Wonder Spice

Ancient and Modern?

These day I tend to be a bit sceptical. During a conversation at the beginning of my gym membership about my health issues, my instructor mentioned the spice. She said that her husband had used it for his bad knee for over 15 years. My first, private thought was , ‘yeah right!’ But, as I had recently been diagnosed with osteoarthritis, in my case in my arm, shoulder and wrist, I decided to give it a try. At that time, I was already taking a couple of other supplements, which seemed to be really helping. But a few months ago, I ran out of my original supplements, but still had plenty of the one recommended by my instructor, so kept going with that in the meantime. Knowing I could buy more of my original supplements later. Well, I still haven’t bought more of them As I found, to my genuine sceptics surprise, that the turmeric tablets I was taking we as effective as when they were combined with the ones I was already taking. 

Naturally, being me, I was now honour bound to dive into research. And WOW! 

What I discovered was a real eye opener. I wonder for instance, how many people are aware that Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is widely known in Europe as Indian Saffron. Dietary turmeric was shown to lower Lipid peroxidation by enhancing the activities of antioxidant enzymes, (In rats).

Amazingly, first isolated almost 2 centuries ago, the history of “Curcumin” goes back over 5,000 years and has been used for centuries with No Known major sideeffects.

The use of turmeric with the curcumin within it has, through the years, been shown to have beneficial activities as an antiseptic, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, even as an insect repellent! And modern research has provided considerable evidence that it could be used in accelerated wound healing.

       The fact that most chronic diseases are the result of dis-regulated inflammation, and scientific evidence that the anti-inflammatory quality of turmeric/curcumin, are now well regulated. It gives real hope for those who suffer from such diseases. (Thanks to BB Agarwail, YJ Surkh, S Shishodia, 2007 report, for this information).

       Heliobacter Pylori was shown during research testing, that curcumin and turmeric rhizome, inhibited the grown of H. Pylori – (NCCIH, NIH, HHS).

       Part of the Ginger family, turmeric also destroys free radicals and can be useful against bacterial and viral infections. Consistent use of curcumin appears to increase immunity.

Shown to be a good source of dietary fibre, pyridoxine, vitamin C and B6, potassium, copper, iron, zinc, magnesium, manganese and phosphorus. Some studies believe that turmeric may be 5-8 times stronger than vitamins W & C.

A 2010 clinical trial revealed that turmeric capsules improved long term pain relief for 100 patients with knee Osteoarthritis. A 2012 study showed that for those with rheumatoid arthritis swelling and pain had been reduced and could be even more effective than anti-inflammatory drugs. Turmeric extract has also been shown to help with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).

Turmeric can be grown from plants or propagated from fresh roots - available at weekend markets and even some supermarkets.

Ania Grimone, LAc, CH, an acupuncturist and Chinese herbalist at the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine at Northwestern University also advises her clients to take turmeric in capsule form as part of an integrative treatment plan to address inflammatory conditions such as back pain and arthritis.

Recommendations from someone so knowledgeable and respected, certainly encourages me, at least, to continue with my treatment.

I could go on and on about this amazing spice, but believe, I have found enough information for the peace of mind of knowing that my instructor was quite right to advise me as she did. I hope this information will encourage you the same way.