Turmeric (Curcuma longa), a flowering plant in the ginger family, has been long used in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine as an anti-inflammatory agent. Today, turmeric is being investigated in the United States for its medicinal properties, particularly its ability to reduce inflammation in patients with inflammatory rheumatic disease. Phyto-medicine Research at the University of Arizona found that symptoms of joint pain and arthritis greatly reduced after patients consume at least 400-600mg of turmeric powder daily.
The active ingredient in turmeric is a substance known as curcumin, which belongs to the family of curcuminoid compounds. It has been widely studied in animals for its protective effect on the liver, anti-tumor action, anti-inflammatory properties and its ability to fight infections. Researchers also found that curcumin benefits in cancer treatment. Studies have shown that it can reduce angiogenesis, metastasis and even kill cancerous cells. It has also been observed that curcumin in turmeric helps improve the function of the endothelium, which is the lining of the blood vessels, thus may help to reverse heart diseases. Today, turmeric is also used to treat brain disorders like depression and Alzheimer’s disease. Curcumin in turmeric helps increase brain levels of BDNF – Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor, which is a type of growth hormone that function in the brain. Hence, it is effective at delaying or even reversing many brain diseases.
Although turmeric has many healing properties, it should not be used in pregnancy unless it is under the advice of their physicians. The Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Maryland cautions that while herbs are effective in strengthening the body and treating disease, they contain active substances that can trigger side effect. For this reason, they recommend that turmeric should be taken with care, under the supervision of a practitioner knowledgeable in the field of botanical medicine. However, for those who are not pregnant, lets enjoy a cup of turmeric tea today to heal the body the natural way.
This article is for informational purposes only, and is educational in nature. Statements made here have not been evaluated by the FDA. This article is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Please discuss with your own, qualified health care provider before adding in supplements or making any changes in your diet.