Depression, Digestion, Inflammation, Joint disorders | January 25, 2017 | Author: Naturopath
Turmeric (curcuma longa), the bright yellow spice native to India and Southeast Asia, has been used for cooking and medicinal purposes in both Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine for nearly 4000 years. Today, turmeric is hailed a miracle spice that can ward off cancer and cure everything from indigestion to urinary tract infections.
Is Turmeric as Powerful as it Seems?
Most of the research on turmeric uses curcumin, the yellow-coloured phytochemical that is thought to be the primary active compound in turmeric. Numerous animal and laboratory studies have demonstrated that curcumin has anti-inflammatory, anticancer, antioxidant, and anti microbial properties.Turmeric is also an excellent source of iron and manganese, and contains very good amounts of vitamin B6, dietary fibre, copper, and potassium.
Study in overweight people with high cholesterol in India reveals that taking turmeric capsules twice daily for 3 months significantly reduced total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides.
The anti cancer effects of curcumin were demonstrated in animal and laboratory studies of cancer, where curcumin was shown to reduce abnormal cell growth and arrest development of tumours.
One trial in 40 smokers with precancerous rectal lesions found that 4 grams of curcumin per day for 30 days reduced the number of lesions.
Turmeric was shown to protect the gastrointestinal tract, potentially through its anti-inflammatory effect. One or two tablets of turmeric extract taken daily for 8 weeks reduced the prevalence of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and improved symptoms in patients with IBS. It was also found to be effective in healing peptic ulcers and improving symptoms of indigestion in patients with peptic ulcer.
Arthritis is a condition affecting the joints, usually resulting in pain, swelling and stiffness. Two of the most common types are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Some research shows that taking curcumin can improve symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis including morning stiffness and joint swelling, comparable to effects of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
In addition, patients with knee osteoarthritis have reported significant improvement in pain relief and knee function with curcumin supplements.
Pruritus, or itch, is a common problem for patients with chronic kidney failure. A study found that taking turmeric 1500 mg/day orally in three divided doses for 8 weeks significantly decreased symptoms of itching in patients with end-stage kidney disease.
Patients with major depressive disorder who took curcumin reported an antidepressant effect, similar to that of a standard antidepressant medication.
The best way to take turmeric is to add it to your food. However, it would be almost impossible to reach the levels of turmeric used in clinical studies by just consuming the turmeric spice in your food.
To achieve therapeutic benefits you need to take turmeric as a supplement. Use a quality product that has a proven statement of the active curuminoids. Turmeric has very low bioavailability, which means it is poorly absorbed in the body. In order to increase absorption, use turmeric with food or with black pepper. Black pepper contains an active ingredient called piperine that increases the absorption of turmeric by 2000%.
The doses suggested below are for adults only and are based on clinic studies.
This popular Ayurvedic recipe is known by some as “liquid gold”, or “golden milk” is an anti inflammatory turmeric beverage.
In a small saucepan combine -
1 cup of coconut milk (or almond milk)
1 cup water
½ teaspoon turmeric powder (or grated turmeric root)
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon coconut oil
pinch of grated ginger
¼ teaspoon whole black peppercorns
Bring to low boil, reduce and simmer. Pour into 2 cups and top with a dash of cinnamon.
Turmeric offers anti-inflammatory, anticancer, antioxidant and anti microbial activity, making it beneficial for health and disease prevention.
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