Doctor's Note

This reminds me of my video The Lie That Heals: Should Doctors Give Placebos? I went into the topic thinking one thing, but realized that there are strong arguments to be made on both sides.

Turmeric is pretty amazing stuff. Even if we won’t hear about most of the research because companies can’t patent it, we can educate ourselves:

The concept that the curcumin in turmeric is able to target multiple diseases pathways simultaneously is explored further in my follow-up to this video, Magic Bullets vs. Promiscuous Plants.

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  • HemoDynamic, M.D.

    One thing I had never really incorporated into my diet was Tumeric until you showed all the research explaining all the potent anti-inflammatory properties.
    Thanks for Coloring me Yellow!

    • Toxins

      A great super simple recipe for lots of it is here
      http://happyherbivore.com/recipe/chana-palak-masala/

      I would double all the spices, and quadruple the amount of turmeric to 2 teaspoons. its worth the increase in flavor. Keep garam masala at 1 teaspoon though. Also use fresh ground ginger, the taste makes the difference. This recipe is extremely quick to make and I make it often with brown rice on the side. Its cheap, easy and very tasty.

      • eileen

        Thank you for this recipe! It looks delicious and healthy.

      • Mike Quinoa

        Good recipe, Toxins. Has anyone out there tried hemp seed hearts? I buy them at the Bulk Barn here in Toronto. They’re an excellent plant-based source of protein, healthy fats, and fibre, and very neutral in taste, so you can add them to anything. Hemp hearts effortlessly ramp up the protein content of any meal. I thought I read somewhere that it was illegal to grow dietary hemp in the US (?). Err…I promise I won’t make brownies with it.

        • DGH

          Hemp hearts do increase protein content but from my research, including reading articles on protein bioavailability in PubMed, hemp is as lysine-deficient as any seed or grain. Lysine is, in other words, a major limiting factor with hemp, and lysine is very important for bone health and connective tissue (as you know).

          • Mike Quinoa

            You make a good point, DGH. I do eat quite a few lysine-containing plant-based foods throughout the day though, so hopefully I’m covered.

      • brec

        Why in that recipe would lemon juice be annotated as optional?

        • Toxins

          Im assuming for taste, after sharing this recipe I actually just had it for dinner and forgot the lemon juice. The lemon juice definitely adds to the flavor as well.

      • DanielFaster

        nice recipe, thanks! I have fresh turmeric root, (how) can I use it instead of the powder?

        • Toxins

          If you have one of those shavers/grinders that you rub ginger or other veggies on to make fine pieces I assume this would work just the same.

      • val

        yep, thanks so much for this recipe Toxins! awesome and I pretty much always increase any dried turmeric called for in recipes! I love to cook BUT am also eating this stuff raw, thanks for Dr. Greger (my HERO! ♥ !)…Whole Foods is right across the street from me so I pick some up every week. I work full-time and a co-worker saw me shredding it into my dark leafy salad not long ago and asked about it…I gave her a taste and now she’s eating it fresh, too.

      • Ben

        Would it benefit bio-availablility of phytonutrients to add a fat source to this recipe? Or does it not matter in the case of cooked food?

        • Toxins

          Cooking and the addition of pepper will significantly increase the bioavailibility, I don’t think that’s entirely necessary to add a fat source. The food itself has naturally occurring fat, about 20.2 grams for the whole dish with brown rice. Assuming you eat the entire meal alone and cook with a cup of initially uncooked rice, here are the nutritionfacts i nthe image below.

          • largelytrue

            Yeah, I’d note that desi chickpeas (the big pale beige ones) are quite high in fat as legumes go.

          • Adrien

            Can you link this website calculator, or maybe it’s a computer program. Either way, can you share the name with us ?

          • Toxins
          • Adrien

            Thanks. :)

  • http://macsmiley.tumblr.com/ MacSmiley

    Of course, when companies are able to patent plants, we just seem to get GMO corn and soybeans + Round-Up. And companies like Monsanto suing farmers for GMO pollen wind drifting into their fields.

    Deal with the devil.

  • Linda N

    NO NO NO! As an herbalist, I contend that Freito Lay should not own the patent for Broccoli. No company should own or be able to patent a natural plant, period.

    Since there is already a glut of knowledge and studies that have been done on say the benefits of turmeric and curcumin, I don’t want any drug or food company to be able to rob us of being able to use it or have it available to us as a dietary supplement.

    The Supreme Court, to my understand just overturned the ability for a drug company to own a patent on the Brca gene (the suit having been brought about by the ACLU) and hopefully this will also apply to natural foods and plants.

    As MacSmiley also said so eloquently “when companies are able to patent plants, we just seem to get GMO corn and soybeans + Round-Up. And companies like Monsanto suing farmers for GMO pollen wind drifting into their fields”.

    Amen. Keep these greedy companies out of nature.

    • Adrien

      I agree at 4000% with Linda. Private company patenting broccoli ? What the hell ! And what after ? Carrot ? Asparagus ? What if they decided to patent the healthiest food and don’t allow people to get access to it ? Like the oil company with the electric battery ! What is next to all of this ? Your own gene. And maybe human one day, who know what the future will bring ! Patenting nature is the pandora’s box we should not open.

      • Ebers Papyrus

        Biopiracy! Biopirates! The US Gov itself has patents on cannabis, or at
        least certain cannabinoids for medical purposes, yet legally classifies
        the herb, which has thousands of years of proven medical efficacy and safety like turmeric, as a drug with no
        therapeutic/medicinal value. Unfortunately Dr. Greger perpetuates the
        same reefer madness propaganda in one of his videos, but i know that
        most people are educated enough to know better.

        • Merio

          Cannabis deserves more clinical attention and less criminalization… dr mercola interviewed a doctor that work with cannabis… http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/03/09/medical-cannabis.aspx

          • Ben

            But the fact of the matter is, smoke is not good for your lungs, whether that smoke is from cannabis, tobacco or from barbecuing animal flesh.

          • Merio

            I quote that… i will focusing more on normal uses like food, cosmetics and derivatives… smoking cannabis it is only one on its applications….

          • Adrien

            Here an interesting interview : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=njCiE9XFdgg

        • Adrien

          I would not exactly tell the story like that. Cannabis, like many other plants or drug that fight cancer are just ‘magic bullet’, contrary to a whole food plant based diet. It’s annecdotal but I’ve a friend that smoke lot of cannabis and got mouth cancer last year. He’s under chemo and radiation right now. His diet was and still is really poor (lot of meat and dairy, and since he lost weight due to chemo, his doctor gave him food loaded with dairy to gain weight…). He smoke also regular tabbaco. Cannabis couldn’t help him, recommandation coming from Dr Greger and Colin Campbell however could help him.

          • Merio

            I’m really sorry for your friend and i want to thank you about the video… i think in the next future the guidelines for cancer diet will change towards a full plant based regimen… i hope that chemotherapy could became more sustainable and less toxic in the next future, moreover i read that many chemo drugs costs a lot of money… a plant based chemotherapy may change this war on cancer…

  • marysaunders

    Indeed it is wrong, and at some point perhaps the purchase of the U.S. government will go past its shelf life, and we will be able to sue for harm the corporations who hide data sets they don’t like. In the meantime, there are independent sources for funding, such as the purveyors of actual food, though of course, they risk the government-owned protection goons. Nonetheless, Paul S, of mushroom fame, now has products on grocery shelves in Portland, and they are even labeled as to what they do, perhaps because Stamets won a Department of Defense competition regarding remediation of contaminated gunk. The food police may not want to mess with the DOD? My guess.

    • Chandan Maddanna

      precisely, if you want to do it do it for welfare of humanity, not for profits and dividends.

      if your research comes with enslavement you can keep it with you and chew on it yourselves !

  • JoAnn Downey

    Under the ‘Terry Naturally’ brand, you can by something called CuraMed, each capsule supposedly equivalent of up to 10 capsules of plain curcumin. Dr. Greger, have you any comment on Curamed please? Thanks.

  • barbarabrussels

    Doesn’t monsanto already have a patent on a certain severed broccoli though. With some aggressive business strategy they could probably make other broccoli way more expensive and eventually, well, I don’t really want to think about it.

  • DanielFaster

    As a patent attorney, it seems unfair to blame the patent system for the failures of ‘market forces’ and the medical establishment as a whole to come up with ways to maintain health and treat diseases. Usually it is the other way around, where folks are blaming the patent system for the high cost of critical drugs, costs seen as necessary to pay for the research done by the drug companies. The patent system is designed to reward research and innovation, and is horribly ill-equipped as a tool to promote well known therapies like diet that go back to Hippocrates. Assuming there is no turmeric growers association that can sponsor activities that will lead to an increased demand for their product (with or without government assistance from the USDA or the like), and because doctors and drug companies are so only profit motivated (present company excepted) and don’t actually have the benefit of mankind in mind, then you have a total free market failure, just like the rest of the American health care industry (one does not have the luxury shop for emergency rooms or the knowledge to figure out the best deal for healthcare services). For this you need doctor associations and governments and taxpayers motivated to fund research that benefits everyone, and a pushback on the lobbying by those industries which benefit from the status quo of poor public health and the continued consumption of bad food and sale of expensive therapeutic modalities. Put the blame where it belongs, please don’t scapegoat our patent system.

    • Adrien

      The free market itself is a total failure. It has never been design to benefit mankind as a whole but rather to make the rich richer and the poor poorer. It’s time to bypass the propaganda and figure this out.

  • DanielFaster

    You don’t always need a patent to reward a drug company with high prices through exclusivity. Under Hatch-Waxman, the FDA will grant an exclusivity period to drug companies who obtain approval of established drug treatments. Take the gout medicine colchicine – extracted from plants for hundreds of years, a few years ago URL Pharma was awarded a 3 year period of exclusivity and the sh1t hit the f@n so to speak when prices jumped from 9 cents a pill to $5. http://www.pharmacypracticenews.com/ViewArticle.aspx?d=Policy&d_id=51&i=March%2B2011&i_id=716&a_id=16875

  • DanielFaster

    Bad link, here’s another article http://www.the-rheumatologist.org/details/article/865591/Colcrys_Approval_Triggers_Questions.html. Anyhow you have to ask if granting financial incentives to drug companies in the form of exclusivity and higher prices for known treatments will actually improve access to the drug or make it unavailable to those who need it.

  • http://blessedveganlife.blogspot.com BlessedMama

    Love that it’s healing and tasty too!

  • Chandan Maddanna

    The system is fundamentally flawed does not mean to relish the flaw. Research if done not for profit, for well being of humanity. funding for research should come from welfare funds, and shared investments from combined groups, for ‘welfare of humanity’;, not to beat your rivals balance sheet !

    and certainly, any research with sovereign materials of earth, is not for dividends and profits of investors of any ‘particular’ organization.

    in short if you want to do it as service do it,take your research with you.

    BTW spice countries like India are sovereign to their core, s not some western country where everyone simply hits likes and dislikes on a web page, wait till you try , they will come in roads and fight to bones about their spices and heritage !

  • Coacervate

    It is best when the focus is on education, not waxing lyrical about geo/politico/econo doctrine on how to make the werld better place. Things are never so bad they can’t be made werse. My Dr. told me to stop having intimate dinners for 4, unless there are 3 other people. When i think back on all the crap i learned in school, its a wonder i can think at all…How many readers have been stupified into believing fish has less cholesterol than meat, meat has more protein than brocolli, the whole protein scam…the crap that we’ve been…erm…fed is what is killing us. If we can overcome our ignorance with facts then none of this other stuff matters…to me at least. YOU must pay the price to secure the blessing. Eat whole plant foods. Question authority…educate your friends, murder your television. Its a war out there. We want the funk. Come and See. Fight the ignorance. Beat the stupidity. They are two different foes but both must be defeated. I’m coming to get YOU Murdock. Do you feel lucky, Disease? I’m the cure. Ask not what you can do for your country, ask what’s for lunch. You can quote me on that :)

    • coacervate

      Things are never so bad they can’t be made werse – Bogart
      When i think back on all the crap i learned in school, its a wonder i can think at all – Simon
      You must pay the price to secure the blessing – G. Washington
      Eat whole plant foods -Heaps of folks
      Question authority…educate your friends, murder your television – Robert Botcher
      Its a war out there – Courtney
      We are the warriors – The Gladiators
      Come and See – A must-see movie
      I’m coming to get YOU Murdock – Rambo.
      Do you feel lucky, Disease? – Dirty Harry sorta
      I’m the cure – Cobra
      Ask not what you can do for your country, ask what’s for lunch – Orson Welles

  • daniel

    I buy it in powder form and put it “00″ gel caps. Easy daily dose.

  • Tree hugging foodie

    I was using fresh Tumeric in chia tea you can peel it or grate it like ginger and you add about the same amount as you would ginger too. Apparently pepper increases the bio-availability of all antioxidants you dont need much just a pinch. That was in Australia i am in Chile now and cannot get the fresh stuff but the Indians use powered Turmeric in milk for coughs and colds

  • Doug

    Do NOT be fooled. Plants and their products’ are not intended to be patented or held as intellectual property. We will deal with the Devil without risking the Marxist philosophy which indicates that industry and gub-a-mint should dominate healing by nutritional means. With Ma Huang, we witnessed the breach of that barrier between nutrients and FDA authority over drugs. This Pandora’s box will come back to haunt us one day. We really do not need further damage to health than the FDA and industry have already caused us. We realize that research requires investment; however, we must be ever-vigilant to protect ourselves from more Monsanto-type domination and brother-in-law statutes.

  • Jim Smith

    Normally I like Dr. Greger, but the idea posted in this video of Frito-Lay patenting broccoli is a really bad idea. And the idea that only profitable industries will fund scientific research and development is a ridiculous idea. If that were the case, our understanding of climate change science would be entirely different than it is today. Having retired from a scientific research and development lab that did over $1 billion of research a year, most of it not for industry, I can assure you that R&D is not dependent on profit-making companies.

    Broccoli, turmeric and other plant-based foods are freely available to us today because they are not controlled by industry and because we are not required to have a prescription to purchase them. Imagine how much broccoli might cost if it were patented by someone. Imagine if you had to go to the doctor and get a prescription every time you wanted to buy turmeric.

    Those are really bad ideas Dr. Greger.