Can This Miracle Spice Stop Cancer, Alzheimer's and Arthritis? Super Spice Secrets: For more than 5,000 years, turmeric has been an important part of Eastern cultural traditions, including traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurveda. Valued for its medicinal properties and warm, peppery flavour. This yellow-orange spice has more recently earned a name for itself in Western medicine as well. Turmeric comes from the root of the Curcuma longa plant, which is native to Indonesia and southern India, and is widely used as an ingredient in curry dishes and yellow mustard. As research into this powerful spice has increased, it has emerged as one of nature's most powerful potential healers. Said Professor Dr. Sanjeev Sood, Head of the Panchakarma Department, Dayanand Ayurvedic College, Jalandhar, India: If I had only one single herb to depend upon for all possible health and dietary needs, I would without much hesitation choose the Indian spice Turmeric. There is little it cannot do in the realm of healing and much that no other herb is able to accomplish.
Turmeric has a broad spectrum of actions, mild but certain effects, and is beneficial for long term and daily usage. Though it is a common spice, few people, including herbalists know of its great value and are using it to the extent possible. It is an herb that one should get to know and live with Turmeric... Beneficial.
Anti-carcinogenic: Curcumin has been shown to prevent a large of number of cancers in animal studies. Laboratory data indicates that curcumin can inhibit tumour initiation, promotion, invasion, angiogenesis and metastasis.
Supports treatment of Alzheimer's disease: Because Alzheimer's disease is caused in part by amyloid-induced inflammation, curcumin has been shown to be effective against Alzheimer's. Clinical trials are in progress at UCLA with curcumin for Alzheimer's.
Curcumin: Turmeric's Active Anti-Inflammatory Ingredient. Most notably turmeric is known for its potent anti-inflammatory properties, which come from curcumin-the pigment that gives turmeric its yellow-orange color, and which is thought to be responsible for many of its medicinal effects. There are an estimated three to five grams of curcumin in 100 grams of turmeric.
Curcumin has been shown to influence more than 700 genes, and it can inhibit both the activity and the synthesis of cyclooxygenase- 2 and 5-lipooxygenase, as well as other enzymes that have been implicated in inflammation.
Turmeric's Cancer-Fighting Properties: In India where turmeric is widely used, the prevalence of four common U.S. cancers --colon, breast, prostate and lung -- is 10 times lower. In fact, prostate cancer, which is the most frequently diagnosed cancer in U.S. men, is rare in India and this is attributed, in part, to turmeric.
Numerous studies have looked into this potential cancer-fighting link, with promising results.
A second study in Biochemical Pharmacology also found that curcumin inhibits the activation of NF-kappaB, a regulatory molecule that signals genes to produce inflammatory molecules that promote cancer cell growth.
Turmeric's Essential Role for Your Liver: Your liver's primary role is to process and remove toxins carried in your bloodstream. When functioning at its peak, it can filter up to two litres of blood per minute and easily break apart toxic molecules to reduce their toxicity. Your liver is also a crucial part of vitamin, mineral, protein, fat, carbohydrate and hormonal metabolism.
However, poor diet, allergens, pollution and stress can cause your liver to become sluggish, and this can impair its vital functions. This is where turmeric can be a very useful part of your liver support system.
Studies have shown that it may increase important detoxification enzymes in your liver and Induces the formation of a primary liver detoxification enzyme, glutathione S-transferase (GST).
Turmeric is also a natural cholagogue, a medicinal agent that promotes the discharge of bile from your system. Increased bile flow is important to help your liver detoxify and to help your body digest fats.
Turmeric for Your Heart, Brain and Overall Health: Turmeric inhibits free radical damage of fats, including cholesterol. When cholesterol is damaged in this way, or oxidized, it can then damage your blood vessels and lead to a heart attack or stroke. Therefore, research suggests that turmeric's ability to prevent the oxidation of cholesterol may be beneficial for your heart. It's also rich in vitamin B6, high intakes of which are associated with a reduced risk of heart disease.
Meanwhile, turmeric appears to be highly protective against neurodegenerative diseases. In fact, in India levels of neurological diseases such as Alzheimer's are very low, and studies have shown that curcumin can slow the progression of Alzheimer's in mice. The compound has also proven capable of blocking the progression of multiple sclerosis.
Further, Professor Moolky Nagabhushan from the Loyola University Medical Centre, Chicago, IL, who has been studying turmeric for the last 20 years, believes that turmeric can protect against harmful environmental chemicals, and in so doing protect against childhood leukaemia.
Inhibit the toxicity of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) (cancer-causing chemicals in the environment):
1. Inhibit radiation-induced chromosome damage
2. Prevent the formation of harmful heterocyclic amines and nitroso compounds, which may result in the body when eating certain processed foods, such as processed meat products
3. Irreversibly inhibit the multiplication of leukaemia cells in a cell culture
Turmeric's volatile oils also have exhibited anti-bacterial action. As such, they may help prevent bacterial wound infections and accelerate wound healing.
Johnson & Johnson even sells a curcumin-containing Band-Aid in India!
Which Type of Turmeric is Best? : For use in cooking, choose a pure turmeric powder, rather than a curry powder. At least one study has found that curry powders tend to contain very little curcumin, compared to turmeric powder. Turmeric is also available in supplement form and for many this is a more convenient method to obtain these health benefits discussed above, especially if they are from a high-quality organic source and if one doesn't particularly enjoy the taste of curry.
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