Curry Spice Ingredient (not Turmeric) Shuts Down Breast Cancer Growth

cumin breast cancerResearch from the University of Malaya’s Medical School Faculty has determined that a common spice used in Curry – not referring to Turmeric – stops the growth of breast cancer cells.

The researchers investigated the activity of the seeds often used to make curry spice often referred to as Cumin – with the botanical name Centratherum anthelminticum. While not the most common form of Cumin, this herb is also referred to in Ayurveda as Banjira and Jangali.

The researchers tested the Centratherum seeds against MCF-7 human breast cancer cells within the laboratory. They found that the Centratherum produced breast cancer cell death, along with a shrinking of cell size and deformed cellular structure among the cells.

The investigators then fractionated the Centratherum compound, to produce six different fractions. These included dihydroxyoleic acid, vernodalin and others. The researchers then tested each fraction against the human breast cancer cells, and found that the vernodalin had the most ability to kill and halt the breast cancer growth.

The researchers concluded that:

“Overall, our data suggest a potential therapeutic value of vernodalin to be further developed as new anti-cancer drug.”

Part of the effect of Centratherum may be its ability to inhibit the tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-a), as found in other research.

Other research has shown Centratherum to be a potent antifungal, an anti-inflammatory agent and an antioxidant in addition to its cancer-fighting potential.

Indian researchers determined its antifungal qualities, while University of Malaya scientists determined the seeds may have a rejuvenating effect upon pancreatic cells.

Ayurvedic physicians have used Centratherum to treat diabetes and skin disorders for centuries.

Researchers have also found that Centratherum reduces oxidative stress upon cells and tissues due to its antioxidant potency. It also has been shown to stimulate healing for inflammatory conditions. Other research found the herb to be analgesic – having the ability to halt or lessen pain.

Besides the compounds mentioned above, Centratherum has been shown to contain steroidal biochemicals that inhibit pathogenic fungi and bacteria.

While Centratherum is often used to make the spice mix called Curry, another form of cumin, Cuminum cyminum, is also used to make Curry. Cuminum cyminum is a relative of parsley, with its own medicinal qualities. Curry’s yellow color is due to its Turmeric content.

One way or another, adding Curry to our dinners is not such a bad spice choice.

Written by Case Adams, Naturopath


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Case Adams is a California Naturopath with a PhD in Natural Health Sciences, and Board Certified Alternative Medicine Practitioner. He has authored 26 books on natural healing strategies. “My journey into writing about alternative medicine began about 9:30 one evening after I finished with a patient at the clinic I practiced at over a decade ago. I had just spent the last two hours explaining how diet, sleep and other lifestyle choices create health problems and how changes in these, along with certain herbal medicines and other natural strategies can radically yet safely turn ones health around. As I drove home that night, I realized I needed to get this knowledge out to more people. So I began writing about health with a mission to reach those who desperately need this information. The strategies in my books and articles are backed by scientific evidence along with wisdom handed down through traditional medicines for thousands of years.” Case connects with the elements by surfing, hiking and being a beach bum.

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