Dr. med. Heinz Lüscher


Origin of turmeric

The turmeric plant (Latin: curcuma longa) originates from the tropical and subtropical regions of South Asia. Other names for turmeric are yellow ginger, saffron or turmeric root. Although turmeric belongs to the ginger family, it isn’t the same as ginger, which can be bought in stores.


Ingredients that promote Health

Curcumin is the main ingredient that promotes health. The other ingredients of the root are not really of interest from a medical point of view. In India turmeric is called "the golden spice of life" and has been used for thousands of years. It is an indispensable part of Indian cuisine, with turmeric being the main ingredient of curries, yet it is not responsible for the sharp spicy taste of some curries.

Be careful: by itself turmeric is not effectively absorbed by the intestine!

Mixing turmeric with a little black pepper (piperine alkaloid), increases the absorption rate 1000 times. A good turmeric powder should therefore always have some pepper added. A easy way is to have a capsule product which contains the perfect mixture. (i.e. Kurkuma Vida)


The health effects of turmeric

The medicinal properties of turmeric are very diverse:

  • powerful antioxidant
  • inhibits the growth of bacteria, viruses, parasites and fungi
  • anti-inflammatory
  • promotes the production of bile (-> cholesterol reducing)
  • gentle on the liver
  • antispasmodic
  • inhibits the growth of tumors
  • able to repair DNA damage



Efficacy against cancer

Most medical studies of turmeric were undertaken to see its effects on cancer. In this area research shows clearly the efficacy of turmeric against cancer cells. This is demonstrated by the examples below:

  • turmeric reduces cyclin D1 value
  • turmeric reduces the C-Jun N-terminal kinase
  • turmeric reduces cyclooxygenase 2 (COX2)
  • turmeric lowers the formation of matrix metalloprotein 9 and MMP 2
  • turmeric lowers the activity of Urikinase Plasmogen activator
  • turmeric reduces the phosphorylase kinase
  • turmeric reduces NF-kappa B
  • turmeric increases the activity of the protective gene p53
  • turmeric reduces Bcl2
  • turmeric inhibits the synthesis of EGF (epithelial growth factor)
  • turmeric inhibits HER2 in breast cancer

turmeric still has many other effects on different enzymes of cancer cells

I am a layman and do not understand these technical terms

I made this list on purpose, even though most people do not understand it. Oncologists understand each sentence, but GPs usually don’t delve as deep in the molecular biological processes. My aim is simply to show that the anti-cancer effects are known and proven. Turmeric is at least as good as any chemotherapeutic agent, but has virtually no side effects. This together with other micronutrients such as OPC from grape seeds or EGCG from green tea, makes turmeric one of the standard therapies in the natural treatment of cancer.


Why can turmeric be used to as preventative and as a treatment for acute cancer? 


The result of the above mentioned enzyme activities leads to an increase apoptosis (natural cell death) of cancer cells, it delays the formation of new blood vessels, reduces inflammation and slows the invasion of normal tissues by cancer cells. Even metastasis is slowed or hindered; hence turmeric acts on virtually every tumor type.

Efficacy in inflammatory bowel disease

The two most common diseases of the intestine are ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease. While ulcerative colitis only affects the colon, Crohn's disease can infect the whole digestive system from the mouth to the rectum. The cause of these diseases are not known, it seems to be a kind of misdirected immune response. Personally, I am convinced that in many cases, food intolerance is to blame, which could be found and treated. In both diseases conventional medicine will use high doses of cortisone, later on extremely expensive immunosuppressants and in the end an operation.


Efficacy in Crohn's disease

Patients suffering from Crohn's disease all exhibit a severe shortage of almost all vital nutrients because the inflamed intestine no longer absorbs these nutrients efficiently. Treatment of the inflamed intestinal cells with turmeric as well as an antioxidant like aronia shows great results. Adding to this we suggest taking clinoptilolite (volcanic rock) which act as a detoxification agent. These treatments show excellent results for most inflammatory diseases of the intestine and even with the "leaky gut syndrome".

Efficacy in Alzheimer’s

It is a well-known fact that Indians suffer less from Alzheimer's disease than Western Europeans or Americans. This dreaded disease is on the increase. Today we see 10% of 65 year-olds and 30% of over-80s affected by Alzheimer’s. The costs of treating Alzheimer's patients are higher than for heart or cancer patients and gradually these costs escalate out of control. Any agent that helps is therefore welcomed.

As can be seen turmeric has many positive effects and the fact that the active ingredient curcumin can interfuse the blood / brain barrier, lead medical researchers to study the effects of turmeric on Alzheimer’s. It is certain that curcumin is able to mobilize and dismantle so-called plaques (beta-amyloid plaques) in the brain that have something to do with Alzheimer's. Improvement has been observed when Alzheimer’s patients are administered turmeric. It is still not a cut and dried case that turmeric can indeed prevent Alzheimer's. Yet it has been shown to have a significant positive impact and should increasingly be considered together with other nutrients (eg, CoQ10, omega-3 and phosphatidylserine) as a preventative for Alzheimer's.


Diseases were turmeric is deemed effective:

Main effect:

► Cancer, even in advanced stage with metastases

► Ulcerative colitis

► Crohn’s Disease

► Indigestion, flatulence, abdominal pain

► Alzheimer’s

Conditionally also helpful for the following complaints:

► Liver damage

► High Cholesterol

► Stomach inflammation

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