recognizable by its spectacular golden color, fast becoming one of the most researched plants in the world.
And with so many possible scientific and medical uses, it’s not difficult to see why.
Last month, the Daily Mail reported how a woman dying from cancer credited turmeric with keeping her alive.
Dieneke Ferguson, a 67-year-old from North London, was told there was ‘no hope’ for her after three rounds of chemotherapy and four stem cell treatments failed to halt the progression of her blood cancer.
She credits curcumin, a key component of turmeric, with keeping her alive, after she started taking 8g a day of it in tablet form.
And just last night, the benefits of turmeric were discussed last night in the Channel 4 programme Superfoods: The Real Story.
In the show, presenter Kate Quilton explained how she had fallen down the stairs last year and fractured two vertebrae in her back.
She’d had physio but had also tried to include turmeric in her diet in ‘as many weird and wonderful ways as possible’, after learning of its anti-inflammatory and healing properties.
Now back on her feet, she was on a mission to try and ascertain whether the turmeric played any part in her recovery.
Scientists Kate met assured her it had – and advised viewers to eat 1.5 teaspoons of the spice a day.
So why is turmeric such a superfood? And how can you reap the most benefits from taking it?