Days are getting longer, and our calendars are getting busier! We’re shaping up our bodies, and enjoying the beginnings of summer sunshine. Eating healthy, delicious vegetarian Indian foods can help condition your brain as well as your body. And turmeric is one of the best additions you can make to your diet.
Turmeric is a bright yellow-orange root that’s typically ground into a powder and used in countless Indian dishes. Our family legacy includes inventing a proprietary milling process for fresh, pure organic turmeric. Turmeric gives curry its bright yellow color.
Today turmeric is being studied for a beneficial compound it contains, curcumin, which gives the spice its color. It has powerful anti-inflammatory properties and shows promise in combatting Alzheimer’s and other diseases.
For example, according to acclaimed integrative physician Dr. Andrew Weil:
“One of the most comprehensive summaries of turmeric studies to date was published by the respected ethnobotanist James A. Duke, Phd., in the October, 2007 issue of Alternative & Complementary Therapies, and summarized in the July, 2008, issue of the American Botanical Council publication HerbClip.”
“Reviewing some 700 studies, Duke concluded that turmeric appears to outperform many pharmaceuticals in its effects against several chronic, debilitating diseases, and does so with virtually no adverse side effects. Here are some of the diseases that turmeric has been found to help prevent or alleviate:
- Alzheimer’s disease: Duke found more than 50 studies on turmeric’s effects in addressing Alzheimer’s disease. The reports indicate that extracts of turmeric contain a number of natural agents that block the formation of beta-amyloid, the substance responsible for the plaques that slowly obstruct cerebral function in Alzheimer’s disease.
- Arthritis: Turmeric contains more than two dozen anti-inflammatory compounds, including six different COX-2-inhibitors (the COX-2 enzyme promotes pain, swelling and inflammation; inhibitors selectively block that enzyme). By itself, writes Duke, curcumin – the component in turmeric most often cited for its healthful effects – is a multifaceted anti-inflammatory agent, and studies of the efficacy of curcumin have demonstrated positive changes in arthritic symptoms.
- Cancer: Duke found more than 200 citations for turmeric and cancer and more than 700 for curcumin and cancer. He noted that in the handbook Phytochemicals: Mechanisms of Action, curcumin and/or turmeric were effective in animal models in prevention and/or treatment of colon cancer, mammary cancer, prostate cancer, murine hepatocarcinogenesis (liver cancer in rats), esophageal cancer, and oral cancer. Duke said that the effectiveness of the herb against these cancers compared favorably with that reported for pharmaceuticals.”