BY DAVID TETTER, CORPORATE HEALTH MANAGEMENT
We all love a good root, and one of the best has to be turmeric. A member of the ginger family, turmeric has been used for over 4000 years in Ayuverdic and Chinese traditional medicine.
Tumeric contains potent inflammatory compounds called curcuminoids, most notably curcumin. These compounds have been shown to improve many inflammatory diseases without the negative side effects of prescription drugs.
In one study in the medical school of Turin, arthritis patients showed an average of 58% improvement in symptoms over a three month period. In fact, the group with the highest C Reactive Protein (a bio marker of inflammation) showed a whopping 16 fold decrease.
Chronic inflammation is a key driver in heart disease, cancer, obesity and inflammatory bowel disease to name but a few.
Curcumin works by down regulating cox2 and other inflammatory enzymes, and has been shown in studies to outperform NSAIDS, with virtually no side effects. [Those who are pregnant, however, or taking blood thinning medications should avoid high doses as curcumin reduces blood clotting.]
In addition to these important attributes, turmeric has been shown to be useful in improving insulin resistance as well as increasing HDL (good) cholesterol and decreasing LDL (bad) cholesterol. University of Texas studies have also shown curcumin to inhibit certain types of cancers, as well as making cancer cells more susceptible to chemo and radio therapy.
University of Graz studies have shown turmeric to:
- Delay liver damage leading to cirrhosis. By helping the liver to heal, this promotes better fat burning and detoxification.
- Has the highest naturally occurring levels of the anti-oxidant beta carotene.
- Increases the body’s production of glutathione peroxidase (an important free radical scavenger).
Tumeric, of course, can and should be used in cooking, as it has been throughout Asia for millennia. There is, however, some debate as to whether curcumin extract or turmeric is best for health purposes.
While curcumin extract maybe be easier to take, there are several reasons while whole plants (like turmeric) are usually best for us.
Whole plants contain many co-factors with properties of their own which increase bio availability and whole plants stimulate the adaptogenic response from the body, which extracts or drugs do not.
Harvard medical doctor, Andrew Weil (who also holds a PHD in Botany from Harvard) states that:
“Humans and plants have co-evolved over millions of years, so it makes perfect sense that our complex bodies would be adapted to absorb needed beneficial compounds from compound plants and ignore the rest.”
Weil goes on to explain that for certain acute conditions extracts or drugs are best suited in the short term. He also points out that extracts (unlike whole plants) can be patented and sold for profit by pharmaceutical companies – something we all should bear in mind. Esteemed US surgeon general, Dr Sanjay Gupta, recommends the following traditional Ayurvedic recipe for taking turmeric:
- Peeled chopped turmeric root
- Peeled chopped ginger root
- Black pepper (pepperine increases tumeric’s bio availability)
- Almond milk or coconut oil (as turmeric is fat soluble)
- Slow boil for 7 – 15 minutes
There are many variations on this recipe that you can try. I recommend you start enjoying the many benefits of this fantastic root today.
Yours in health,
Corporate Health Management
P.O. BOX 90943 A.M.S.C AUCKLAND 1142
021 638 383
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