Turmeric (Curcumin) is an old spice that is used in traditional Asian/Indian medicine and is related to the ginger root. Known for its various uses, it is not just limited to the culinary scene (curry powders) but also as an alternative for therapeutic abilities. In China and India the spice is being used to help treat certain inflammatory ailments and even diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). It has been used for gastric pain, bringing down fevers, and even relief in the sensation of bloating. It has been used for attempting to curing hepatitis and heart disease. In Ayurveda medicine (a system of traditional/alternative medicine native to India) the ginger root is being prescribed not only for arthritic pain, but for decreased vision, and for coughs. In Southeast Asia, it is being given as an anti-parasitic remedy and for various gastrointestinal tract problems. Curcumin, which is extracted from turmeric, has been shown to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and to reduce beta-amyloid and plaque burden in lab studies. Beta-amyloid is a component of the amyloid plaques that accumulate in the brain of an individual with AD. (Fetrow/Avila, 2000)
Turmeric contains curcuminoids such as curcumin which is a yellow pigment. Research studies in animals show that curcumin has the following health benefits: •
potent anti-inflammatory effects
cancer prevention activities
stimulates and enhances the immune system
antibacterial and antiviral properties, including against HIV •
Most of these research studies are done in animals only and few are done in human subjects. The positive results from these studies suggest that turmeric possesses many benefits for treating and possibly curing some of our common health problems.
Chronic inflammation of the nerve cells is one of the precursors of AD. Patients who have used drugs such as ibuprofen for long periods of time...
References: Fetrow Charles W., & Avila, Juan R., The Complete Guide to Herbal Medicines (2000)
PubMed Central (2008), Annals of Indian Academy of Neurology (2007), https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2781139/
National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (2010), http://nccam.nih.gov/health/turmeric/ataglance.htm#cautions
MedScape; American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy, (2000) American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/406890
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