Turmeric Benefits – What the Ancients Knew

Published: 11th November 2011
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Is a cure for cancer still in the far distant future? In this new century, perhaps not. And if that cure involved curcumin, a known cancer fighter, the continuing research into it would be a gift from the ancient Asians of three thousand years ago. They knew that the root of the turmeric plant relieved many disorders, such as diarrhea, heartburn, gas, bloating, colic, stomach and liver ailments. And in this "golden spice," they found other turmeric benefits; as a flavoring for their delectable Asian dishes and as a rich, yellow dye. Similar in appearance to ginger root, turmeric contains curcumin, which gives it its glorious yellow color – and because of its medicinal properties, has and is being researched for further turmeric benefits in treating diseases, especially cancer.

Curcumin has the ability to target many areas of the body simultaneously and research has provided a solid basis for its effectiveness in reducing inflammation, as in Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. It can retard the progression of HIV as well as some neurological diseases such as Alzheimer. But it’s the area of various cancers which attracts the attention of researchers. They have found that among the turmeric benefits is a broad range of antioxidants; effective in fighting free radicals which attack the cells of the body. Cancer is known to cause twenty-five percent of disease-related deaths in the United States and curcumin has the potential to discriminate between lethal cancer cells and healthy cells. Current cancer treatments do not have this ability which is why there are so many negative side-effects associated with them.

Could another of the many turmeric benefits be the use of curcumin as a dietary supplement? It seems so. But researchers found that curcumin becomes degraded by stomach acids before it can enter the bloodstream – even when hefty doses were taken. And in order to perform its magic, curcumin must be able to circulate within the bloodstream. It was necessary to find a protective enteric coating for it so that it could do so effectively. Piperine was found to be the solution. Piperine is a component of black pepper and adding it to the curcumin allowed it to enter the bloodstream more efficiently.

In addition to the many turmeric benefits, are there any negative side-effects to taking it as a diet supplement? It appears so – long term use in large doses may irritate the gall-bladder, cause gastro-intestinal problems and, in laboratory animals, was shown to cause liver problems. Taking the recommended dose should not result in any negative side effects, long or short-term.

You can buy turmeric spice to flavor and color curries and Middle Eastern dishes. And health food stores stock turmeric in powder or pill form as a dietary supplement. But in order to take full advantage of turmeric benefits, do take the time to read the labels before buying. Your turmeric must include other ingredients which are rich in free radical-fighting antioxidants such as grapes, tomatoes, olive leaves, bitter orange, algae and green tea. Without those plant extracts, you will not get the full turmeric benefits you are seeking. And ensure too, that it contains the essential piperine - the key which unlocks the doors to your bloodstream, allowing all those turmeric benefits to protect your body cells and your health.

Todd Michaels is an expert on juicing. He has written a number of articles that can be found all over the internet. If you are interested in turmeric and want to learn all about turmeric benefits, visit http://www.juicinganswers.com.

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