Turmeric is a yellow-pigmented curry spice that is often used in Indian cuisine. But this spice is far more than a cooking staple! It also has a long record of medicinal uses in the traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) as well as Ayurvedic medicine.
Traditional medicinal uses include treatment of liver disease, treatment of skin problems, respiratory and gastrointestinal ailments, sprained muscles, joint pains, and general wound healing.
Its benefits have been well documented in the medical literature, and curcumin —one of the most studied bioactive ingredients in turmeric — has been found to promote health and protect against a wide array of health conditions.
It actually exhibits over 150 potentially therapeutic activities, including anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial activity, as well as potent anti-cancer properties that have also been intensely studied.
What makes the curcumin such a potent medicine?
Researchers have found a number of different mechanisms of action for curcumin, and part of the answer as to why curcumin appears to be such a potent medicine is its 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:
As a result of these (and potentially other) effects, curcumin has the ability to benefit your health in a variety of ways, and prevent a number of different diseases. According to a study published in the Natural Product Report in 2011, curcumin can be therapeutic for:
- Lung and liver diseases
- Neurological diseases
- Metabolic diseases
- Autoimmune disorders
- Cardiovascular diseases
- Inflammatory diseases
Turmeric may help combat Alzheimer’s disease and other inflammatory conditions
Curcumin is capable of crossing your blood-brain barrier, which is one factor that has led researchers to investigate its potential as a neuroprotective agent for neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases.
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The potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin suggest it may also promote brain health in general.
In the case of Alzheimer’s, recent animal research has discovered another bioactive ingredient in turmeric, besides curcumin, that adds to its neuroprotective effects.
This compound, called aromatic turmerone, help endogenous neural stem cells (NSC) to grow, and these stem cells play an important role in brain repair and regeneration activities. The author 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.” (2)
Curcumin may also be very helpful. Previous research has shown that it 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.
People with Alzheimer’s tend to have higher levels of inflammation in their brains, and curcumin is perhaps best known for its potent anti-inflammatory properties.
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.
Another common medical condition that can greatly benefit from curcumin’s anti-inflammatory activity is osteoarthritis.
Research published in 2011 found that patients who added 200 mg of curcumin a day to their treatment plan had reduced pain and increased mobility compared with the control group. Earlier research also found that a turmeric extract blocked inflammatory pathways, effectively preventing the launching of a protein that triggers swelling and pain. (3)
Curcumin appears to be universally pungent for all cancers
Among the most exciting benefits of turmeric is its potent anti-cancer activity. Curcumin actually has the most evidence-based literature 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 in that it appears to be universally useful for just about any type of cancer! This is odd, considering the fact that cancer consists of a wide variety of different molecular pathologies.
One reason for this universal anti-cancer proclivity is curcumin’s ability to affect multiple molecular targets, via multiple pathways: Once it gets into a cell, it affects more than 100 different molecular pathways. (4)
And, as explained by Dr. LaValley, 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.
Moreover, curcumin is non-toxic and does not adversely affect healthy cells, suggesting it selectively targets cancer cells—all of which are clear benefits in cancer treatment.
Research has even shown that it works synergistically with certain chemotherapy drugs, enhancing the elimination of cancer cells.
Curcumin also has potent antimicrobial activity
Curcumin can also 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.
H. pylori are thought to affect more than half of the world’s population, and has been identified as a Group 1 carcinogen by the World Health Organization.
Traditionally, H. pylori infections are treated with antibiotics, but, with rising drug resistance, such treatments are becoming increasingly threatened. (5)
The good news is that curcumin may be a viable alternative. According to a 2009 study, curcumin has been shown to 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.
Honey, on the other hand, particularly in its raw form, offers unique health benefits for your overall well-being, you might not be aware of.
However, the consumption of turmeric, the spice of life and honey is the one that improves digestion and increases the number of good bacteria in the intestines. Indeed, this natural antibiotic mix has a strong anti-inflammatory effect which not only strengthens the immune system, but also kills bacteria viruses – agents of all diseases. (6)
Unlike synthetic antibiotics that you can buy in pharmacies, this medicine does not cause unwanted side effects on your intestinal micro flora, which makes it completely safe for use!
Turmeric and Honey Recipe
- 100 grams of raw honey
- 1 tablespoon of turmeric powder
How to prepare the medicine?
Simply mix both ingredients and place in a clean glass jar.
How to use this medicine?
Once you notice the first bothering symptoms of a cold or influenza (flu), use this mixture as follows:
- 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
Advice: It is desirable not to swallow it immediately, but to leave it alone in the mouth to melt. Many “testers” say that after 3 days of taking this medicine all symptoms disappeared as if they were never there! For easier consumption, you can use it with warm organic milk or tea.
Now, spread the word to friends and family by sharing this fantastic medicinal recipe.
This article is shared with permission from our friends at dietoflife.com.
- Lee, K., Lee, B., Semnani, S., Avanesian, A., Um, C., Jeon, H., . . . Jafari, M. (2010). Curcumin Extends Life Span, Improves Health Span, and Modulates the Expression of Age-Associated Aging Genes in Drosophila melanogaster. Rejuvenation Research, 13(5), 561-570. doi:10.1089/rej.2010.1031
- Ravindran, J., Prasad, S., & Aggarwal, B. B. (2009). Curcumin and Cancer Cells: How Many Ways Can Curry Kill Tumor Cells Selectively? The AAPS Journal, 11(3), 495-510. doi:10.1208/s12248-009-9128-x
- Khalil, O. A., Olga Maria Mascarenhas De Faria Oliveira, Vellosa, J. C., Quadros, A. U., Dalposso, L. M., Karam, T. K., Khalil, N. M. (2012). Curcumin antifungal and antioxidant activities are increased in the presence of ascorbic acid. Food Chemistry, 133(3), 1001-1005. doi:10.1016/j.foodchem.2012.02.009
- Srimal, R. C., & Dhawan, B. N. (1973). Pharmacology of diferuloyl methane (curcumin), a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agent*. Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, 25(6), 447-452. doi:10.1111/j.2042-7158.1973.tb09131.x
- Negi, P. S., Jayaprakasha, G. K., Rao, L. J., & Sakariah, K. K. (1999). Antibacterial Activity of Turmeric Oil: A Byproduct from Curcumin Manufacture. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 47(10), 4297-4300. doi:10.1021/jf990308d
- Subash C. Gupta, Sahdeo Prasad, Ji Hye Kim, Sridevi Patchva, Lauren J. Webb,b Indira K. Priyadarsinic and Bharat B. Aggarwal. Multitargeting by curcumin as revealed by molecular interaction studies. Natural Product Report of 2011. Updates: 15 Jun 2011. Accessed: 27 Sept. 201
- Pari, L., Tewas, D., & Eckel, J. (2008). The role of curcumin in health and disease. Archives of Physiology and Biochemistry, 114(2), 127-149. doi:10.1080/13813450802033958
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