Turmeric – Miracle Drug?

 Did you ever wonder why Marco Polo and the other European explorers literally went to the end of the earth to reach the spices of India and the Far East?

For thousands of years these spices have been used for their medicinal value, and we are recently rediscovering these healing properties.

One spice with anti-fungal, anti-bacterial powerful anti-oxidant properties is Turmeric.

The yellowish orange pigment of turmeric, is called curcumin.   Curcumin is what is believed to provide the medicinal qualities of turmeric.  Curcumin is a powerful antioxidant. Antioxidants combat free radicals, reducing and helping to prevent the damage they cause to cell membranes and DNA (3)
In addition, curcumin in an anti-inflammatory as it is shown to lower the levels of two enzymes in the body that cause inflammation. It also stops platelets from clumping together to form blood clots.

Turmeric has long been used in Chinese medicine to treat digestive and liver problems, skin diseases, infections and depression.

Turmeric is currently being researched for possible benefits in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, and arthritis.  Research shows that other compounds in turmeric to have anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties as well (1)

The anti-inflammatory effects of Turmeric have been shown “to be comparable to the potent drugs hydrocortisone and phenylbutazone as well as over-the-counter anti-inflammatory agents such as Motrin. Unlike the drugs, which are associated with significant toxic effects (ulcer formation, decreased white blood cell count, intestinal bleeding), curcumin produces no toxicity.” (2)

Some good reasons to add turmeric to your cooking:  Source: Eat This! (3)

Cancer

  • In laboratory tests, turmeric prevented breast cancer from spreading to the lungs in mice
  • Research shows that when combined with cauliflower, turmeric is shown to prevent prostate cancer, and stop the growth of existing prostate cancer.
  • Turmeric prevent melanoma and kill off existing melanoma cells
  • May prevent metastases from occurring in cancers
  • Reduces the risk of childhood leukemia
  • Tests have proven that turmeric stops the growth of new blood cells in tumors
  • Turmeric boosts the effectiveness of some chemo drugs and helps reduce their side effects

May prevent and slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease

Turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties and works as well as OTC and prescription anti-inflammatory drugs without the side effects.  As such Turmeric can be used in the treatment of arthritis.

It is a natural pain-killer

Turmeric is a natural liver detoxifier

Lab tests show promise in slowing the progression of multiple sclerosis in mice

It is an antibacterial agent, and has been used to treat wounds and burns

Turmeric is thermogenic, meaning it can naturally boost metabolism to help burn calories

I have begun to add turmeric to everything!

Sources

1.    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turmeric#Preliminary_medical_research
2.    http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=78
3.    http://www.healthdiaries.com/eatthis/20-health-benefits-of-turmeric.html
4.    http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/turmeric-000277.htm (3)
5.    http://organicindia.mercola.com/herbal-supplements/turmeric.aspx?e_cid=20120426_DNL_banSpecial_1

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14 responses to “Turmeric – Miracle Drug?

  1. That’s a nifty post! Lot’s of good info there!

  2. Agree with you Grace. Tumeric is fantastic. Learnt about it from Indians in Dubai and frequently use it. Only catch is the colour that sometimes cause spots:-)

  3. I recently read (unfortunately, I don’t recall where) that turmeric is an excellent addition to a vegan diet. I use it in recipes that require a bright yellow color (vegan mac – n – “cheese” for example) but only recently became aware of the health benefits. It’s also a relatively inexpensive spice. Thanks for providing even more reason to use turmeric in my recipes!

    • Laura, I’ve taken to adding it to soups, stews and every time I saute anything! I hear than cayenne is good too. I’m going to do some research on that stay tuned….

  4. findingourwaynow

    WOW, I new it was good for you but to the extent you discribed. I will need to restock my supply and use way more often then I currently do. Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge. 🙂

  5. findingourwaynow

    WOW, I knew turmeric was good for you but not to the extent you described. I will be stocking up more of it and will using it much more often then I currently do. Thanks so much shaing your knowledge. 🙂

  6. Claire Cappetta

    Love Turmeric in curries with cumin and, garlic and yogurt, yummy 😉

  7. When stir frying the vegetables, I add a pinch of tumeric. Most of the East Indian recipes add tumeric along with other spices.It can be added to any type of cooking. Just add one pinch. You won’t even feel it is there.Like Catarina said, the tumeric stain is difficult to remove. I use tumeric in cooking. I am very careful not to spill it on my clothes though.

  8. This is awesome. I love discovering new ways to improve my health, and the things you listed here are definitely concerns of mine! Can you buy it just on the spice aisle?

  9. Pingback: End Pain Naturally with Turmeric Extract

  10. Pingback: A Delicious Thrown Together Lunch | Let's Get in Shape Together

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