Imagine a new wonder drug being unveiled at a global news conference. It seems almost too good to be true. A single compound that could help lower cholesterol, fight cancer, arthritis and Alzheimer’s disease, combat inflammation, offer antioxidant protection – even suppress HIV gene expression.
Oh, as a bonus it can also make your skin more beautiful. There are no side effects, when taken in the prescribed amounts.
I don’t know about you, but sign me up. Not only would I order this stuff in bulk, I would buy stock in the pharmaceutical company laying claim to such a remarkable patent.
Well, it turns out that the compound has existed for thousands of years, but it’s not a drug. Behold the awesomeness of Turmeric.
The main component of Curry powder, Turmeric is a spice powder made from the root of the Curcuma longa plant, which is grown mainly on the Indian Subcontinent. Indians use it to color and flavor their everyday meals, but it’s also used in other cuisines.
The antioxidant Curcumin, which gives Turmeric its golden yellow/orange color, has been shown to contain a wide variety of medicinal benefits. In the ancient Indian medicine system, Ayurveda, Turmeric preparations are used to treat GI tract problems and also as a blood purifier. Many scientific have shown its various anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and immune-boosting properties.
Research also suggests the cholesterol lowering properties of Turmeric in animals. It has been shown as an anti-tumor agent. Recent studies have also shed light on Curcumin’s beneficial role in Alzheimer’s. In fact, one of the lowest rates of Alzheimer’s ever reported was found in Northern India.
Fascinatingly, Curcumin has also been shown to suppress HIV gene expression.
Many Indians get overnight relief from sore throats and cough by drinking a glass of milk laced with sugar and one teaspoon of turmeric at bed time. (I promise to try it this winter and will keep you posted.
It’s widely used in India as an antiseptic for cuts, scrapes and burns, and is used in facials to brighten the skin and treat skin blemishes.
Turmeric is so revered that Indians offer it to their Gods and Goddesses. During the south Indian festival Pongal, a whole turmeric plant is offered as thanksgiving to Suryan, the Sun God. I think this is a beautiful idea.
Better yet, why not consider making a sacred offering to yourself, and include as much Turmeric in your diet as possible.