Scientists have begun to study the properties of turmeric and have found it has anti-inflammatory properties that may offer new treatment possibilities for tendinitis (see the article here) and, even better, turmeric activates a cancer-killing mechanism in human saliva (see the article here) and may help boost treatments for people suffering head and neck malignancies. Marilene Wang, from UCLA's Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, the senior author of the study, explains:
"This study shows that curcumin can work in the mouths of patients with head and neck malignancies and reduce activities that promote cancer growth," Wang said. "And it not only affected the cancer by inhibiting a critical cell signaling pathway, it also affected the saliva itself by reducing pro-inflammatory cytokines within the saliva."Ok, so my headline is perhaps a bit hyperbolic. But I'll take any excuse to let the spice flow.
On the culinary side of things, I'm already wondering how I might use fresh turmeric root in a curry rather than the powder. Microplane it into a paste, same as ginger? Juice it? Dice it?
Thanks, Erin Goss, for bringing these articles to my attention. Now tell me, what other spices have curative properties? Should we start with chile peppers?