Turmeric is a traditional Cooking spice and medicine grown in India, and other parts of south east Asia, is a staple in classic curry dishes. Turmeric has been used since ancient times for healing in Ayurveda, the tradition medicine system of India, which dates back to at least 5000 years. Turmeric continues to shine today, helping and healing people with its amazing medicinal abilities. There’s has also been extensive research that shows Turmeric can be a wonderful ally for helping with a variety of different conditions, conditions that many people we know and love suffer from today.
For starters, Turmeric can help with the blues, and what do we mean by this? For those that suffer from Depression, Turmeric can be a great supportive supplement. One study in particular, where turmeric was compared to pharmaceutical intervention, showed that turmeric helped to improve condition just as well as the pharmaceutical drug by the 6 week mark. Turmeric is able to assist those with depression through two major health effects that it produces: the reduction in inflammation, and its ability to boost brain and cognitive functioning.
Inflammation is one of the leading causes of disease in the united states and is typically caused by four major forces: Eating an improper diet high in sugar or damaging chemicals, chronic emotional and mental stress and exercise. The inflammation that comes from exercise is looked at as mild and beneficial inflammation, which causes the body to become stronger and more resistant to stress.. A little bit of inflammation isn’t the end of the world, but when the inflammatory stress is chronic and continues daily, it can give predispose a person to many diseases, including cancer, high cholesterol, depression, and more.
One of Turmeric’s super powers is that it can directly suppress inflammation from within the cell. The chemicals in turmeric, called curcuminoids, are able to get into the nucleus of the cell, which is similar to the brain of the cell. It is in the nucleus where our DNA is housed, and the curcuminoids are able to cause the DNA in our cells to change how the cell functions. The DNA is like the instruction manual for our body, and it is our DNA that influences and controls how our body operates and functions. The curcuminoids are able to affect a protein in the cell nf-Kb, and through suppression of nf-kb, the Turmeric tells the body to stop creating inflammation. This can be very effective for conditions such as arthritis and chronic pain, and it can in fact be more effective than both ibuprofen and aspirin for relieving inflammation, as shown in a 2009 study.
For those that suffer from high cholesterol, and diabetes, Turmeric’s Anti-inflammatory properties can be particular useful, as it is the chronic inflammation the creates the hardening of the cholesterol in the arties, as well as atrial damage, which causes the plague build up. Through the suppression of inflammation Turmeric may be a powerful way to help those with high cholesterol, especially when combined with fish oil. There may be contraindications for those taking blood thinning pharmaceutical drugs, as both turmeric and fish oil can also thin blood and prevent blood clotting.
For those with diabetes or who are prediabetic, Turmeric can help by acting in a manner that is similar to the diabetic medication Metformin. Metformin activates an enzyme (protein) in the cell called AMPK. AMPK is also turned on when you engage in vigorous exercise, which should be a clue that activating this enzyme is very good for you. When AMPK is activated in the cell, it improves insulin sensitivity, and can help get sugar and fat delivered into the cells of the body, so less is circulating in the blood, thus lowering blood sugar.
Turmeric can be purchased as a powder, and it can be sprinkled into smoothies, mixed into salad dressings, and more. It is best combined with black pepper and some kind of fat, like an organic olive oil, or grass-fed butter, to maximize its absorption. The whole root can be purchased as well, and it can be cooked into stews, soups and more. Supplementation is a great idea for those who really want a strong dose of turmeric, as the curcuminoids are typically not absorbed well by our bodies. Certain methods of processing turmeric can increase its absorption, and that is what many of these supplement companies do. Turmeric power can also be made into a paste, using a variety of different carries, such a milk, yogurt, or coconut oil and can be applied topically into the skin. Topically it can be useful for pain, eczema, psoriasis, and acne. In some people there can be an allergic reaction, and it can stain the skin, so use a small amount first, just to be on the safe side. Make sure that when using turmeric topically the area is cleaned, and is free from dirt or make up, as this will get in the way of turmeric’s absorption. To determine what type of carrier to mix the turmeric into, it is important to see what type condition you are looking to help relive. If eczema is the condition then turmeric and coconut oil would be a great pair, as the coconut oil also fights eczema. If you are looking to create beauty, combining the turmeric with an organic mayonnaise is great way to create beauty and improve skin heath! If looking to combat acne, pair the turmeric with ½ teaspoon of organic grassfed milk or yogurt, as well as with a ½ teaspoon of apple cider vinegar. There are many amazing home recipes for Turmeric, and these just some examples of the different combinations that exist.