Powers of Turmeric (Curcumin)

May 17, 2008

One country in Asia with many tourists visiting it, is India. Mother nature has bestowed its beauty on India, the tropical nation with equatorial climate. Another reason for many tourists visiting this place is the spicy and tangy food, with stimulating spices. Perhaps this is the reason why Indian food across various states intoxicates tourists and gives them a reason to return again in future. Though the culture and dishes across regions may differ, there is a similarity which binds all of them together. Indian Curries , bright colors and mouthwatering aromas are some of the typical characters of Indian delicacies. Natural health experts now further enhance the value of these spices by documenting the therapeutic value of these spices… turmeric being the first and fore most.

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Turmeric is also known as ‘ Curcuma longa ’ medically. It is a rhizome of the same family as ginger. A rhizome combines the functions of a stem and root. The structure of ginger and turmeric are thus similar as they provide water and nutrients from the underground to the plant and also store it for further use. The typical yellow color of turmeric is due to a flavanoid ‘curcumin’. Chemically curcumin is a group of polyphenol turmerone, atlantone and zingiberone. It is this active flavanoid that prevents and cures many diseases like cancer, arthritis, alzheimer’s disease, inflammation and many others. Perhaps the copious use of this spice protects many Indians from the evils of carcinogens as is shown by higher numbers of cancer patients in America.

Turmeric in Cancer

Cancer is an abnormal division of cells to multiple cells in the body to give rise to abnormal growths. The initiation of the cell division is on account of changes in the nuclear material in the cell in form of DNA. This alteration in the genetic material gives rise to the repetitive cell division and slowly the division of cells progresses to abnormal numbers. Turmeric interferes in all three processes in a cancer patient and hence slows down the deterioration of the condition. Leukemia, melanoma of the skin are a few conditions where the therapeutic properties of curcumin have been documented.

Turmeric in arthritis

Arthritis is an inflammatory condition where the body reacts to an unusual particle or toxin in the body in the form of an unfavorable response in form of swelling, pain and immobility. Histamine is released from the mast cells in the affected body which gives rise to the inflammatory response. Moreover COX 1 and COX 2 are produced which worsen the inflammation. Curcumin stops the release of histamine as well as COX 1 and COX 2 . This improves the condition and reduces the symptoms of arthritis.

Turmeric as an antioxidant

Many degenerative disorders and allergies are caused when free radicals are produced in the body by the invasive environment in form of pollution, toxic substances and radiations. These radicals eat up the cells of the body and fight with the normal body mechanisms. Curcumins act as an antioxidant which make the unstable free radicals stable by sharing the electron in heir valence shell. This prevents damage to the host body. Vitamin C also has similar properties but the efficacy of curcumin in turmeric is much more.

Turmeric in alzheimer’s disease

Alzheimer’s disease affects the brain of the human body where the signals refuse to be sent from one part of the brain to another. Due to this certain dead parts are formed within the brain which donot get proper blood supply and don’t take part in neuronal transmission. These are called plaques and the curcumin stops the formation of these plaques and improves neuronal transmission.

Turmeric in cardiac diseases

Turmeric has anti cholesterol properties by which the concentration of bad cholesterol or VLDL is drastically reduced. Moreover, the anti aggregation property of the cells help in reducing the viscosity of the blood and prevent coagulation and atherosclerosis.

Turmeric in digestion

The digestive properties of the magical rhizome is also well documented. Turmeric helps in the production of bile and also helps in the clearing off gall bladder and the liver. Hence along with enabling faster digestion, the spice also reduces gall bladder stones.

Turmeric as an antiseptic

The antiseptic properties of turmeric have been used age old over cuts, wounds and injuries to heal them faster. Even throat infections and cough colds can be mitigated as well as cured if gargled with turmeric water. Turmeric water is prepared by boiling a pinch of tea leaves along with half a teaspoon of turmeric along with a pinch of salt in boiling water .

Buying Turmeric as a supplement is easy now.

- Gunjan


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