Turmeric:The most powerful anti-oxidant on earth.

Turmeric Turmeric is the most powerful anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory herb on earth.

Let us find out what makes this herb so powerful.

 Turmeric

Scientific name: Curcuma longa (Cúr-cu-ma)

Common name: Indian saffron

Plant family:  Zingiberaceae (Ginger Family)

Genus: Curcuma

Species: Longa

Turmeric is a herb from a ginger family, and has been used for centuries in India as a major ingredient in the curry and herb in Ayurvedic medicine, a 3000 year old comprehensive medicine system. Curcumin which has lately caught the attention of  lot of researchers in the western world ; is a natural phenol (antiseptic and a disinfectant)  found in turmeric, and is responsible for its yellow color.Each 100 mg of turmeric has 3 to 5 grams of curcumin. Curcumin has been found to influence 700 genes and aids  in DNA repair. According to the studies done at NIH on Alzheimer’s disease researchers found that India; where turmeric is used in curries on a day-to-day basis, had lower incidence of AD among adults aged 70-79 years in India is 4.4 times less than that of adults aged 70-79 years in the United States.

Benefits of Turmeric:

  • Anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, antiseptic,analgesic,.
  • Boosts immunity.
  • Anti-carcinogenic.
  • Helps maintain cholesterol levels.
  • Promotes digestive health.
  • Liver detoxifier.
  • Regulates metabolism and weight management.
  • High blood pressure.
  • Memory and brain function.
  • Various skin conditions.
  • Neurological disorders.
  • Lowers Triglycerides.

Bio-availability of Turmeric/Curcumin:

As turmeric/curcumin is poorly absorbed by the digestive tract, piperine from black pepper has shown to raise its bio-availability by 2000%. The reason  curcumin cannot be absorbed  is that, it is only slightly soluble in water but highly soluble in fat and is rapidly metabolized in the stomach; which means that most of what we swallow goes directly into our gastrointestinal area and is expelled. Interestingly in traditional Indian cultures yogurt or ghee (clarified butter) was used with turmeric. So turmeric should be taken with olive oil or ghee, along with pepper for greatest absorption.

Although it has been recommended by doctors like Dr. Andrew Weil to use turmeric in the food rather than taking a supplement, some people prefer taking a turmeric supplement. Turmeric supplement that is standardized to 400 to 600mg of curcumin is usually taken 3 times a day.

Safety Issues with Turmeric:

Turmeric is usually considered as a safe herb and is on FDA’s Generally Recognized As Safe list (GRAS). However people who  take turmeric in a supplement form should be cautious especially if they are on certain prescription medicines. People who are on certain medications like anticoagulant / antiplatelet drugs should not take turmeric in its supplement form as turmeric slows blood clotting which if taken along with these medicines will slow clotting and increase the chance of bleeding.

Sources:

Turmeric image: melanie cook via Compfight

Articles on Turmeric Benefits:

Time Magazine

Turmeric Nutritional facts

Web MD

 

DISCLAIMER:  This article is written for informative purposes only. Do not make any changes to your diet, lifestyle, or treatment plan before contacting your physician or health care provider.

 

 

 

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