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Following closely in the wake of recent revelations that the U.S. government endangered their troops by hiding the discovery of chemical weapons in Iraq, new research shows that turmeric extract may provide an ideal natural intervention to relieve the pain and suffering of sulfur mustard-injured patients.
Recently, the New York Times revealed in an article titled, 'The Secret Casualties of Iraq's Abandoned Chemical Weapons,' that the U.S. government intentionally covered up U.S. troop exposure to chemical weapons in Iraq. You can read the redacted intelligence documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.
According to the report:
"From 2004 to 2011, American and American-trained Iraqi troops repeatedly encountered, and on at least six occasions were wounded by, chemical weapons remaining from years earlier in Saddam Hussein's rule."
The government kept the discovery secret despite the fact that it endangered U.S. troops:
"The American government withheld word about its discoveries even from troops it sent into harm's way and from military doctors. The government's secrecy, victims and participants said, prevented troops in some of the war's most dangerous jobs from receiving proper medical care and official recognition of their wounds."
Ironically, the 'weapons of mass destruction' were built in close collaboration with the West. As reported by Dailykos.com:
"Virtually all of these weapons of mass destruction were from stockpiles established by the Hussein regime during its war with Iran in the 1980s. Many (if not most) of these shells were U.S.-made. And, almost all of them were manufactured in western countries."
Sulfur mustard is a 'vesicant chemical warfare agent' which produces large, extremely painful blisters on exposed skin and lungs. It is classified by the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention as a Schedule 1 substance, having no use other than for chemical warfare, though a close chemical cousin, nitrogen mustard (known as "HN2"), has been developed for use as chemotherapy in certain blood cancers.
Sulfur mustard was widely used in the Iran-Iraq war with more than 100,000 Iranians exposed, and an estimated one-third of whom are still suffering side effects.[i]
Conventional treatments for mustard gas burns are mainly palliative ones, including pain-killers (e.g. morphine) and steroids (e.g.corticosteroids) (which carry their own serious risks for harm), but research now shows that natural compounds from the spice turmeric known as curcuminoids may provide significant therapeutic value in the treatment of sulfur mustard exposure.
Published recently in the journal Drug Research and titled, "Short-term Curcuminoid Supplementation for Chronic Pulmonary Complications due to Sulfur Mustard Intoxication: Positive Results of a Randomized Double-blind Placebo-controlled Trial," researchers performed a pilot study, "aimed to investigate the clinical effects of supplementation with curcuminoids on markers of pulmonary function and systemic inflammation in Sulfur Mustard (SM)-intoxicated subjects."