Health Benefits of Turmeric
The active ingredient in turmeric is curcumin. Tumeric has been used for over 2500 years in India, where it was most likely first used as a dye.
The medicinal properties of this spice have been slowly revealing themselves over the centuries. Long known for its anti-inflammatory properties, recent research has revealed that turmeric is a natural wonder, proving beneficial in the treatment of many different health conditions from cancer to Alzheimer’s disease.
Here are 20 reasons to add turmeric to your diet:
1. It is a natural antiseptic and antibacterial agent, useful in disinfecting cuts and burns.
2. When combined with cauliflower, it has shown to prevent prostate cancer and stop the growth of existing prostate cancer.
3. Prevented breast cancer from spreading to the lungs in mice.
4. May prevent melanoma and cause existing melanoma cells to commit suicide.
5. Reduces the risk of childhood leukemia.
6. Is a natural liver detoxifier.
7. May prevent and slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease by removing amyloyd plaque buildup in the brain.
8. May prevent metastases from occurring in many different forms of cancer.
9. It is a potent natural anti-inflammatory that works as well as many anti-inflammatory drugs but without the side effects.
10. Has shown promise in slowing the progression of multiple sclerosis in mice.
11. Is a natural painkiller and cox-2 inhibitor.
12. May aid in fat metabolism and help in weight management.
13. Has long been used in Chinese medicine as a treatment for depression.
14. Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, it is a natural treatment for arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
15. Boosts the effects of chemo drug paclitaxel and reduces its side effects.
16. Promising studies are underway on the effects of turmeric on pancreatic cancer.
17. Studies are ongoing in the positive effects of turmeric on multiple myeloma.
18. Has been shown to stop the growth of new blood vessels in tumors.
19. Speeds up wound healing and assists in remodeling of damaged skin.
20. May help in the treatment of psoriasis and other inflammatory skin conditions.
Once you start using turmeric on a regular basis, it’s fun to find new ways to use it in recipes. My favorite way to use it is to add a pinch of it to egg salad. It adds a nice flavor and gives the egg salad a rich yellow hue.
Contraindications: Turmeric should not be used by people with gallstones or bile obstruction. Though turmeric is often used by pregnant women, it is important to consult with a doctor before doing so as turmeric can be a uterine stimulant.
Used in the ancient Chinese and Indian systems of medicine, curcumin is a naturally powerful anticancer compound
that has been found to decrease brain tumor size in animals by 81 percent in more than 9 studies. A derivative of turmeric, curcumin is the pigment responsible for turmeric’s yellow-orange color. Each 100 grams of turmeric contains around 3 to 5 grams of curcumin, though turmeric is a also very powerful on its own. New studies are shedding light on curcumin, and illuminating its numerous benefits on cancer and other diseases.
Researchers experimenting with curcumin in the treatment of a fatal brain cancer known as glioblastoma (GBMs) published their groundbreaking findings in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry in July. Adding scientific basis to previous findings surrounding the positive effects of curcumin, they showed that the compound dramatically decreased brain tumors in 9 out of the 11 studies examined by 81 percent. Furthermore, there was no evidence of toxicity, whereas chemotherapy and other cancer treatments often result in extreme side effects that are sometimes worse than the actual disease. Curcumin is not only effective against brain cancer, however.
According to a study conducted in 2008 and published in Cancer Prevention Research, curcumin also inhibits the growth and spread of breast cancer cells by directly impacting the function of alpha6beta4 integrin, responsible for cancer progression. Another study, performed in 2010, found that curcumin also has the potential to target cancer stem cells. Following the wave of information of curcumin, researchers who posted their findings in Molecular Pharmacology classified curcumin as a pancreatic cancer cell inhibitor back in 2009. Even more interesting is the fact that in most of these studies the researchers concluded that curcumin may also aid many different types of cancer that were not included in the trials.
While an amazing anticancer substance, studies have also pinpointed curcumin as a tool against more than 572 other diseases. Some of these include, in order of study count: oxidative stress, inflammation, DNA damage, lipid peroxidation, chemically-induced liver disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and liver fibrosis. Curcumin has even been found to influence more than 700 genes, which could explain its link to DNA repair.
Curcumin is an amazing natural compound that has profound effects on cancer and hundreds of other diseases. While it has been widely studied compared to many other nutritional substances, studies are only beginning to recognize the healing effects of curcumin and turmeric.
“The Spice that Ignites Your Body’s Astonishing Immune System*”
5 to 8 times stronger than vitamin E and stronger than vitamin C, this ‘antioxidant breakthrough’ may help boost your immunity, maintain normal cholesterol levels, and put the brakes on aging. ~ http://organicindia.mercola.com/herbal-supplements/turmeric.aspx
- GreenMedInfo Turmeric Resource Page
- GreenMedInfo Curcumin Resource Page
- http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19138983 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20089354
* This information is intended only as a general reference for further exploration, and is not a replacement for professional health advice. These pages do not provide dosage information, format recommendations, toxicity levels, or possible interactions with prescription drugs. Accordingly, only use this information under the direct supervision of a qualified health practitioner.
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