Turmeric is a Potent Inflammation and Cancer Fighter: How Much You Should Take & How Often
Historically, spices are treasured for the unique flavors they bring to food and for their healing properties. Most spices provide some health benefits. But one spice that shines for its medicinal benefits is turmeric. You may have seen turmeric in the news as a potential treatment for diseases as diverse as arthritis, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, psoriasis, and Alzheimer’s.
Traditional Health Benefits of Turmeric
Turmeric is a spice that comes from the root of Curcuma longa, a beautiful flowering tropical plant. It is one of several spices used to make curry powder, an essential ingredient in south Asian cuisine. It’s usually used dry, but the root can also be grated fresh like ginger. This versatile spice was used traditionally to improve digestion, dissolve gallstones, relieve arthritis, and alleviate symptoms of allergies and colds. It was applied externally for wounds and skin conditions. It was also used as a beauty treatment. Soaps and creams containing turmeric are experiencing a surge in popularity today. Turmeric paste is still applied to the skin of both the bride and groom in a ceremony before marriage in some parts of India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan to beautify skin and as a form of good luck.
One of the most exciting benefits of turmeric is that it may prevent Alzheimer’s. Elderly villagers in India who eat turmeric as a regular part of their diet have the lowest rate of Alzheimer’s in the world. Over 200 compounds have been identified in turmeric and curcumin is not the only one being studied for Alzheimer’s. Another compound in turmeric, turmerone, stimulates the production of new neurons and seems to encourage the brain to repair itself. This property could make it a useful treatment for a variety of degenerative brain diseases besides Alzheimer’s, including Parkinson’s, traumatic brain injury, and stroke.
TURMERIC FOR ARTHRITIS
- Arthritis and other inflammatory diseases are extremely common.
- Over $650 million is spent in the United States every year on natural remedies for treating chronic inflammation.
- Turmeric is anti-inflammatory and has been found to be beneficial for arthritis when taken internally and when applied topically.
- The Arthritis Foundation reports that turmeric can provide long-term improvement in pain and function for those with osteoarthritis.
- Curcumin is a promising candidate as a cancer treatment.
- It selectively kill tumor cells while leaving normal cells unharmed and works synergistically to increase the effectiveness of both chemotherapy and radiation.
- Dr. Saraswati Sukumar is a medical oncologist at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and has been involved in hundreds of studies on the effects of turmeric on cancer.
- She has found that eating turmeric prepared in food provides more benefits than taking either curcumin or turmeric supplements.
TURMERIC IS BETTER THAN PROZAC FOR DEPRESSION
- Turmeric has impressive antidepressant properties.
- In fact it’s been found to be more a more potent antidepressant than fluoxetine, the generic name for Prozac.
- It is believed to work by reducing the stress hormone cortisol while increasing serotonin, the neurotransmitter associated with happiness.
- This is great news for the millions who have tried antidepressants without success or for those who experience unacceptable side effects.
- Unlike antidepressant drugs, turmeric either in food or as a supplement can used indefinitely
Enhancing Turmeric Naturally
- Unfortunately, turmeric’s main active ingredient curcumin is not very well absorbed.
- Unless the right steps are taken, it largely passes through the intestines unutilized.
- You can greatly increase absorption by adding black pepper, as is done in curry powder.
- The compound piperine found in black pepper increases curcumin absorption by a whopping 2,000%.
- Since curcumin is fat soluble, its bioavailability is enhanced when turmeric is cooked in oil.
- Turmeric tea is a great compromise between to trying to get enough turmeric into your daily diet and taking supplements.
- Boiling turmeric in water for 10 minutes increases the solubility of curcumin up to 12 times.
- The people of Okinawa, Japan are the longest-lived in the world, with an average life span of 81.2 years. And they drink large amounts of turmeric tea.
- To make basic turmeric tea, put 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric powder in 1 cup of water and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Strain if needed and serve.
- If you actually enjoy it, you’re in luck because not everyone is crazy about it.
- It’s very bitter and medicinal-tasting.
- I’ve been experimenting to find a recipe that’s both healthy and delicious.
- This recipe is tasty and assures maximum bioavailability by both heating and adding coconut oil, a top brain-healthy fat.
LIQUID GOLD TURMERIC TEA
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- Honey or stevia to taste
Bring water to a boil. Add turmeric powder and simmer gently for 10 minutes. Add coconut milk and coconut oil. Heat until warmed through. Sweeten with honey or stevia to taste. Feel free to experiment with the ingredients and proportions to create the brew that is just right for you. You can substitute almond milk or regular milk for coconut milk, as long as it contains some fat.
Article courtesy of www.healthherbs365.com