Everyone has heard of the herb Turmeric and some of us actually cook with it rather regularly. It’s a staple in nearly every home in India and throughout China, it’s been used in oriental medicine and Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years (research shows as much as 5000 years!) but most people in the US aren’t really aware of its benefits. The spice itself is rather pungent and it’s difficult to consume enough of it to get the health benefits unless you’re eating it daily. Since that’s almost never going to happen for most people, supplemental Turmeric will work great.
What we’re really after is the active agent in the spice which is called curcumin. Thousands of studies have shown its effectiveness for conditions from diabetes to rheumatoid arthritis and even to cancer. Let’s look at the largest benefits and how we most commonly use curcumin in our office. The first of these is the anti-inflammatory character of the herb. Studies show it has the action to be more diminishing of inflammation than the preponderance of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs without the toxic side effects such as ulcer formation, internal bleeding and a lowered white blood cell count. It actually stops the transfer of a molecule across the nucleus of a cell which turns on a gene for inflammation. Since inflammation in general is implicated in as the beginning stage of nearly every illness and curcumin is so effective at diminishing it, it is a super strategy to use for prevention as well as symptoms arising from inflammation.
Curcumin has probably been the most widely researched botanical in regards to cancer treatment and prevention. It has been demonstrated time and again to facilitate recovery and treatment. It does this predominantly by:
- Stopping the spread of cancer cells (metastasis)
- Helps destroy new cancer cells (apoptosis)
- Stops the formation of new blood vessels to feed a tumor (angioneogenesis)
So in the prevention and treatment of many cancers, particularly those of the digestive system, it can be super helpful.
Curcumin has been shown to be effective in the treatment and prevention of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. It has the ability to reduce and retard development of those amyloid protein plaques that grow in AD, the retard nerve cell degeneration and improve memory. So a simple and safe means of working to prevent and attempt to improve these disorders.
Curcumin has been demonstrated to be super effective at off-setting the damage done by free radicals in the body. Those chemicals can cause cellular changes and diseases and are responsible for much of the aging of our cells. The more free radical damage we can stop and repair, the healthier we are and the slower we age! So once again, a simple and safe strategy for health as we age.
The simplest and, I believe, easiest way to incorporate curcumin is in a tablet form with a dose of 500-1000mg daily. More than that is truly a medicinal dose and should be cleared with your health care provider before you undertake it. Also, the formula should have bioperin in it to improve the absorption of the curcumin and is best to take with a meal that may have more fat in it. So for an inexpensive, safe and amazingly way to improve your health….curcumin is a ticket!