Turn Up the Wick on your Health with Turmeric!

Italy- cloister

Did you know there is lots of potent healing right there in your kitchen spice cabinet? Herbs and spices have many health-enhancing properties. I have written in the past about the garlic family, rosemary, cilantro, oregano, ginger and many others.

Now its time to turn to Turmeric
The emerging research on turmeric for promoting health, boosting immunity, decreasing inflammation and decreasing cancer risk continues to be compelling.

What is turmeric? Turmeric is an Indian spice and is one of the spices used in curry powder. Although Curry powder contains many anti-inflammatory spices such as ginger, cilantro, fenugreek, cinnamon, turmeric is by far, the most anti-inflammatory. It is the active ingredient in turmeric, Curcumin that actually carries the nutritional punch.

Curcumin directly suppresses our body’s own production of inflammatory chemicals creating a strong anti-inflammatory result. That result can even be measured in the blood with decreasing levels of the inflammatory markers (Sedimentation rate and CRP).

For inflammatory conditions like arthritis: those suffering from both Rheumatoid Arthritis and Osteoarthritis report significant improvement with Curcumin. Results of clinical trials report 20-70% improvement in pain, tenderness, and swollen and stiff joints!

For Cancer Prevention: curcumin has been shown in clinical trials to prevent or slow the progression of some cancers. Most trials involved cancers of the Colon, Esophagus, Breast, Prostate and Liver. Also some small, preliminary trial results on Pancreatic cancer have been promising.

Curcumin can prevent or suppress cancer in at least 5 ways:

  • Cools down the inflammatory fire in the body by reducing chronic inflammation.

  • It increases the activity of liver detoxification enzymes, removing toxins from the body more efficiently.

  • It reduces DNA damage or mutation, which is believed to be an initial step in tumor growth.

  • It enhances our body’s own innate ability to destroy cancer cells.

  • It suppresses the production of new blood vessels triggered by cancer cells to support their need for more nutrients to grow.

  • Side effects: Most people tolerate it very well. Because it is a strong spice, it can cause stomach upset. Of course, taking it with food helps.

    Should you add turmeric to your supplement plan? I certainly recommend at least adding turmeric and curry powder to your favorite dishes. If you have inflammatory issues, certain cancers in your family, a history of cancer or a mind for prevention, you may want to consider it.

    Like all supplements, I recommend quality sources of organic curcumin from reputable companies to ensure that potency and quality are guaranteed. And, if you are taking a supplement that says turmeric, it should be at least 85% curcumin for health-enhancing properties.

    Already taking a lot of supplements? We read so often about new research and the number of supplements we take continues to grow. See my next article in this newsletter about how to best tailor supplements for your unique needs.