Trust Nature

Turmeric, the golden spice that restores vitality

If someone asked me which spice could I not live without? Without hesitation my answer would be turmeric.

I remember the day many years ago when I came across an article highlighting the incredible health benefits of turmeric. This made me think again about how nature has been generous to us in creating one of the most powerful natural medicine that has been used for centuries.

Below are some of the benefits that have been widely associated with adding turmeric to our diet

acts as a powerful natural anti-inflammatory compound

increases the antioxidant capacity of the body

boosts brain-derived neurotrophic factor

improves brain function and a lower risk of brain diseases

prevents (and perhaps even treats) cancer

fights depression

delays aging and fights age-related chronic diseases

But first let’s explore what turmeric is and where does it come from?

The special compounds that makes turmeric unique is called curcuminoids. Among them the most important of which is the active ingredient curcumin. The total content of curcumin in turmeric is very low and constitute only 3% by weight, even such a low level can significantly contribute to our health. Unfortunately, curcumin is poorly absorbed in the bloodstream and to boost intake it has to be taken with freshly grounded pepper and cayenne pepper. These simple added ingredients increase absorption of curcumin by 2000%.

The history of turmeric is fascinating, The ‘Golden Spice’ has been used for medicinal purposes for nearly 4,500 years! It was documented that turmeric was grown wildly in the forest regions of Java, Indonesia as early as 5th century AD. There are Sanskrit texts dated back to 5th and 6th centuries AD depicting the usages of turmeric. This golden spice has been widely cultivated mainly in India, China, Taiwan, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Java, Brazil, Peru, many parts of Africa and Australia and sadly not well known in Europe.

What makes turmeric so special?

Photo by Ponyo Sakana on Pexels.com

The special compounds that makes turmeric unique is called curcuminoids. Among them the most important of which is the active ingredient curcumin. The total content of curcumin in turmeric is very low and constitute only 3% by weight, even such a low level can significantly contribute to our health. Unfortunately, curcumin is poorly absorbed in the bloodstream and to boost intake it has to be taken with freshly grounded pepper and cayenne pepper. These simple added ingredients increase absorption of curcumin by 2000%.

Shots or supplements, which one to choose?

Professor Widschwendter from University College of London conducted an experiment on 100 volunteers which were divided into three groups to find out if turmeric on its own is more powerful than in supplements.

  • the first group took 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder daily
  • the second group took the same amount of turmeric as a supplement
  • the third group took a placebo pill

Before taking anything they all had the “oxidative stress test” done which measured how well their blood cells resist inflammation and the health of their immune system.  

The second test involved checking the white blood cells count which are responsible for fighting infection.

The final test looked closely at the methylation of their DNA. DNA carries the genetic code for all of our cells, it’s the “cook book” for our cells including recipes to make new cells. However different cells ‘read’ different parts of the code. The methylation of the DNA can ‘go wrong’ and this can cause cells to become cancerous.

What the experiment showed

Surprisingly, no changes in the blood where noted in volunteers taking supplements and placebo.

But the most exciting findings were detected in the blood of volunteers that consumed powder from  turmeric.

On one gene in particular, the researchers noted a dramatic change in gene SLC6A15 which is associated with risks of depression and anxiety, asthma and eczema, and cancer has been inactivated and helped cells to go back to their normal state.

What this means is that turmeric has the ability to inhabit cancerous cells and even reverse them to their normality.

Have a look at the BBC article and read more about the Prof. Widschwendter experiment:

BBC Two – Trust Me, I’m a Doctor, Series 5, Episode 3 – Does turmeric really help protect us from cancer?

In both cases whenever you consider to drink turmeric shots or take supplements seek advice first as it may interact with some of the drugs.

Simple ideas to add turmeric to your daily menu

Don’t be put off by the taste of the powder. I encourage you to look for real turmeric roots in good grocery shops. You will be surprise how different it tastes to the powder option.

Add the roots into your smoothies but don’t forget to add a little bit of cayenne pepper and freshly ground pepper.

Add turmeric to your soups but start with a very small amount to make sure it doesn’t overpower the taste of the soup.

Turmeric cocktail, the most powerful healing drink in the Far East

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of any vegetable milk
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon honey or maple syrup
  • a pinch of black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon or 2cm of grated fresh ginger or a pinch of Cayan pepper

 Blend all the ingredients into a smooth liquid, Pour into a small pot and heat it for 3-5 minutes without boiling. Drink right away

This delicious recipie comes from the book “5 lat mlodsza w 5 tygodni” by @Agnieszka Mielczarek, my favorite polish health coach.

If you have any other ideas how to use turmeric please share it with me, I will be very happy to hear from you.

Look after Yourself and see you soon.

1 comment

  1. I love your article, Anna, very interesting and well written’ I will definitely add turmeric to my soups now- and get some roots, Joan J
    ________________________________

    Like

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