British pensioner Dieneke Ferguson has defied all medical odds by living hale and hearty for almost a decade after being told her blood cancer was incurable. She was diagnosed with myeloma in 2007 and underwent intense chemotherapy and four stem cell transplants, but her cancer relapsed in 2011 and doctors gave up on her.
The 68-year-old, who welcomed 2018 wishing everyone a great year ahead, attributes her recovery from cancer to a wonder spice from the kitchen cabinet, turmeric.
After all other treatments failed, North London resident Ferguson decided to fight back and began using curcumin — a component derived from a popular Indian spice turmeric. She said she has been taking 8gram of the compound every day in a tablet form and the result has been nothing less than a miracle.
"I have been on all sorts of toxic drugs and the side-effects were terrifying. At one point I lost my memory for three days, and in 2008 two of the vertebrae in my spine collapsed so I couldn't walk," the cancer survivor said, as quoted by the Daily Mail. "They injected some kind of concrete into my spine to keep it stable."
Her recovery has since baffled doctors who are yet to come to a conclusion on the effectiveness of curcumin. "Here we describe a myeloma patient who started a daily dietary supplement of curcumin when approaching her third relapse. In the absence of further antimyeloma treatment the patient plateaued and has remained stable for the last five years with good quality of life," Dr Abbas Zaidi, a haematologist at Barts NHS Health Trust said in a report, which mentions that her cancer cell count is currently negligible.
Most patients with the incurable disease do not live beyond five years of diagnosis.
In his report, the doctor also stated that while the spice works on some cancer patients, it has little to no impact on other patients.
Meanwhile, Ferguson continues to lead a normal life with regular intake of the miracle spice and without any doctor-prescribed cancer treatment.
What is curcumin?
"Curcumin is a polyphenol derived from the perennial herb turmeric and has - for centuries - been used as a traditional Indian medicine," explains Zaidi in the case study. "The biological activity of curcumin is indeed remarkable."
He added that the pigment produces multiple effects through its "natural antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and analgesic properties".
Turmeric is a popular curry ingredient among the Indian household and according to the ancient Indian medical scriptures, turmeric has ulcer healing properties and has been used as a sacred spice in India from time immemorial. It has also been regarded effective in all types of skin diseases, diabetes, bleeding, and other blood-related diseases, inflammations, anemia and liver ailment.