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healing botanicals

By Chris Kilham

turmeric & curcumin Boost your health with turmeric and curcumin, its active ingredient.


mong the estimated 50,000 plants used as medicines around the world, a few enjoy superstar status for their broad healing benefits— one of these is the herb turmeric. Native to southern Asia, turmeric enjoys a long history of use for the treatment of arthritis, rheumatism, pain, allergies, asthma, sinusitis, coughs, and liver disorders. A large body of science shows that curcumin, a compound in turmeric root, possesses significant healing properties and is chiefly responsible for the herb’s overall healing powers. Here is an overview of some of the research done on turmeric and curcumin and their health benefits:

Arthritis and other types of pain One Indian double-blind clinical trial involving patients with rheumatoid arthritis found that oral doses of curcumin resulted in significant improvement of morning stiff ness, walking time, joint swelling, pain, and discomfort. Studies conducted at the Central Drug Research Institute in Lucknow, India, found that curcumin is an effective, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory, though it must be consumed in larger quantities than other anti-inflammatory drugs. Anecdotally, curcumin supplements are used and recommended by holistic

practitioners for all types of inflammation and pain—from foot and back pain to menstrual and muscle pain.

Respiratory relief Curcumin appears to offer pulmonary benefits as well. Patients with respiratory diseases who were treated with curcumin experienced varying degrees of relief from coughing, excessive sputum, and labored breathing. Some natural cold and flu formulas also include curcumin to help ease coughs from viral and bacterial infections.

Liver health In rat studies, curcumin decreased liver cholesterol, increased fecal excretion of cholesterol, and lowered serum cholesterol. Rats fed curcumin had one-half to one-third the serum and liver cholesterol levels of rats not fed curcumin.

Brain and mood benefits Recent studies suggest that curcumin may also offer significant cognitive-enhancing and antidepressant benefits. Other research on turmeric has shown that the spice helps deter Alzheimer’s disease. In fact, there is a lower incidence of Alzheimer’s in India (compared to the USA).

Cancer Although more research is needed, curcumin appears to be a possible anticancer agent. For example, in animal studies, curcumin inhibited the growth of ovarian cancer cells.

Topical benefits Researchers have found that applications of curcumin ointment on cancerous lesions reduced itching and pain in 90 percent of cases. Other studies showed


that curcumin accelerates the healing of both infected and uninfected wounds.

Find a High-Quality Supplement Curcumin is not well absorbed, and thus needs to be consumed in large quantities or taken in a superior extracted form. Some turmeric extracts add the pepper-derived agent piperine to increase absorption. In studies of various extracts, one curcumin extract, called BCM-95, demonstrated up to seven times better absorption than other turmeric extracts. Curamin, a product sold by EuroPharma, contains the BCM-95 version of curcumin. Whole turmeric root and concentrated curcumin demonstrate great safety, even at very high doses.

Send Your

Bags Packing Tired of dark under-eye circles and bags? Let turmeric come to the rescue. This healing spice does wonders when it comes to diminishing dark circles and brightening the eye area. The recipe is simple: Make a paste of turmeric powder and water and apply under your eyes. Leave for about 15 minutes before washing off. For an extra anti-inflammatory boost, use pineapple juice in place of water when making the paste.


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