Shutterbug's Blog

Living with Multiple Myeloma in Hyderabad , India . Random musings .

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Raw Turmeric Vs Turmeric powder

I am in love with Turmeric, the Golden spice. A lot of research has been done on the health benefits of Turmeric and a lot of people the world over are experiencing positive results.

My being alive on this planet is primarily due to Turmeric.

Turmeric is widely being used to treat several illnesses from minor to major chronic illnesses of the body and the mind. There is a lot of information on the Internet.

Everyone is aware that prevention is better than cure but how many actually take the effort to be healthy.  We don’t even know what to do to prevent illnesses. With the kind of diet and pollution levels ,most people should be worried about ending up with some kind of illness, but are clueless as to how to prevent.

By consuming Turmeric we can greatly reduce and even delay the probability of occurrence of illnesses.

Almost all Indians consume Turmeric via their food . Turmeric powder is one of the key ingredients in most Indian recipes. However , the quantity and quality of the Turmeric powder that is used should be increased so as to get the maximum benefit.

Turmeric can be used in the form of a powder or as raw turmeric. It is preferable to use Raw Turmeric .

The store bought powders may be adulterated. It is best to prepare the powder at home using dried Turmeric root. First crush the root into smaller pieces and then grind it in your mixer grinder.

It is best if you can get hold of raw Turmeric root. You can also grow it in your garden.

Here is a link that tells you why –

This website has a lot of information on the health benefits of Turmeric.

Hope you too will benefit from this Golden spice.

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Recalling Memories of Dec 2011


It has been 6 years since I underwent Stem Cell Transplant for Multiple Myeloma. It was in Dec 2011 when I was ushered into an isolated , sterilised , spic and span room where I would spend 15 days all alone.

A room where I would be reborn 🙂 , where my healthy Stem cells would be put back into my bloodstream which in turn would produce fresh and pure blood cells.

I spent Christmas (2011) and the New year(2012) in this room . I had the company of Doctors , Nurses and housekeeping staff who were like family and I would look forward to meet them and chat with them.

Felt too weak to sit by the huge glass window which overlooked the front porch of the building . I had to take the help of a nurse to take a short walk around the room.

Spent my waking hours watching my favorite shows on TV. I kept switching between Cooking , Travel and Religious channels .

Each morning my blood samples were taken and I eagerly looked forward to the reports which would arrive in a couple of hours . The counts of various blood cells would reveal how well my Stem cells were functioning.

A lot of yummy food would be served but it was difficult for me to swallow as my digestive system went on a strike 🙂

I patiently waited for each day to pass. My doctor promised me that he will send me home for Sankranti (a Hindu harvest festival which is celebrated around Mid of January every year ).

Since then , each year around December/Jan , I become nostalgic .

I made a lot of resolutions during those days 🙂 , all that I would do and not do. I have been quite successful with most of the do’s and don’ts 🙂

Feeling very blessed and grateful as another memorable year is passing.




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Road trip from Hyderabad to Kavali

Time for my yearly sojourn to Granny’s village near Kavali. From 23 Dec 2017 to 27 Dec 2017.

Drove from Hyderabad to Kavali via Nalgonda-Narsaraopet-Chilakaluripet-Ongole.


hyd to kavali

Started at 7am and planned to have breakfast at Village Aharam , an organic restaurant which is around 20km after exiting the ORR. We saw huge crowds  and so decided to go to NGrill resto which is 50km from the ORR. This was equally crowded and had to wait for a table.

This stretch is a busy one , with lots of people driving between Hyderabad and Vijayawada and prefer to have breakfast in one of these places.

Stopped for lunch after crossing Narasaraopet . Found a kachcha road on the left and parked under a tree.

A pleasant drive with all the greenery and great weather. This time of the year is beautiful for travelling by road. Excellent roads especially the stretch from Chilakaluripet to Kavali which is part of the National Quadrilateral. It is an 8 lane express highway  , maintained beautifully and is as good as any interstate highway in the USA and other developed countries. Thanks to our erstwhile Prime Minister Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee , we are able to drive on such roads in India.

We drove through a variety of fields . It is the season for various crops like Chilli , Cotton , Tobacco and Paddy during this time of the year.

Reached Kavali by 4pm. A non-stop drive would take 7 hours.

Life in a village is like life on another planet . They have their own set of joys and challenges.

Here are a few sights along the drive :

A Marigold field.

The Krishna river near Miryalaguda. The left bank of the river is in Telangana and the right bank is in Andhra Pradesh.

There is a Restaurant above this Toll gate.

Following pics are from our village :


Paddy fields.

Spent a few days in our village which is 5km from the Bay of Bengal. The population in the village is around 500 . Each time I visit , I  see a few developments in the village . One of the road leading to the village is being widened as a small harbour is being developed around this part of the ocean . Lots of Autos in the village now . The erstwhile Bus has been stopped due to increase in the number of Autos. A water tanker supplies water to every house in the village for washing/cleaning  purposes. There are no water supply yet, though pipelines have been laid. Filtered drinking water is also supplied in 20 liter plastic drums from a water treatment plant for a decent price. The underground water in this area is salty and not fit for drinking. There is just one well on the outskirts of the village which has sweet water. One of them in the village has bought a Car and an Air Conditioner. The first signs of urbanisation in the village 🙂 Sign of prosperity .

Recently TTD has started construction of a Rama temple in the village.

IMG-20171004-WA0015Smartphones are being used to check weather conditions , levels of water in the surrounding lakes as the irrigiation is through canals . They also check information about government schemes.

Enjoyed fresh unpolluted air and fresh food. Started back on the 5th day at 9am and reached Hyderabad at 5pm. Had our packed lunch under a huge tamarind tree . Had Tea at Vivera restaurant near Narketpally. One can buy some fresh veggies too at this place.

Back to the hustle bustle of the city…as we enter the Financial district in Hyderabad …

Till my next visit…..


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A write-up on ‘Evidence Based Ayurveda Treatment & Diet for Cancer’ by Dr Nitin Kochar, M.D , Ayurveda

Here is an informative write-up by Dr Nitin , M.D. Ayurveda . I have been consulting Dr Nitin and taking his Medication since more than two and half years for Multiple Myeloma.

Thanks to his advise and medication I am free from Chemo since one and half year.


Here is the link to the article :

In the writeup , Dr Nitin has written all about the root cause of Cancer and how Ayurveda can help in combating the disease. He also answers some of the FAQs on Chemotherapy  Vs Ayurveda.

Here it is –

Frequently asked queries ?

1Are there any steroids in the Herbal medicines – No, we do not do such kind of unscrupulous or non ethical practice. My drugs can be tested and subjected to any kind of test for that matter. 

2) Are these drugs safe during Chemotherapy- There are certain reports, published in good journals, which has proven good effect of chemotherapy when combined with herbal treatment. ( Care to be taken that herbal treatment should be of standardized quality and should not be given on the day of injectable chemotherapy, rest it can be given. It also depends of stage and type of the cancer, so final decision to be taken only after discussing every pros and cons) . There are various clinical studies indicating that if standardized herbal preparations of Curcumin, Ashwagandha are given along with chemotherapy, results are better. Many chemo resistant cancers respond very well when supplemented with Curcumin , Ashwagandha & Tinospora cordifolia. 

3) Can herbal therapy replace or avoid chemotherapy– No, one should follow complete modern protocol as it is. Herbal treatment is mainly given to as chemo adjuvant to improve the immunity and mitochondrial function as stated above.

4) Can Ayurveda treatment avoid surgery and radiation- All of you will be surprised to read the fact that, in Ayurveda, which was written 3000 years B.C., it is clearly mentioned that, first line of treatment of Cancer is to surgically remove it and then to ” Burn” the margins, this concept is similar to today’s modern protocol of Surgery followed by Radiation. So any tumor , if operable, should be removed promptly by an expert Onco-Surgeon. 

5) What is Chemo prevention ?  This term was coined by Dr Michel Sporm, in 1976. Chemopreventives are the drugs, natural or Synthetic , which have potential to Reverse , Suppress and or Prevent further growth of cancer. I advise various such Chemopreventive herbs and ways to many normal people and also to cancer patients.



I am extremely grateful to Dr Nitin and wish that many more will benefit from his expertise.

In my Blog I have chronicled my journey , experience and progress with Alternative Treatment.


~~ Have a good Day !!




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Curcumin : Availability and its affordability by Common man

A lot of research has been carried out on the efficacy of Curcumin for treating various types of Cancers. There are several evidences from all over the world that prove the positive results of using Curcumin . Curcumin is being widely used for treating different Cancers. Not just Cancers but various other chronic  illnesses too.

curcumin caps

I have been using Curcumin capsules for Multiple Myeloma ,since last two and half years with good results .  Been off Chemo since more than one and a half years , on the advise of my Oncologist. I get Curcumin supplements from my Ayurvedic Doctor.  Usually patients are recommended a maximum dosage of around 8gm of Curcumin per day whereas I have been taking 3.5 gms of Curcumin per day. A single capsule of Curcumin , from most brands , contains 400mg of Curcumin extract . I take 3 capsules , thrice a day.

There are several brands selling Curcumin ,which can be bought online. Curcumin supplements are expensive and are out of reach to common man .

There is no way that information about  the healing properties of Curcumin  is known to common man. Most may come across unauthenticated self proclaimed healers or quacks who trap patients .

A lot of information is available on the Internet ,which is accessible only to those who are literate and have belief in Alternative treatments.

Most patients simply give up and accept their fate as soon as they are diagnosed.  The family members/caregivers too fall into the trap thinking it is a one way highway to heaven.

India is one of the largest growers of Turmeric, from which Curcumin is extracted. It is good to know that Turmeric/Curcumin is getting exported and is being sold/consumed all over the world for its medicinal properties.. Unfortunately Indians themselves are not aware of the potency of Turmeric. Though Turmeric is used in almost all recipes in most parts of India, the quantity used is very small and due to its low absorb-ability, the benefits are not being exploited. It is mostly being used as a colouring agent rather than for its medicinal properties. However, it is a fact that the number of cancer patients in India is much less compared to other countries due to regular consumption of Turmeric via their diet.

I began using plain Turmeric after reading a blog by one Ms Margaret from Italy. I was inspired by her success story and started taking Turmeric (higher quantities) from my own kitchen . What followed is an exciting journey which I have chronicled in this blog.

Need of the hour is to give wide publicity so that general public is made aware of the potency of Turmeric in preventing and treating this dreadful disease and other chronic diseases too. Quantity of Turmeric has to be increased in our recipes. Not the store bought turmeric powder but that which is prepared at home from the dried Turmeric root. This  would help a lot in prevention of such diseases.

Extraction of Curcumin from Turmeric involves a complex chemical process . Also Curcumin comprises only 5% of the weight of a Turmeric Root.

The government should subsidize Curcumin so that common man can afford.

It pains a lot  when I  hear that a patient has lost the battle .

If only they had the hope to live and not give up,

If only they were aware of Alternative treatments ,

If only they knew about Curcumin,

If only they had faith in the potency of Curcumin,

If only they had access to a good Ayurvedic practitioner,

If only they could afford it,

they would have been well and alive.

Unfortunately there are too many if’s , which is not a good sign. Too many lives lost in spite of having a solution 😦

As of now , I am able to share my experience  through this blog.

I also share my experience via a Whataspp group which has members who are Cancer Patients / caregivers.

My Oncologist is aware that I am using Curcumin . I requested him to suggest Curcumin to his other patients as well. He himself had recommended Tinospora Cordifolia to me after my Stem Cell Transplant , 6 years ago . This is a natural herb which improves immunity and I continue  taking  this .

I also share my experience with others who are eager to listen and are interested in knowing more about my healing experience.

NGOs can help in spreading the information about Turmeric/Curcumin and should also be able to supply Turmeric/Curcumin to patients who cannot afford.

I am looking forward to the day when everyone is aware of the healing properties of Turmeric/Curcumin and is affordable by one and all .

There is simply no reason why so many lives should be lost.

Most important : It is highly recommended to increase the consumption of Turmeric through the diet, thereby  preventing and managing most of the chronic illnesses.


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A lovely Tibetan song that I came across

Love this song .

Thanks to the translation of Lyrics from Tibetan to English .Beautiful message. The message outlines Tibetan philosophy.

Lovely peaceful music with a nice beat.

A whatsapp video with a grandpa and his granddaughters dancing to this song ,  helped me discover this song. I liked that song and dance too. When I looked in the comments section I found the link to this Tibetan song.

Love the dance steps .

They all seem to be flying 🙂

I am trying to practice those steps 🙂 . The dance steps are tough 😦


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Few Tips for being in the present moment

A lot of times we are either living in the past or zooming into the future. Our thoughts are always racing from the past to the future , pausing only for a fraction of a second at the Present moment.


The result is that we do not really live/enjoy the present moments, and are either repenting about the past or anxious about the future.

I came across this simple and very effective tip that can instantly bring a person to the present moment. No , it is not about Meditation 🙂

Very simple to practice.

  • Catch the moment when you are not in the present moment and become aware of your thoughts.
  • Start watching your breath.  Observe your Inhalation and exhalation for a few times
  • Feel the object that you are touching/ holding right now. Is it soft / hard /rough ?
  • Feel the chair/bed that you are sitting on. Is it soft / hard / rough ?
  • Listen to the noises around you. The sound of the fan/AC , the clock ticking, the birds chirping , people talking , music . Listen for a while .
  • Become aware of the pressure points in your body from top to bottom. Start from the head, neck , shoulders , chest , stomach, hips, knees and feet. Consciously release the pressure before moving from one point to another

Do the above whenever you notice that your thoughts are drifting.

Practice even while you’re walking or lying down.

Hope this helps you 🙂