Turmeric is an ancient root used for its healing properties for centuries. It is known for its powerful anti-inflammatory properties, used in treating several conditions such as toothache, chest pain, urinary tract infection, flatulence, jaundice, menstrual discomforts, bruises, hemorrhage, and colic.
The main phytochemicals that give turmeric its most impressive and unique health benefits are curcuminoids. Uneblievably, over 9,000 scientific research studies have been performed on this amazing spice and curcumin in recent years, with most noting significant benefits. Research has found these curcuminoids exert significant health benefits via 160 mechanisms and pathways in the body such as anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, neuroprotective, immunomodulatory, epigenetic, and adaptogenic properties.
One of the amazing aspects of Curcumin is its ability to pass through bloody brain barriers, being a powerful agent in neurological disorders such as Alzheimer and Parkinson’s. Turmeric is also a very powerful antioxidant, and promotes overall brain health and function. Resent research has also discovered another compound in turmeric called Aromatic Turmeric, which helps natural stem cells grow, an important role in brain repair and regeneration.
Turmeric and cancer
Turmeric is a powerful weapon against cancer cells as well. Curcumin has powerful antioxidant compounds that have been proven to move independently through cell membranes destroying other mutated cancerous cells, stopping the spread of cancer throughout the body.
Studies show that this super spice can actually prevent cancer tumors from growing and in those who already have cancer, turmeric slows the growth and spread of cancer. In a research study done with mice injected with cancer cells, the curcumin in turmeric was proven to be more than twice as effective as the cancer drug paclitaxel (Taxol).
Turmeric and Inflammation
Preliminary cell studies suggest that the curcuminoids in turmeric promote a normal inflammatory response by inhibiting the expression of the COX-2 “pain” enzyme. In one study, participants with osteoarthritis who took a concentrated form of curcumin had minor signs or symptoms of the disease. At the end of 90 days, they had a 58 percent decrease in pain and stiffness and improved physical function and mobility.
According to a review study published in the AAPS Journal (2013), “curcumin has shown therapeutic potential against a number of human diseases,” including multiple types of cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome, arthritis, peptic ulcers, psoriasis, H. pylori infection, Alzheimer’s disease, acute coronary syndrome, atherosclerosis, diabetes, and respiratory tract infections.
The most recent research studies found that turmeric can:
- Increase lifespan.
- Protect the liver oxidative stress.
- Kill bladder cancer cells.
- Destroy lung cancer cells.
- Lower blood cholesterol levels.
How to Take Curcumin
Take turmeric with fats. Cold pressed oils, coconut oil, organic butter, ghee, raw milk, and organic cottage cheese are optimum choices. It has also been discovered that heat helps absorption without decomposing the curcumin in turmeric.
Combine turmeric with black pepper. Also, according to a study, published in Planta Medica, taking turmeric in combination with black pepper, which contains piperine, improves turmeric absorbability throughout the entire body.
Consume one to three teaspoons full of turmeric per day with fats.
- Sahdeo Prasad and Bharat B. Aggarwal. Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects. Turmeric, the Golden Spice From Traditional Medicine to Modern Medicine. 2nd edition. Ch 13.
- Zhou H, Beevers CS, Huang S. The targets of curcumin. Curr Drug Target. 2011 Mar 1;12(3):332-47.