Turmeric is a spice that is found in curry powder and other
vast culinary uses. In Indian cooking it
is used with other herbs such as garlic, cayenne, cumin and onions to give the
mixture its distinctive flavor. Having
very powerful antibacterial properties, it has been used to preserve foods
before the widespread use of refrigeration.
In addition, Turmeric has been shown to have many health
benefits. The active ingredient in
Turmeric is Curcumin, a polyphenol, with powerful anti-inflammatory and
antioxidant properties. Because of its
polyphenolic status, it has been successfully studied and used as supportive in
the treatment of skin, breast and colon cancer.
Cancer has been shown to start from damaged normal cells converting to
cancerous cells. This damage is caused
by free radicals roaming through the body seeking electrons lost in the
oxidative process. Curcumin sacrifices
itself by donating an electron thereby preventing the damage of a cell. Researchers at Penn State have reported that
Curcumin showed potent activity blocking the proteins that are essential for
the growth of breast cancer cells.
Being a polyphenol, Curcumin has very strong
anti-inflammatory activity and is often used in herbal formulae for support in
the pain and stiffness of arthritis.
Thousands of years ago, healers used Turmeric in the
treatment of obesity and in fact remains useful today. It helps to breakdown dietary fats and
increases bile flow increasing the emulsification of fat. Along with Milk Thistle, Turmeric has show to
be quite protective of the liver and its function and therefore has been used
in people with Hepatitis C.
Recent research in Germany has shown Turmeric to have potent
activity in preventing blood clots and in reduction of elevated LDL Cholesterol
Since this is herbal, the standardized form is the only form
that should be used. As with all supplementation, be sure to
inform and discuss with your doctor.