Nutrition

Curmin and Cancer

When our son, Anthony, was diagnosed with Medulloblastoma he underwent surgery to have a brain tumor the size of a tennis ball removed. The neurosurgeons were successful in removing 95% of the tumor, the other 5% had unfortunately infiltrated his medulla rendering it unsafe to try to remove. Regardless if the outcome of the surgery was achieving full resection of the tumor, we still knew that he would have to undergo 30 sessions of radiation followed by a year long course of chemotherapy. Having residual brain tumor not only posed a risk of having it spread but it also meant that we now had to rely on the remaining treatment. Shortly after Anthony was discharged from the hospital and we were settled back at home I started to research CAM (complimentary and alternative medicine) in which we could incorporate into his treatment course as an adjunct to therapy. As a nurse, I already knew he would endure several side effects as a result of radiation and chemotherapy, in addition to the countless amount of medications he would need to take. I wanted to make sure we did not have resort to additional medication that would be taxing to his body in order to combat the side effects but instead utilize natural holistic methods, if possible.

This is when I started to learn more about curcumin and its many health benefits. Soon after turmeric would become a staple in our household and an integral part of his healing journey. Anthony has always been a picky eater, so trying to add turmeric to his meals would be nearly impossible. I was able to slowly incorporate it into his spaghetti using turmeric ghee but even then he asked “why is my spaghetti yellow?!” So I had to find a better way of adding it to his meals without him noticing not only so much the color but the taste as well, so that he would be being willing to consume it.If him being a picky eater wasn’t a challenge enough, you then add the odor sensitivity and change in taste that cancer patients endure and its an even harder battle. 

The majority of our weekly hospital follow-up visits have been on Wednesdays, which also happens to be farmers market day at the hospital. To my luck, I came across a golden milk mix from Zen’s Tea House. I was able to try it on the spot and it was absolutely delicious! Not only was this something that I would enjoy myself but it would be great to use in Anthony’s pancakes since it has a sweet taste to it. 

Golden Milk is one the most famous remedies in Ayurvedic medicine originating in India. Turmeric is famous for its anti-inflammatory and detoxifying properties, making it a wonderful remedy for those suffering from injuries, joint pain, and build up of toxins, most importantly cancer patients undergoing radiation and chemotherapy.

Curcumin, the yellow pigment and main component of turmeric, is one of the most potent spices in nature for its healing properties:

  • Supports brain and joint health
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Anti-oxidant, liver detoxifier
  • Antiseptic, said to have anti-viral, antibacterial and anti-fungal properties
  • Boosts immunity
  • Anti-cancer properties for certain types of cancer
  • Helps maintain cholesterol levels, lowering tryglicerides
  • Supports circulatory system and blood pressure
  • Helps the body digest proteins and fats
  • Aids in relaxation (perfect when drinking warm before bedtime)

Golden milk is one of the easiest and most delectable ways to enjoy turmeric and reap its benefits. In trying several different types of golden milk, I must say that I love Zen’s Tea House Golden Milk. What makes it so powerful, is the quality of ingredients. You can truly capture its essence and distinct rich taste. All three ingredients, Turmeric root powder, Vietnamese Cinnamon powder and Ginger root powder, are 100% Organic, non-GMO and of the highest quality.

How to make Warm Golden Milk:

  • Bring 8oz of milk (or alternative) to a simmer
  • Add 1 tsp of Golden Milk mix
  • Let simmer for 5 minutes, while stirring occassionally and enjoy.
  • Perfect to drink before bedtime as it aids in relaxation!

How to make Cold Golden Milk:

  • Use 8-16oz of milk (or alternative)
  • Add 1 tsp of Golden Milk mix (you can shake or stir until the Golden Milk is completely dissolved but I personally like to place it in a blender to get a smooth finish).
  • You can make as much as you want and store in glass bottles in the refrigerator to enjoy later.



Health Tip: Adding a pinch of black pepper to turmeric enhances curcumin’s bioavailability due to it component piperine furthermore increasing its health benefits. Also if you do not use milk and want to use water instead to make a hot tea, add some coconut oil/ghee and/or MCT oil. Turmeric is fat soluble so it is best absorbed when combined with a fat.

How to make Golden Milk pancakes (these are my son’s favorite and honestly how I am able to get him to ingest it because “drinking yellow milk” is not going to happen any time soon! Pancakes have also been one of the easiest ways I have been able to pack in nutrients and calories to help him battle his weight loss during cancer treatment):

  1. Start out with your favorite pancake mix (I love Birch Benders!)
  2. Add a tsp of Zen’s Tea House Golden Milk mix
  3. Add milk of choice or alternative
  4. Add a tsp of ground flaxseeds with lignans (great way to add fiber and omega 3)
  5. Add an egg (farm fresh eggs are always the best, if not look for organic eggs with the highest omega 3 and DHA) or you can substitute for banana
  6. Cook in butter (my favorite is Kerry Gold or Organic Valley) in a cast iron skillet (as a way to increase iron levels, unless contraindicated)
  7. There are so many other things you can add to the mix, some of my favorite are: coconut, dark chocolate chips, walnuts and blueberries
  8. Some tips that helped me add calories to my son’s pancakes were adding: a tsp of almond butter or any nut butter, dash of heavy cream or whipped cream

There are so many ways that you can reap the health benefits of turmeric but I assure you golden milk will be one of the most delightful ways that you can enjoy it.

*Any application of the recommendations in this website is at the reader’s discretion.Information is provided for informational  purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.Please consult with physician prior to use.