As Yogi Berra so famously said, “It’s déjà vu all over again.” While yet again researching Vitamin D ~ I stumbled upon a report singing the praises of the spice Turmeric. It reported that Turmeric ~ in combination with vitamin D ~ helps fight Alzheimer’s disease and obesity (by suppressing growth of fatty tissue). Researchers have been examining the anti-inflammatory properties of Turmeric for many years.
Turmeric is made from the roots of a plant in the Ginger family (Curcuma longa) and is known as Jiang Huang in Chinese Herbal Medicine. For the details on this versatile healing botanical, I would like to quote Registered Herbalist David Winston, RH (AHG), a founding member of the American Herbalists Guild and author of “Adaptogens: Herbs for Strength, Stamina and Stress Relief”.
MULTIPLE HEALING BENEFITS ~
Winston writes that Turmeric has a wide variety of healing abilities…
* Powerful anti-inflammatory components safely reduce the pain and swelling of arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, bursitis and tendonitis.
*Anti-inflammatory benefits also extend to gastrointestinal (GI) problems, such as gastric ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome and ulcerative colitis.
* Potent antioxidants help squelch unstable oxygen molecules that can otherwise run amok, damaging cells and opening the door to dangerous diseases, such as cancer.
* Curcumin, an active compound of Turmeric, has been shown to modify more than 250 oncogenes and processes that trigger cancer tumorigenesis, proliferation and metastasis.
*Turmeric helps curb excessive immune responses that characterize conditions such as allergies, asthma and possibly even multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer’s disease, where (in animal studies) Curcumin appears to inhibit development of amyloid plaques.
* Studies suggest a still wider range of healing benefits, such as lowering cholesterol, preventing atherosclerosis and protecting the liver against chemicals and viral damage.
TURMERIC OR CURCUMIN?
Don’t confuse Turmeric with its most well-known active compound, Curcumin. Turmeric contains a variety of inflammation-fighting compounds known as curcuminoids ~ the most widely known and extensively studied of which is Curcumin.
Importantly, large doses of Curcumin can cause gastric upset, while the herb Turmeric contains a number of active ingredients that combine to have a gastro-protective effect.
Winston says that he prefers the herb Turmeric (commonly in capsule or tincture form) for some uses (gastritis, gastric ulcers, arthralgias)
Standardized Curcumin for others (cancer prevention and treatment, Alzheimer’s prevention and treatment, and protecting the liver against hepatitis B and C). Check wth your Doctor or Practitioner regarding dosage and vendor