CAM Conference

Please look at more articles under each topic on this page. And for more on Chinese herbs, see complete section in Consumer’s View of Alt Med, then go to Traditional Chinese Medicine.


Immune Boosting with Spices

Spices are not only incredible flavor enhancers, they are known for their therapeutic value as well. Here’s a spice mixture for enhancing immunity from one of our Vaidyas, or Ayurvedic experts:

* 6 parts Turmeric
* 3 parts Ground Cumin
* 3 parts Ground Coriander
* 6 parts Ground Fennel
* 1 part Powdered Dry Ginger
* 1 part Ground Black Pepper
* 1/4 part Ground Cinnamon

Mix all the powdered spices well and store in an airtight container in a cool place away from direct sunlight. Measure one teaspoon of the spice mixture in one tablespoon of Ghee and heat until aroma is released. Remove from heat immediately to avoid burning. Apply spiced Ghee to cooked rice, vegetables or other dishes before serving. Taken regularly with each main meal of the day, this combination of spices will help boost your immune system and enhance digestion.

Find out more about Ghee:

“a small family-owned business that takes pride in making Organic Ghee from the milk of free-range cows fed on grass”.

4/5/07 Of the dried culinary herbs tested, oregano, sage, peppermint, garden thyme, lemon balm, clove, allspice and cinnamon as well as the Chinese medicinal herbs Cinnamomi cortex and Scutellariae radix all contained very high concentrations of antioxidants

J Nutr. 2003 May;133(5):1286-90.

Curcumin and Genistein Synergistic at Inhibiting Estrogen

Induced Breast Carcinoma Verma SP et al

Curcumin and genisten are two natural products of plants obtained from Curcuma longa Linn. (turmeric) and soybeans, respectively. Both compounds when present at micromolar concentrations are able to inhibit growth of estrogen-positive human breast MCF-7 cells induced individually or by a mixture of pesticides endosulfane, DDT and chlordane or 17-beta estradiol.

When curcumin and genistein were added together to MCF-7 cells, a synergistic effect resulting in total inhibition of the induction of MCF-7 cells by the highly estrogenic activity of endosulfane/chlordane/DDT mixtures was noted.

These data suggest that the combination of curcumin and genistein in the diet have the potential to reduce the proliferation of estrogen-positive cells by mixtures of pesticides or 17-beta estradiol.

Since it is difficult to remove pesticides completely from the environment or the diet and since both turmeric and soybeans are not toxic to humans, their inclusion in the diet in order to prevent hormone related cancers deserves consideration.

Ann’s NOTE: WHAT THIS MEANS: Combining curcumin and genistein (just one of the active ingredients in soybeans) was shown to COMPLETELY stop breast cells from becoming malignant (in a test tube). The researchers suggest that adding curcumin and soybeans to the diet could help prevent breast cancers that are responsive to hormones.

There is a theory that soy genistein and other phytochemicals can occupy receptors in the breast that would otherwise be estrogen occupied. Too much estrogen has been shown to be a factor in breast cancer.

The issue of soy elements, soy products and soy foods,have not been resolved fully.

11/03 Ann’s NOTE (an opinion): Very often in discussion with physicians and researchers I hear comments on dose and how hard it is to judge with foods, herbs, spices, etc.

How important is that really? We know everyone is a bit different from anyone else. Studies are conducted to find a common ‘dose’ that many will benefit from. This really does not mean that everyone needs the same dose. In fact, people metabolize doses differently and it does not appear to be based on size or weight.

So in some respects the fear of natural substances should not focus on portions, doses or amount of ‘active ingredient’ in any spoonful.

Biophys Res Commun 1997 Apr 28;233(3):692-6

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