Turmeric – Spice Up Your Life

I want to express my love for the amazing spice TURMERIC!

It is by far my favorite and a definite must-have in my kitchen. This beautiful yellow/orange spice comes from the root of the Curcuma Longa plant.

Medicinally it acts as a powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant due to the gorgeous pigment called Curcumin. Unlike over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs, Curcumin is NON-TOXIC.

There are many studies on the effective treatment for IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease) with Curcumin. As well as clinical studies on the antioxidant effects on diseases like arthritis. Because of the combination of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits, many people suffering from joint disease have found extensive relief when consuming Turmeric regularly.

Shishodia S, Amin HM, Lai R, Aggarwal BB. Curcumin (diferuloylmethane) inhibits constitutive NF-kappaB activation, induces G1/S arrest, suppresses proliferation, and induces apoptosis in mantle cell lymphoma. Biochem Pharmacol. 2005 Sep 1;70(5):700-13. 2005. PMID:16023083.

Scientists are currently examining the synergistic benefits of Turmeric and cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower when consumed together not only to prevent prostate cancer but to inhibite the spread of established prostate cancers. These investigations originated from the data collected from men in India, whose risk of prostate Cancer is very low due to their diet rich in vegetables and Turmeric.

Dorai T, Cao YC, Dorai B, et al. Therapeutic potential of curcumin in human prostate cancer. III. Curcumin inhibits proliferation, induces apoptosis, and inhibits angiogenesis of LNCaP prostate cancer cells in vivo. Prostate 2001 Jun 1;47(4):293-303. 2001. PMID:16280.

Among many other benefits to eating Turmeric regularly, scientists have discovered in rat studies that the rats that were fed Turmeric regularly had increased levels of important liver detoxifying enzymes.

Salh B, Assi K, Templeman V, Parhar K, Owen D, Gomez-Munoz A, Jacobson K. Curcumin attenuates DNB-induced murine colitis. Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. Jul;285(1):G235-43. Epub 2003 Mar 13. 2003. PMID:12637253.

Researchers have analyzed data to conclude that Turmeric may help prevent Colon Cancer, Childhood Leukemia and prevent the oxidation of choleserol. Oxidation is what damages the blood vessels, builds up plaque and leads to heart attack and stroke. In the Indian Journal of Physiology & Pharmacology, 10 healthy volunteers consumed 500 mg. of Curcumin every day for 7 days. Their oxidized cholesterol blood levels dropped by 33%, their total cholesterol dropped by 11.63% and their good HDL increased by 29%.

Soni KB, Kuttan R. Effect of oral curcumin administration on serum peroxides and cholesterol levels in human volunteers.Indian J Physiol Pharmacol. 1992 Oct;36(4):273-5. 1992. PMID:1291482.
Nagabhushan M. Research presented at the Children with Leukemia Conference, http://www.leukemia.org, September 2004. 

Turmeric is getting wide attention as a possible protection against neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimers. In early research, the results indicate that Turmeric slows the progression of Alzheimers in mice and blocks the progression of multiple sclerosis.

Lim GP, Chu T, Yang F, et al. The curry spice curcumin reduces oxidative damage and amyloid pathology in an Alzheimer transgenic mouse. J Neurosci 2001 Nov 1;21(21):8370-7. 2001. PMID:16240.
Zhang L, Fiala M, Cashman J, Sayre J, Espinosa A, Mahanian M, Zaghi J, Badmaev V, Graves MC, Bernard G, Rosenthal M. Curcuminoids enhance amyloid-beta uptake by macrophages of Alzheimer’s disease patients. J Alzheimers Dis. 2006 Sep;10(1):1-7. 2006. PMID:16988474.
Calabrese V, Butterfield DA, Stella AM. Nutritional antioxidants and the heme oxygenase pathway of stress tolerance: novel targets for neuroprotection in Alzheimer’s disease. Ital J Biochem. 2003 Dec;52(4):177-81.

Turmeric is an excellent source of Iron & Manganese and a good source of Vitamin B6, dietary fiber & potassium. I add Turmeric to everything. For best digestive absorbtion, add it with cracked pepper. Try to select organically grown Turmeric to insure it hasn’t been irradiated.

This post is not to be taken as an alternative to seeking the advise of a medical doctor or a substitute for current prescription drugs.

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