Scientific Name:Curcuma longa
About this Herb:Turmeric is a rhizomatous herbaceous perennial plant of the ginger family, Zingiberaceae. Plants are gathered annually for their rhizomes (thick, lumpy roots), much like Ginger, to be used in medicines, in culinary fashions, while some are propagated for the following season.
When not used fresh, the rhizomes are boiled for several hours and then dried in hot ovens, after which they are ground into a deep orange-yellow powder commonly used as a spice in curries and other South Asian and Middle Eastern cuisine, for dyeing, and to impart color to mustard condiments. Its active ingredient is curcumin, which has a distinctly earthy, slightly bitter, slightly hot peppery flavor and a mustardy smell.
Common Names:Turmeric Root, Indian Saffron
Uses:Turmeric has been used in India for over 2500 years and is a major part of the Ayurvedic system of medicine ( the practice of Ayurvedic medicine is a traditional medicine system in India and is considered holistic system and a form of alternative medicine). Ayurvedic is an ancient Indian philosophy of wellbeing and health based on the natural law of balance of the five elements of the body. They are Ether, Air, Fire, Water and Earth. When any of these elements get unbalanced due to improper life style or diet, various mental and physical problems will manifest. It was first used as a dye and then later for its medicinal properties.
A powerful antioxidant called curcumin is the active ingredient in this Turmeric and is what gives it its ability to improve and maintain your health.
Turmeric is a great natural liver detoxifier. Studies conducted at The University of Maryland Medical Center suggest that it works as an antioxidant, protecting the liver against damage by free radicals and helps increase the production of bile by the gallbladder. It is often used in the treatment of gallstones and liver disorders.
Turmeric is also very effective as a pain reliever and combats inflammation. Many people who have arthritis take this herb on a daily basis. Research suggests that the curcumin in turmeric acts as a natural nitric oxide scavenger and inhibits the production of COX-2, a substance in the body that causes inflammation. It works just as well as many prescription anti-inflammatory medicines, but without the negative side-effects.
This herb possesses antibiotic and antiseptic properties. It can be used for disinfecting cuts, scrapes and burns. It aids in fat metabolism and may be helpful for people trying to lose weight. The Chinese have long used turmeric as an effective treatment for depression.
Much research is being conducted right now into the possibility of this herb being used to prevent and treat different types of cancer.
Some research suggests that turmeric may be able to prevent or possibly slow down the growth rate of several types of tumors of the intestines, breast, esophagus, stomach, skin and mouth. In one study, turmeric was able to inhibit cancer-causing enzymes in mice.
Turmeric is also helpful in reducing bad cholesterol in the blood stream. Bad cholesterol is one of the primary causes of heart attacks and blocked arteries. It is also a powerful digestive aid which helps to release enzymes that process carbohydrates and fats. It is a useful remedy for people with upset stomachs.
Researchers at UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center conducted a study on curcumin’s ability to inhibit a critical cell signaling pathway that drives the growth of head and neck cancers by testing human saliva. In the study, 21 patients with head and neck cancers gave samples of their saliva before and after chewing 2 curcumin tablets totaling 1,000 milligrams. One hour later, another sample of saliva was taken and proteins were extracted and IKKβ kinase activity measured. The Curcumin binds to and prevents an enzyme known as IKKβ, an inhibitor of kappa β kinase, from activating a transcription factor called nuclear factor kappa β, which promotes cancer growth.
An independent lab in Maryland was sent blind samples, they confirmed the results. The pro-inflammatory cytokines in the saliva that help feed the cancer were reduced in the patients that had chewed the curcumin and the cell signaling pathway driving cancer growth was inhibited.
Applications:Capsule: Follow directions on bottle
Extracts: 30 - 90 drops a day
Tincture: 15 - 30 drops, 4 times per day
Powder: Sprinkle it on your food and enjoy the taste and its health benefits