Often used as a spice, especially in the Indian cuisine, turmeric offers far more than just a great taste. This yellow-pigmented curry spice has numerous medicinal uses in the traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) as well as Ayurvedic medicine.
The spice has been used in treating liver disease, of skin problems, respiratory and gastrointestinal ailments, sprained muscles, joint pains, and general wound healing.
The medical literature has a great number of documented records on turmeric’s health benefits. Its most studied bioactive ingredients, curcumin, has been found to promote health and protect against a wide array of health conditions.
Namely, it offers over 150 potentially therapeutic activities, including anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial activity, as well as potent anti-cancer properties that have also been intensely studied.
According to researches, curcumin has the ability to:
- Modulate about 700 of your genes
- Positively modulate more than 160 different physiological pathways
- Make your cells’ membranes more orderly
- Affect signaling molecules: for instance, curcumin has been shown to directly interact with:
- Inflammatory molecules
- Cell survival proteins
- Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV1) integrase and protease
- DNA and RNA
- Various carrier proteins and metal ions
These are the reasons why curcumin is of a great benefit to your health. A study published in the Natural Product Report in 2011 showed that curcumin can help with:
- Lung and liver diseases
- Neurological diseases
- Metabolic diseases
- Autoimmune disorders
- Cardiovascular diseases
- Inflammatory diseases
Turmeric may be also beneficial in fighting Alzheimer’s disease and other inflammatory conditions.
This is believed because curcumin is able of crossing your blood-brain barrier. This led researchers to investigate its potential as a neuroprotective agent for neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases.
A recent animal research has discovered another bioactive ingredient in turmeric, besides curcumin, that adds to its neuroprotective effects.
Namely, a compound called aromatic turmerone helps help endogenous neural stem cells (NSC) to grow. The author of the study, Adele Rueger, states:
“While several substances have been described to promote stem cell proliferation in the brain, fewer drugs additionally promote the differentiation of stem cells into neurons, which constitutes a major goal in regenerative medicine. Our findings on aromatic turmerone take us one step closer to achieving this goal.”
Previous researches have shown that curcumin helps inhibit the accumulation of destructive beta amyloids in the brain of Alzheimer’s patients, as well as break up existing plaques associated with the disease. Curcumin possesses very powerful anti-inflammatory properties, and Alzheimer’s patients have higher levels of inflammation in their brains. It can inhibit both the activity and the inflammatory metabolic byproducts of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX2) and 5-lipooxygenase (5-LOX) enzymes, as well as other enzymes and hormones that modulate inflammation.
The anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin help in osteoarthritis. According to a research published in 2011, patients who added 200 mg of curcumin a day to their treatment plan had reduced pain and increased mobility compared with the control group. A research before this one showed that turmeric extract can block inflammatory pathways, effectively preventing the launching of a protein that triggers swelling and pain.
But, the most exciting thing about turmeric is its anti-cancer properties and this is backed up with numerous evidence-based literatures supporting its use against cancer of any other nutrient, including vitamin D! As noted by Dr. William LaValley, one of the leading natural medicine cancer physicians, curcumin is unique because it appears to be universally useful for just about any type of cancer. And we know that cancer has a wide variety of different molecular pathologies.
The reason why curcumin can affect every cancer type is because it has the ability to affect multiple molecular targets, via multiple pathways: Once it gets into a cell, it affects more than 100 different molecular pathways. As Dr. LaValley explains, whether the curcumin molecule causes an increase in activity of a particular molecular target, or decrease/inhibition of activity, studies repeatedly show that the end result is a potent anti-cancer activity.
What’s more, curcumin is absolutely free of toxins and won’t affect healthy cells, meaning it selectively targets cancer cells. According to researches, curcumin even works synergistically with certain chemotherapy drugs, enhancing the elimination of cancer cells.
Curcumin doesn’t stop here. Thanks to its antimicrobial properties, it will help you maintain a healthy digestive system, and may be useful against health issues caused by the bacterium Helicobacter pylori (H.pylori), such as gastritis, peptic ulcer, and gastric cancer. According to the World Health Organization, half of the world’s population has been affected by H. pylori Group 1, which are carcinogen. Since this condition has become drug resistant, a 2009 study researched if curcumin can help. It’s been discovered that curcumin can effectively stop the growth of H. pylori in vitro, regardless of the genetic makeup of the strains. In mice, curcumin “showed immense therapeutic potential against H. pylori infection as it was highly effective in the eradication of H. pylori from infected mice as well as in restoration of H. pylori-induced gastric damage,” the researchers noted.
Now, combine this amazing spice with one of the world’s healthiest food – honey. You will get improved digestion and increased the number of good bacteria in the intestines. This anti-inflammatory mixture will strengthen your immune system and kill bacteria viruses – agents of all diseases. Moreover, it won’t cause any negative side-effects.
- 100 grams of raw honey
- 1 tablespoon of turmeric powder
All you need to do is mix the two ingredients and put the mixture in a glass jar.
- First day – take half a spoon of mixture each hour
- Second day – take half a mixture every two hours
- Third day – take half a tablespoon three times a day
It is advisable not to swallow it immediately, but rather hold it in your mouth until it melts. According to the experience of many, after the 3rd day, the symptoms were gone. You can also consume it with warm organic milk or tea.