TURMERIC, Super Healing Spice
The incredible benefits of Turmeric,
often overlooked by Western Cultures
Date: 3/11/2005 9:24:30 AM ( 14 y ) ... viewed 2989 times
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Benefits of Turmeric (curcumin)
From: Lapis :
Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is much more than the familiar spice
that gives curry blends their yellow colour
and imparts to them a slightly bitter or astringent taste.
It is an amazing healing plant
that has not only been valued for its therapeutic properties
in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine for thousands of years
but also has a significant role to play here in the West
in the prevention and treatment
of a wide range of modern day problems.
It is an excellent natural antibiotic,
and one of the best detoxifying herbs
by virtue of its beneficial effect on the liver,
a powerful antioxidant with health-promoting effects
on the cardiovascular, skeletal and digestive systems.
Through its beneficial effect on the ligaments,
it is highly valued by those who practise Hatha Yoga.
The medicinal part of turmeric
comes from the fleshy underground rhizomes
of a perennial plant from the same family as ginger
with large lily-like leaves
that can grow to about 3 feet high.
The rhizomes are harvested in winter,
boiled or steamed, and then dried.
Most turmeric is available as a powder.
Turmeric not only enhances the flavour of food
but also aids digestion, particularly of protein,
promotes absorption and regulates metabolism.
It is an excellent spice to add to cooking
if concerned about weight.
Turmeric helps to regulate intestinal flora
and is well worth taking during and after
a course of antibiotics
and by those suffering from Candida or thrush.
It has a long history of use for eradicating worms.
I have frequently recommened turmeric for digestive problems
such as indigestion, heartburn, wind,
bloating, colic and diarrhea.
It has a soothing and bolstering effect
on the mucosa of the gut and boosts stomach defences
against excess acid, drugs
and other irritating substances ingested
and from the effects of stress,
thereby reducing the risk of gastritis and ulcers.
It is said to lower blood sugar in diabetics.
Turmeric has beneficial effects in the liver,
which include stimulating the flow of bile,
protecting against damage from toxins
and improving the metabolism of fats.
By enhancing liver function,
turmeric helps to cleanse the blood of toxins and impurities.
It has been shown to lower harmful cholesterol levels,
to inhibit blood clotting by blocking prostaglandin production
and to help prevent as well as remedy atherosclerosis,
thus playing a significant role
in the prevention of heart and arterial disease.
Turmeric contains constituents
including curcumin, tumerone and zingiberone
as well as high amounts of a carotene,
equivalent to 50 IU of vitamin A per 100 grams.
Probably the most important component is curcumin
which gives turmeric its intense yellow colour.
Curcumin is a powerful, yet safe anti-inflammatory agent,
excellent for treating inflammatory problem
such as arthritis, liver and gall bladder problems.
It has been found to block the production
of certain prostaglandins and to have effects
on a par with cortisone and non-steroidal
anti-inflammatory drugs but without the side effects.
I have observed that taking turmeric daily
has an excellent anti-inflammatory effect,
improving morning stiffness, joint swelling
and pain with movement experienced
by rheumatoid arthritis sufferers.
Turmeric has powerful antioxidant properties,
and is reported to protect against the development of cancer,
and has a long history of use in the treatment
of various cancers; enhancing the production
of cancer-fighting cells,
protecting against environmental toxins,
with an immune-enhancing effect
and powerful antibacterial properties.
In China it is used to treat the early stages of cervical cancer.
An alcohol extract of turmeric
applied externally in skin cancer
has been shown to reduce itching,
relieve pain and promote healing.
In fact turmeric has been found to be highly effective
at inhibiting recurring melanoma in people at high risk
Research has also demonstrated its protective effects
against colon and breast cancer.
Turmeric has long been popular as a remedy
for treating respiratory infections such as colds,
sore throats, coughs and fevers,
skin problems such as acne and psoriasis,
and kidney and bladder problems.
It can successfully inhibit infection
whether bacterial, viral or fungal.
Dietary Inclusion and Applications
Turmeric can be eaten regularly and liberally as a culinary spice.
To treat infections and digestive problems
the powder can be added to herbal teas,
stirred into honey or hot water.
The usual daily dose of turmeric is ¼-½
(one quarter to one half) a teaspoon of the powder
two to three times daily between meals.
Alternatively you can take two or three cupfuls
of the tea between meals
. To make the tea, place ½ (one half) a teaspoon of powder
in a small pot, pour over a cup of boiling water,
leave to infuse for five minutes, then strain.
You can add ginger or cardamom to add more flavour.
Curcumin can be taken in capsules as a supplement,
Combining curcumin with bromelain
may enhance its absorption and activity.
Powdered turmeric mixed with water or Aloe vera gel
can be made into a paste
and applied to insect bites, spots and pimples,
inflamed and infected skin problems
including scabies and fungal infestation, and infected wounds.
I have found it very successful
when treating acne, eczema and psoriasis
although care has to be taken
with the amount of turmeric used
because it can colour the skin yellow.
Mixed with honey or Aloe vera gel,
it has been used traditionally
to treat sprains, strains and bruises.
A little powder stirred into warm water
makes an excellent mouthwash
to treat inflamed gums and relieve toothache.
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