Curcumin & Capsaicin

Two of the most potent spices I have run across in my cancer cure research are curcumin and capsaicin. Actually, I have been cooking with them for years but only recently starting reading about their awesome healing powers. Cucumin is the active ingredient in turmeric (the spice that makes curry powder bright yellow) and capsaicin is the active ingredient in cayenne pepper. (By active in that last sentence I mean “biologically active” – that these substances have an  impact on the biological activity of living cells.)

From D-Day (diagnosis day) on, Tad and I have been consuming large quantities of these two easy-to-find

Curcumin does it’s healing work largely by reducing inflammation, which is a factor in many chronic diseases. In addition to cancer, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, and Alzheimer’s occur, in part, due to out-of -control inflammation. (Read about a major study on the benefits of turmeric HERE.) Cayenne

You can find curcumin in capsules at most health food stores, but it’s easy to get your daily dose without them. Most herb shops (I love Lhasa Karnak in Berkeley) and ethnic grocery stores sell turmeric for a reasonable price. Yuu could also buy the brightest yellow curry powder you can find, and you may even be lucky enough to locate the fresh root at a well-stocked produce market (I also love Monterey Market in Berkeley).

Once you have turmeric root or powder on hand, you can add it to soups, stir-fries, hummus, scrambled eggs, salad dressing, etc. etc. For a super potent dose, make turmeric tea. Dr. Andrew Weil reports on his website that the famously long-lived Okanawans make a habit of drinking turmeric tea. Below is the recipe he provides. I would add that if you have found the fresh root, you can finely chop or grate a 3-inch hunk into the water instead of using the powder. And as a big health booster, add sliced fresh ginger to this brew.

  • Bring four cups of water to a boil.
  • Add one teaspoon of ground turmeric and reduce to a simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Strain the tea through a fine sieve into a cup, add honey and/or lemon to taste.

Does turmeric prevent cancer? Sure looks like it. The authors of a study published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the International Epidemiological Association in 2007 reported thusly:

“We observed the lowest total cancer in cidence rates in India (111 and 116 per 100 000 among males and females, respectively, age-standardized to the 1960 world population) and the highest among US whites (362 and 296).” (See more on this study HERE.) Stop for a moment and take that in: Americans have roughly triple the cancer that East Indians do.


As for cayenne, it’s healing properties are legend. I won’t go into detail here, because you can learn more than you ever wanted to know at a THIS WEBSITE.

It so happens that the beneficial effect of curcumin is super-charged when cayenne is also part of the menu. Indian cuisine can be pretty fiery, as you may know. If you can’t stand the spice sizzle on your tongue, you can opt for cayenne capsules instead.

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