Alison Dalton, BA, BS, MS
Turmeric, the beautiful golden-orange spice that gives curry powder its brilliant color, may turn out to be a great way to add spice to your life. Numerous in vitro studies and some uncontrolled small trials have found that turmeric is a powerful anticarcinogen, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory that may prevent or slow the growth of many types of cancer, relieve arthritis and rheumatism, and interfere with the actions of hepatitis and HIV viruses. As if that weren’t enough, turmeric is also said to lower blood lipid levels, support insulin production and lower blood sugar levels in diabetics, decrease bone loss, help to prevent osteoporosis… and more.
Could all this be true of just one substance—let alone one you can pick up at your local supermarket?
Kombucha is the health drink of the moment. Big claims are made for it by its fans and brewers, who say the slightly fizzy, sour-sweet drink can work miracles: boost energy, restore hair growth, detoxify your body, repair joints, cure cancer, prolong life (and those are just a few of the claims). On the con side, kombucha has likely been responsible for at least one death. (So much for prolonging life.)