What is Curcuma?
Turmeric powder might well be the healthiest spice on Earth. Made by grinding the dried root of the Curcuma longa plant, this ancient superfood has been used by Indian Ayurvedic healers for centuries. But in recent years, also the scientific community has begun to show interest in the potential health benefits of the turmeric root. Curcuma longa, and its main active component curcumin, have been evaluated as potential natural remedies for conditions like cancer, allergies, alzheimer’s disease, cognitive decline, cataracts, ulcerative colitis, crohn’s disease, and cardiovascular disease. The potential health effects of turmeric are believed to be particularly strong when you eat turmeric in combination with black pepper as piperine in black pepper boots the effectiveness of curcumin in turmerics.
Health Benefits of Curcuma
The “Longevity Spice”
A study published in Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences in June 2004 found that supply of tetrahydro curcumin, a metabolite of curcumin, could increase rats’ average life span by 12%. Another study found that curcumin from turmeric could increase the life span of roundworms. The life span prolonging properties of curcumin in roundworms were attributed to its antioxidant properties and not to its antimicrobial properties. This study appeared in the October 2011 issue of the journal Mechanisms of Ageing and Development.
Benefits of Turmeric Root for Arthritis Sufferers
Numerous studies have documented the strong anti-inflammatory and anti-arthritis properties of turmeric powder. According to a study published in the November 2006 issue of the journal Arthritis and Rheumatism, the three main curcuminoids in turmeric are responsible for its anti-arthritis effects. If you suffer from rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis, swap your morning coffee for a cup of turmeric tea.
Turmeric may also be one of the best cancer fighting food. Both in vitro and animal studies have shown curcumin to possess wide-ranging anti-cancer activity. For example, curcumin appears to be capable of identifying potential cancer cells and inducing self-destruction of such harmful cells (process known as “apoptosis”). Compounds in turmeric may also be able to inhibit nitrosamine formation and aflatoxin production – two processes that have been associated with an increased risk of several types of cancer.
Turmeric May Help Keep Your Heart Healthy
An animal study published in the February 2008 edition of the Journal of Clinical Investigation found that curcumin from the turmeric root may prevent and even reverse cardiac hypertrophy (abnormal enlargement of the heart). Cardiac hypertrophy has been associated with an increased risk for high blood pressure and heart attacks. Also several other animal studies have shown curcumin to provide cardiovascular benefits. Large-scale human studies, however, are still lacking in this area.
Turmeric Root Fights H. Pylori in Test Tubes
A study published in the World Journal of Gastroenterology in 2005 found that 8 out of the tested 25 plants were capable of killing Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) in test tubes. H. pylori is a pathogenic bacterium that can cause peptic ulcers and even stomach cancer. Among the eight plants that destroyed H. Pylori, turmeric was the most effective at killing H. Pylori, followed by cumin, ginger root, and chili.
Turmeric and Ulcerative Colitis
The December 2006 issue of the journal Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology reported the findings of a randomized, double-blind, multi-center trial that found curcumin to be effective at preventing the recurrence of ulcerative colitis. All the patients recruited for this study were symptom-free at the onset of the trial. Of the 43 patients who received curcumin daily during the 6-month trial, only 2 (or 5%) experienced a flare-up. By contrast, 8 of the 39 patients who received a placebo experienced a relapse. Ulcerative colitis is a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that affects the large intestine. The symptoms are similar to many other gastrointestinal disorders, most notably Crohn’s disease, and may include abdominal pain, malabsorption, and weight loss.
Turmeric and Alzheimer’s Disease
Some studies suggest that turmeric has several properties that could make it effective at preventing Alzheimer’s disease. These include, but are not limited to, the ability of turmeric to fight inflammation, to reduce oxidative stress , and to inhibit the formation of beta-amyloid plaques.
Some other Health Benefits of Curcuma
• Relief for Rheumatoid Arthritis
• Help for Cystic Fibrosis Sufferers
• Inhibits Cancer Cell Growth and Metastases
• Helps Prevent Colon & Prostate Cancer
• Reduce Risk of Childhood Leukemia
• Improved Liver Function
• Cardiovascular Protection
• Turmeric Lowers LDL type B
• Curcumin Crosses Blood-Brain Barrier may Prevent Alzheimer
• Heal wound, cures skin allergies, prevent pimple
• Controls dandruff and hair fall, cures cracked heels
• Turmeric for obesity management
• Used as Painkiller
• Goes against Insomnia