Turmeric (a yellow-colored powder ground from the root of the turmeric plan) is a spice related to ginger native to southwest India. It can be added to a variety of foods for flavor as well as for the medicinal benefits. Tumerics may be the most effective nutritional supplement in existence. It actually exhibits over 150 potentially therapeutic activities, including anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and antimicrobial activity, as well as potent anti-cancer properties that have been intensely studied. It's also full of nutrients such as fiber, protein, potassium, calcium, iron Vitamins C, E and K and a host of others. It has been used in India for thousands of years as a spice and medicinal herb. Traditional medicinal uses include the treatment of liver disease, skin problems, respiratory and gastrointestinal ailments, sprained muscles, joint pains, and general wound healing The most important chemical components of turmeric are a group of compounds called curcuminoids, which include curcumin diferuloylmethane, demethoxycurcumin, and bisdemethoxycurcumin. In addition, other important volatile oils include turmerone, atlantone, and zingiberene. Some general constituents are sugars, proteins, and resins. The active compound in turmeric, curcumin, constitutes an average of 3.14% of powdered turmeric. It has been strongly indicated that curcumin is the key ingredient responsible for the major therapeutic activities of turmeric.
Tumeric and inflammation
Turmeric was first recognized as an anti-inflammatory. This is what gives the spice many of its preventive medicinal properties. Inflammation is incredibly important. It helps the body fight foreign invaders and also has a role in repairing damage. Without inflammation, pathogens like bacteria could easily take over our bodies and kill us. It is now believed that chronic, low-level inflammation plays a major role in almost every chronic, Western disease. This includes heart disease, cancer, metabolic syndrome, Alzheimer’s and various degenerative conditions As an anti-inflammatory turmeric is especially effective in treating arthritis and other joint problems including osteoporosis .Taken orally, turmeric can stop arthritis pain throughout the body. Applied topically, it can be used to treat specific joints.
Turmeric and Wound Healing
It's a natural antiseptic and helps wounds help faster. In India, turmeric has been used in an attempt to treat stomach and liver ailments, as well as topically to heal sores, based on its supposed antimicrobial property
Turmeric and Candida
Recent research has begun to show that turmeric can be a very effective anti-fungal as well, against both Candida Albicans and the biofilms that it forms, so it could be a very useful addition to your anti-Candida program. Commercial antifungals tend to be associated with a large number of side effects, so researchers have been isolating and testing herbal remedies to find an alternative. Usually this research tends to be done in Asian or South American universities. The reason? You can’t patent a naturally-occurring compound like Curcumin, so research funding in Western universities is hard to find. A Brazilian research team looked at the effectiveness of Curcumin against 23 strains of fungi, including Candida Albicans. They found that at a fairly low concentration, Curcumin was able to completely inhibit the growth of Candida Albicans (as well as lots of other fungal strains). They also tested Curcumin using human cells. According to the researchers, “Curcumin was able to inhibit the adhesion to BEC [human cheek cells] of all the Candida species studied, being more potent than the commercial antifungal fluconazole.” In other words, Curcumin was more effective than Diflucan at preventing Candida from attaching to human cells.
Turmeric Supplements ; Digestion & Weight Loss
At the core of a healthy metabolism is a properly functioning digestive system. Your body needs to break down protein, starch and cellulose into small enough units to be metabolized by your cells. Recent research shows that curcumin produces bile by stimulating the gallbladder. It is believed that this process improves digestion. One study showed that curcumin eased various symptoms of indigestion such as gas and bloating. The support for turmeric has spread to Germany in recent years, where the governing body has approved turmeric as safe for treating digestive disorders. People with the following conditions could benefit from regular use of turmeric: IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), colitis, Crohn's disease, diarrhea, and post-giardia or post salmonella conditions. Studies also indicate that turmeric’s ability to increases the flow of bile in the stomach helps to break down fat. Taking just one teaspoon of turmeric before each meal can help your digestion break down the fat that can cause you to gain weight. In studies on mice, it was found that turmeric was an actual fat suppressant. Mice that were given turmeric gained less weight than mice on equal diets. Another way turmeric aids in weight loss is it helps fight insulin resistance and controls sugar levels. This not only keeps you from retaining extra fat, but lowers your chances of developing diabetes. If you already have diabetes; it helps you control your glucose numbers. Turmeric also offers promise in helping you deal with obesity and its related metabolic disorders. While increasing your intake of turmeric isn't a lone strategy for weight loss, it may help you mitigate the inflammation associated with obesity and give you a boost in fat burning.
Tumerics and Alzhimers
Two of the more severe forms of memory impairment are dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. These are progressively debilitating condition that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills. It is believed that beta-amyloid plaques in the brain as well as oxidative stress, harmful free radicals and inflammation are all key components in the development of memory problems, particularly as related to Alzheimer’s disease.. It is a known fact that curcumin is a strong anti-oxidant compound with great ability to scavenge the oxygen-derived free radicals. Consequently, curcumin could be a potential neuroprotective agent. Due to its multi-faceted pharmacology, concerted efforts have been made to evaluate the possibility of using curcumin for the treatment or prevention of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD) , Parkinson’s disease (PD) and brain tumors It is interesting to note that the outcome from an epidemiologic investigation in India showed that the occurrence of AD is the lowest in comparison with other countries, an observation which could be related to their high curcumin dietary consumption.
Curcumin might have benefits for non-Alzheimer's memory loss as well. Most adults will experience moments of memory loss as they age, such as forgetting where they put the car keys. Others might suffer from mild cognitive impairment, a disease that affects memory but still is relatively mild, although it can grow gradually worse. Its symptoms include difficulty in remembering recently learned facts and an inability to acquire new information. Findings published in the May 2010 issue of “Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior” showed that curcumin extracts helped improve learning and spatial memory, as well as the concentration of brain neurotransmitters in healthy aging rats. A 2009 study published in “Neuropharmacology” also demonstrated that curcumin reversed impaired cognition in laboratory mice caused by chronic stress and boosted learning and memory in the animals.
Turmeric and Cancer
Tests on mice have shown turmeric to be successful in fighting various types of cancer including: melanoma and breast cancer. It's also proven to make chemo and radiation treatments more effective.
Research into preventing cancer
A clinical trial looked at giving curcumin to 25 patients with pre-cancerous changes in different organs. This study seemed to show that curcumin could stop the precancerous changes becoming cancer. Research has also shown that there are low rates of certain types of cancer in countries where people eat curcumin at levels of about 100 to 200 mg a day over long periods of time.
Research into treating cancer
A number of laboratory studies on cancer cells have shown that curcumin does have anticancer effects. It seems to be able to kill cancer cells and prevent more from growing. It has the best effects on breast cancer, bowel cancer, stomach cancer, and skin cancer cells. A 2007 American study that combined curcumin with chemotherapy to treat bowel cancer cells in a laboratory showed that the combined treatment killed more cancer cells than the chemotherapy alone. A 2007 American study in mice seemed to show that curcumin helped to stop the spread of breast cancer cells to other parts of the body.