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The Healing Powers of Turmeric

Turmeric is a wonder spice.  In India India it has been revered for its healing properties and used as a daily supplement.  In the Ayurveda system of health, turmeric has many medicinal properties and is an anti-inflammatory agent to treat a wide variety of conditions, including flatulence, jaundice, menstrual difficulties, bloody urine, hemorrhage, toothache, bruises, chest pain, and colic. Because of its effects on enzyme related to inflammation, turmeric may have the same mode of action as anti-inflammatory medicins. In It is used for cuts and burns and is known as an anticeptic and an antibacterial and for ulcers in the stomach. 

Also called curcumin, is a mustard-yellow spice from India. Indians use it more for its healing properties (as a daily dietary supplement) than for taste.  It has an astringent taste but is otherwise tasteless.  It also provides a wonderful color to foods making them more apetizing. 

According to a 2005 article in the Wall Street Journal titled, "Common Indian Spice Stirs Hope," research activity into turmeric's active ingredient, is exploding. Two hundred and fifty-six curcumin papers were published in the past year according to a search of the U.S. National Library of Medicine. The U.S. National Institues of Health has four clinical trials underway to study curcumin treatment for pancreatic cancer, multiple myeloma, Alzheimer's, and colorectal cancer. 

Add taste, color and many benefits by adding turmeric to your cooking or diet.

Turmeric is better when used in food about 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. per person a day. If you use it in capsules there is a risk to overdo it. Turmeric in large amounts is a uterine stimulant, so pregnant women should consult with a doctor before taking turmeric during pregnancy. Also in larger quantities it is not good for the liver or heart conditions. For people with gallstones or bile duct obstruction turmeric may be taken with caution as it may exacerbate these conditions.

Turmeric’s is most popular in Indian cooking, where it’s a common remedy in the traditional medical practice called Ayurveda. Ayurveda suggests to use turmeric in everyday food for its incredible health and beauty (skin care) properties.

1. Turmeric is used in India to disinfect cuts and burns. Use it as an internal antiseptic and antibacterial agent.
2. Many veggies like cauliflower, broccoli and cabbage prevent prostate cancer. Boost that anti cancer property by adding turmeric to these veggies.
3. Turmeric has shown to prevent breast cancer from spreading to the lungs in mice. May prevent metastases from occurring in many different forms of cancer. Turmeric in the lab has shown to prevent melanoma and cause existing melanoma cells to die.
5. Reduces the risk of childhood leukemia.
6. Is a natural liver detoxifier.
7. In studies turmeric is shown to prevent and slow the progression of Alzheimer's disease.
8.It is a potent natural anti-inflammatory that works as well as many anti-inflammatory drugs but without the side effects.
9. Has shown promise in slowing the progression of multiple sclerosis in mice.
10. Turmeric is a natural painkiller and cox-2 inhibitor.
11. Turmeric helps in soothing the stomach when it has digestive issues.
12. Turmeric may aid in fat metabolism and help in weight management.
13. Has long been used in Chinese medicine as a treatment for depression.
14. Turmeric has been known for anti-inflammatory properties for centuries and for helping in arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
15. Use turmeric while taking chemo drug paclitaxel and boost its properties and reduces its side effects.
16. In India there are promising studies on the effects of turmeric on pancreatic cancer.
17. Turmeric may have a postive effect for multiple myeloma.
18. Turmeric has been shown to stop the growth of new blood vessels in tumors.
19. Turmeric speeds up wound healing and assists in remodeling of damaged skin. In India many skin creams have turmeric to make skin better.
20. Turmeric may help in the treatment of psoriasis and other inflammatory skin condition.

© Kavita Mehta
photo credit Kavita and Vinay Mehta

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