Turmeric, whose botanical name is Curcuma Longa and is also known as Curcumin or curcuma, is a relative of cardamom and ginger native of India and southern and eastern Asia (Indonesia etc). It produces a root (rhizomes) that have been used from antiquity as a condiment, as a textile dye, and for medicinal purposes. The herb has a slightly acrid taste (similar to ginger) and is a warming plant that has been used by Indian cooks to flavor food as a spice for thousands of years, particularly in curry. Curcuminoids are the substances responsible for turmeric’s characteristic yellow color. Curry powder, which is extensively used in Indian cuisine, is made of turmeric for the most part as well as other spices such as coriander and fenugreek. The major curcuminoids, which are also powerful antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, are curcumin, demethoxycurcumin and bisdemethoxycurcumin. Today's herbalists and naturopaths consider turmeric to be one of nature's most potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidants. Turmeric can be beneficial in a variety of conditions linked to inflammation and antioxidant damage, including cataracts, arthritis, cancer, and heart disease. It is also helpful in treating scabies and digestive disorders, promoting wound healing, and strengthening the immune system. Turmeric is still used to this day to help treat anorexia, liver disorders, cough, diabetic wounds, rheumatism and sinusitis. Turmeric (or Curcumin) as a potent natural anti-inflammatory agent, can help with sports injuries especially when combined with proteases such as bromelain.
Turmeric/Curcumin, the key spice in curry, has been widely used in both the Indian (Ayurvedic) and Chinese Medicine systems for thousands of years. Curcumin researches have confirmed that it possesses antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-platelet, cholesterol – lowering, antibacterial and anti-fungal attributes and effects. It contains a potent mix of powerful antioxidant phytonutrients known as curcuminoids, making it a staple of Indian cuisine and medicine. To enhance and support improved liver, gallbladder and digestive functions, it should also be a staple in your health regimen as an overall health tonic. Women in India who get complimented for their beautiful skin attribute this to Turmeric. More importantly, Turmeric is now the focus of numerous university, hospital and research studies that show great potential in the treatment of cancer, including those involving prostate, colon, esophagus, pancreas and breast. Some of the key ingredients in Turmeric include curcumin (its principal active ingredient), the powerful antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds demethoxycurcumin and bisdemethoxycurcumin, a volatile oil, gum, starch, calcium chloride, fiber, caffeic-, cinnamic-, p-coumaric- and other acids, limonene, calcium, iron, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, beta-carotene, B-vitamins and vitamin C.
There are promising developments on the horizon regarding the use of natural herbals such as Turmeric in the fight against prostate cancer. Rutgers University scientists administered either alone or in tandem Turmeric (also called Curcumin) and PEITC (phenethyl isothiocyanate), a substance found naturally in cruciferous vegetables (Broccoli, Cabbage, Cauliflower, etc.) in laboratory mice that have been introduced to human prostate cancer cells. The study indicated that when Turmeric or PEITC was injected separately in new cancerous tumors, the growth of the tumors was retarded, but in well-established tumors, there was minimal effect. However, when Turmeric/Curcumin and PEITC was administered in combination, the results yielded even stronger effects and significantly reduced tumor growth. As for women worried about the cancer-causing effects of hormone replacement therapy (HRT), they can reduce their risks by taking curcumin, which has the ability to slow and even stop the development of cancerous tumors in the breast. Researchers at the University of Missouri-Columbia found that the spice countered the cancer-causing effects of HRT by blocking the production of molecules that helped increase the blood supply to tumors in the breast. Animals that were given the spice had fewer tumors, and any that they did have grew and developed more slowly.
What is Curcumin/Turmeric Extract Powder used for and who uses it?
The substance found in the spice turmeric, Curcumin, has been used for thousands of years now in Asian medicine to treat conditions ranging from heartburn to arthritis. Currently, many studies suggest curcumin may be beneficial in preventing or treating cancer owing to its antioxidant properties, which means it may reduce swelling and inflammation. It's being explored as a cancer treatment because inflammation appears to play a role in cancer. Laboratory and animal research indicate that curcumin may slow the proliferation of cancer and the growth of new tumor blood vessels, and it may also cause cancer cells to die. In clinical studies, curcumin applications in treating or preventing a number of cancers are now being studied, including colon, prostate and breast cancers. Although studies of curcumin in people are still in the early stages, researchers have looked at curcumin to significantly reduce the risk of cancer in people with precancerous conditions, and potentially as a treatment for people with pancreatic cancer as well.
Turmeric appears to have potent anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and antibiotic characteristics. It can be made into a paste and applied topically to help treat sprains, open wounds and other injuries. Owing to its anti-inflammatory properties, it has been administered for many years to alleviate the pain experienced by patients due to arthritis. Some even argue that aside from preventing heart failure, it can also repair or reverse some of the damage that has been rendered. Additionally, people use it to help eliminate acne as well as other skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema. Curcumin, the main component in turmeric, has been known to help "clean" the liver, which in turn improves liver function. As a result, the liver is able to get rid of more LDL cholesterol. This also means turmeric can be beneficial in dealing with problems related to the digestive system. Turmeric can also bring relief from diarrhea, cures bladder infections, and its ability to speed up metabolism can aid in weight loss. As for cancer treatment, research regarding this is ongoing largely because of the promise it has shown in slowing the spread of cancerous cells. This has been demonstrated by Indian men who rarely develop colon cancer because of their regular turmeric consumption. Current research also indicate that turmeric may be able to keep Alzheimer's at bay and slow down or minimize the symptoms and progression in patients who already have it. Studies are currently lined up to ascertain whether or not turmeric can also be of use in treating HIV and cystic fibrosis. The number of health benefits associated with turmeric is truly remarkable.
Probably the one benefit of turmeric that takes the cake is its potential ability to prevent cancer and even slow down the spread of cancer that has already developed. People who regularly use Turmeric (Indians for example) have significantly fewer cases of cancer. In the case of colon cancer, turmeric's role as a powerful antioxidant is probably most significant. Because of Turmeric's antioxidant properties, free radicals that get into the colon are neutralized so as to not disrupt the colon’s critical processes (or example, the constant turnover of cells) thus preventing colon cancer. In the case of patients who already have cancer, turmeric could be of help because turmeric has been demonstrated in clinical trials as capable in slowing down the spread and proliferation of tumors in mice. As cancer cells spread and a tumor grows, transcription factors control the process. Curcumin, one of the main components in turmeric, actually shuts down many of these transcription factors. Although it doesn’t bring them to a complete halt, it slows down the process considerably. Turmeric's ability to inhibit COX-2 and NF kappa-B, inflammatory agents that help contribute to cancer growth, means Turmeric could help slow the formation of cancer cells. Turmeric also shows great promise in addressing problems cause by conditions such as lung and prostate cancer as well as childhood leukemia. Pertinent data have shown that turmeric can completely stop the replication of leukemia cells in a laboratory. While more time and resources are needed to unleash the full potential of turmeric, results as early as now are encouraging.
How pure is your Curcumin/Turmeric Extract Powder?
The active constituent in Turmeric and Curcumin is curcumin, and Natural Biology offers a 95% Standardized Extract of curcumin. As such this Curcumin/Turmeric Extract Powder is assayed to be 95% pure, and does not have any fillers, additives or anti-caking agents. Turmeric contains curcumin and curcuminoids, which are powerful anti-inflammatory phytochemicals that act as natural cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) inhibitors in the body, that prevent the synthesis of the prostaglandins which in turn cause inflammation and swelling. As a natural antioxidant, Turmeric shields the body from free radical damage, thus inhibiting the development of cataracts, breast cancer, colon cancer, and lymphoma. Just like its close relative ginger, turmeric also has the ability to lower cholesterol and may provide heart-protective benefits such as blood clot prevention and reduced blood pressure.
Because of its positive effect on liver function, Turmeric helps cleanse the body, and protects the liver from the adverse effects of alcohol, toxic chemicals, and even some pharmaceutical drugs. Turmeric also stimulates the production of bile required to digest fat, and it also protects the digestive tract by killing the usual causes of diarrhea which are salmonella bacteria and protozoa. It has been used to support digestion, maintain healthy normal joint function, and provide antioxidant and cardiovascular support. For these reasons, supplementation may be necessary.
What is the daily suggested dose of Curcumin/Turmeric Extract Powder?
The daily suggested oral dose for Curcumin/Turmeric Extract Powder is 3 grams daily, divided into several doses and taken together with meals or a glass of water. Taking a teaspoon will supply a total daily dose of 2485 milligrams or about 2.5 grams. Please consult a physician before using a turmeric or curcumin based supplement if you have a known allergy to ginger. Natural Biology's Inflatrol offers approx. 1 gram of Curcumin/Tumeric daily and is easier to take than by powder form.
As always, if you have concerns or questions, consult a physician or a health care professional before taking any supplements. Before taking any kind of medicine, check with your doctor to ensure that the supplement you want to take is right for you. You may be allergic or you may have a sensitive stomach which may raise the need for special instruction as far as dosage goes.
What kind of results do people anticipate while taking Curcumin/Turmeric Extract Powder?
Current research suggests that turmeric can maintain healthy cardiovascular function, promote optimal liver function, provide additional antioxidant support, and maintain healthy normal muscle and joint function.
Precautions, Interactions, and Potential side effects of Curcumin/Turmeric Extract Powder
Although most remedies come with side effects, with turmeric, you don't really have to worry about any such tradeoffs. If taken in the suggested doses, there are very few negative side effects. The only way your body would react adversely to Turmeric is if you take massive amounts, which could then result to stomach upset. If you’re not completely sure whether you’re allergic to turmeric or not, or if you have a known allergy to ginger, be careful if you're trying it for the first time. Before ingesting it you might want to put some on your skin first just to check if a rash develops. Aside from an allergic reaction, people undergoing treatment and medication for diabetes and high blood pressure must exercise caution, as turmeric could increase the strength of your medication, which could be dangerous. Turmeric can also interact with other medications, dietary supplements and herbs, so it is always advisable to check with your doctor of pharmacist just to be on the safe side before adding turmeric into your daily regimen.
People with gastrointestinal problems like ulcers and gallstones should shy away from turmeric because if you have a sensitive stomach, it may result to an upset. Some research data have shown that extraordinary amounts of turmeric can damage white and red blood cells, however this is very unlikely because for this to even become remotely possible, the amount of turmeric you would have to consume is great. While more research needs to be done regarding turmeric and its possible side effects, you might want to steer clear away from it if you have blood-clotting issues or if you're pregnant. People taking blood thinners should not use this herb medicinally, as it may increase the potency of these medications. There is no hard evidence to back the adverse effects in regards to either condition, but turmeric’s anti-inflammatory property means it could adversely affect blood-clotting disorders and the effects on pregnancy and nursing are still completely unknown.
Natural Biology provides information which is NOT a substitute for medical advice. ALWAYS consult your doctor or pharmacist. Do not use any dietary supplement as a replacement for conventional care, or as a reason to postpone seeing a doctor about a medical problem. Tell all your health care providers about any complementary and alternative practices you use. Give them a full picture of what you do to manage your health. This will help ensure coordinated and safe care.
Taste, solubility, and suggested preparation of Curcumin/Turmeric Extract Powder
Curcumin is the pigment found in Turmeric; therefore, Curcumin-Turmeric Extract Powder is yellow-orange in color with a spicy taste and aroma. It is a flavorful additive to foods. Turmeric is said to work best when taken on an empty stomach. Turmeric is available in the familiar powder form used in cooking, as well as commercial capsules and tinctures. The usual dosage is 445 milligrams in capsules or 1 teaspoon of extract three times a day, or 1 teaspoon of tumeric powder in warm milk as a digestive aid. Curcumin supplements are also available, and are more effective for treatment of arthritis.
Used as a nutritional powder, Curcumin/Turmeric Extract is best mixed with cooking oils to boost the benefits of the extract. Although Curcumin can be mixed into liquids, it is significantly better absorbed into the body when blended with cooking oils as in coconut oil, butter or olive oil. Add one-tablespoon butter, olive oil or coconut oil and about a level 1/2 to 1 teaspoon Curcumin powder to your pot of rice and water before cooking, and you’ll get one of the most delicious and best tasting rice you’ve tried. Use Curcumin-Turmeric Extract powder sprinkled into any dish while cooking for an excellent seasoning. Additionally, Curcumin-Turmeric Extract makes an excellent hot tea. Simply steep 1 to 1/5 grams of the powder in water and enjoy a new hot tea! Curcumin/Turmeric Extract Powder dissolves best in hot water as opposed to cold water.