Turmeric is typically used for cooking, as it gives specific taste to dishes it`s being added to. However, its uses go far beyond culinary purposes, given that this yellow-pigmented spice has been long used in traditional Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine. It has been mainly used to treat liver disease, respiratory and gastrointestinal ailments, sprained muscles, joint pain, wound healing, and skin problems.
Whole books have been written on curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, which has been proven to boost health and prevent a wide range of health conditions. As a matter of fact, curcumin possesses more than 150 therapeutic properties, such as anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, and anti-microbial activities.
What Makes Curcumin Such Potent Medicine?
Studies show that curcumin has a wide array of mechanisms, including the following:
- Make your cells’ membranes more orderly
- Positively modulate more than 160 different physiological pathways
- Modulate about 700 of your genes
- Affect signaling molecules. For instance, curcumin has been found to directly interact with cell survival proteins, various carrier proteins and metal ions, inflammatory molecules, DNA and RNA, human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV1) integrase and protease, and histone.
Due to these effects, curcumin benefits your overall health in many different ways and works to protect you from various diseases. As reported by a study published in Natural Product Reports6in 2011, curcumin can be therapeutic for:
- Cardiovascular diseases
- Inflammatory diseases
- Lung and liver diseases
- Metabolic diseases
- Neurological diseases
- Autoimmune disorders
As a matter of fact, it has been scientifically shown that curcimin has a wide plethora of health benefits and that the combination of curcumin and other bioactive compounds in turmeric are capable of:
- Increase bile secretion
- Reduce systemic inflammation in obese individuals
- Suppress symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis
- Suppress thrombosis and myocardial infarction
- Suppress symptoms of multiple sclerosis
- Suppress symptoms associated with type 2 diabetes
- Promote healthy cholesterol levels
- Promote wound healing
- Protect against cataracts
- Protect against pulmonary toxicity and fibrosis
- Protect against liver damage
- Inhibit HIV replication
- Inhibit platelet aggregation
Turmeric May Help Combat Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Inflammatory Conditions
Curcumin has the ability to cross the blood-brain barrier, a factor that led researchers to study its potential as neuroprotective agent for neurological disorders like Alzheimer`s and Parkinson`s disease.
Its ability to boost brain health is attributed to the strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant qualities of curcumin. When it comes to Alzheimer`s in particular, animal study done not long ago found that turmeric contains yet another bioactive ingredient which enhances its neuroprotective properties.
According to lead author Adele Rueger:
“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.”
Earlier research has shown that curcumin may also be useful, due to its ability to inhibit the buildup of beta-amyloids in the brain of Alzheimer`s patients and to break up already present plaques. Alzheimer`s patients have higher levels of inflammation in their brains, and curcumin is capable of reducing it. As a matter of fact, it is able to inhibit both the inflammatory metabolic byproducts of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX2) and 5-lipooxygenase (5-LOX) enzymes and hormones that trigger inflammation.
Curcumin`s potent anti-inflammatory are beneficial for yet another very common condition, that is osteoarthritis. According to a 2011 study, the patients who were given 200 mg of curcumin daily experienced notable improvement in their mobility when compared to control group.
Curcumin Appears to Be Universally Useful for All Cancers
Turmeric`s anti-cancer capabilities are the most outstanding! In fact, whole books have written on its effect against cancer. Dr. William LaValley believes that curcumin is unique compound which works against all cancer types. Given that cancer is composed of various molecular pathologies, this is quite strange. It is believed that one of the reasons for this anti-cancer activity is curcumin`s capacity to impact multiple molecular targets differently.
When it gets into a cell, curcumin affects over 100 molecular pathways. LaValley believes that whether the curcumin molecule increases the activity of a molecular target or it inhibits its activity, the result is the same.
Curcumin Also Has Potent Antimicrobial Activity
Ultimately, it is also worth mentioning that curcumin acts as potent antimicrobial agent and it promotes a healthy digestive system. As such, it has the ability to positively affect health issues like peptic ulcer, gastric cancer, gastritis, and H.pylori infections.
Suggestions for Using Curcumin Therapeutically
Although most people use turmeric as spice, using it in your cooking is not enough when it comes to treating any specific health issue. To use curcumin therapeutically, you have three alternatives:
1. Choose a high quality turmeric extract which contains 100 % certified organic ingredients, with at least 95 percent curcuminoids and which is free of T fillers, additives, and excipients .What`s more, the manufacturer should use safe production practices: planting, cultivation, selective harvesting, producing and packaging the product. Typical anticancer doses are up to 3 grams of good bioavailable curcumin extract, 3-4 times a day.
2. Make a microemulsion using raw curcumin powder. Mix a tablespoon of curcumin powder with one or two egg yolks and a teaspoon of coconut oik.Blend at high speed to emulsify the mixture.
3. Boil the curcumin powder. Put a tablespoon of curcumon powder into a quart of BOILING water. After boiling it for a few minutes, you will have made a 12% solution that can be drunk when cooled.