This herbaceous herb (also known as Curcuma longa) is a member of the ginger family, which has been used throughout India and the Orient for thousands of years. It tastes great when added to all sorts of culinary delights, such as rice, roasted vegetables, soups and teas. I even sprinkle some on my popcorn… yummy!
Historical records note that ancient Polynesians took turmeric with them when they sailed across the Pacific Ocean to Hawaii, where the spice is still used today and is known as ’olena.
In India, this golden spice has long been called “holy powder,” and is used extensively to treat infections, wounds and a myriad of other health problems. Its healing power was once thought of as only folklore; however, modern research is now confirming what the people of India and many parts of Asia have known for thousands of years — turmeric is a spice you don’t want to pass up.
Scientists are finding an astonishing array of antioxidant, anticancer, antiviral, antibiotic, antifungal and antibacterial properties. As an immune system booster, turmeric is five to eight times stronger than vitamin C and E.
Studies show that curcumin, the principal curcuminoid of turmeric, inserts itself into cell membranes where it does a little housecleaning and reorganizing, adding vibrancy to the cell itself. Suddenly a disorganized cell becomes organized, allowing information to flow through it so it can function more effectively. The result of this action increases the cell’s resistance to infection, malignancy and more!
The ultimate inflammation buster
Although acute inflammation is important as it fights foreign invaders and repairs damage, chronic inflammation is nothing short of disastrous because it begins to destroy the body’s own tissues. Research links chronic, low-level inflammation to almost all Western diseases, including cancer, metabolic syndrome, heart disease and Alzheimer’s.
FACT: Curcumin actually has a bioactive substance that tackles inflammation at the molecular level.
Most researched plant on the planet
By far, turmeric is one of the most extensively researched plants ever discovered by mankind. Most of its potent therapeutic value is found in its main component, curcumin. In fact, this humble little spice has been the star of well over 5600 peer-reviewed and published biomedical studies. These studies reveal over 600 potential preventive and therapeutic applications and an additional 175 or more beneficial physiological effects.
Here are just some of the researched areas where turmeric has proven to be effective:
Fat metabolism and weight loss
Remedy for psoriasis and skin conditions
Slows and reverses heart disease
Slows the progression of multiple sclerosis
Slows the progression of Alzheimer’s
Supports eye health
Supports female reproductive health
Cleanses the skin
Helps with sugar digestion
Reduces the ill effects of chemotherapy
Protects against radiation
Promotes healthy digestion
Thins gut mucus
Protects against heavy metal toxicity
Aids in wound healing
Reduces the spread of cancer
Promotes healthy circulation
Restores damaged skin
Relieves pain from leech bites
Protects from free radicals
Supports healthy bones, ligaments, joints and skeletal system
Boosts the immune system
Provides protection from food poisoning