Turmeric Also for Brain Protection?

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turmeric
Turmeric root and powder on white background

Turmeric is an orange colored spice South Asia, is part the ginger family and has been a staple in for example Indian, Arabic and Thai cooking for thousands of years.

Ayurvedic and Chinese medicines utilize turmeric to clear infections and inflammations on the inside and outside of the body. In West its health benefits are recognized only recently.

Turmeric is rich in manganese, iron, vitamin B6, potassium, and also has good amounts of vitamin C and magnesium. It’s also an excellent source of fiber.

Turmeric contains compounds called curcuminoids, the most important of which is curcumin. Curcumin is the main active ingredient in turmeric. It has powerful anti-inflammatory effects and is usually claimed to be a very strong antioxidant (The whole free radical/ antioxidant paradigm though is proven wrong though).

Turmeric and Cancer

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A 2008 research article references almost 300 studies that show the effect of curcumin on cancer cells. The research showed that curcumin has anticancer properties and may be beneficial in helping to also treat them.

Turmeric for First Aid

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Turmeric can be used to treat wounds, cuts, rashes, bruises, insect bites, and swelling. Topical application of turmeric has a great therapeutic effect on skin wounds accelerating wound healing.

Can Treat Digestive Issues

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Curcumin stimulates the gallbladder to produce more bile, which may aid digestion. In Germany it is officially approved for digestive problems. Research has also concluded that curcumin is a very promising new therapeutic option for the treatment of gastrointestinal and hepatic diseases.

Turmeric and Arthritis:

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In traditional Chinese and Indian Ayurveda medicine, turmeric is used to treat arthritis. Studies have found the turmeric helps reduce join inflammation and provided evidence that curcumin might even be more effective for rheumatoid arthritis than anti-inflammatory drugs.

Another compound in turmeric may protect the brain

Aromatic ar-turmerone is a turmeric compound that also plays a part in the turmeric puzzle. In a recent study, researchers found ar-turmerone promotes repair to stems cells in the brain. The study examined the effects of this compound in rats on a type of stem cell that is also found in adult brains. These stem cells are involved in recovery from diseases like stroke and Alzheimer’s. The compound could potentially be used in the treatment of these diseases in the future, the findings suggest.

Dosage

Turmeric dosages need to supply 400- 600 milligrams of curcumin three times per day to see therapeutic benefits. As a dried root powder, for real effect you should take turmeric several grams per day. The Curcumin content of turmeric is only around 3%, by weight.

Benefits Summary

  • Powerful anti-inflammatory effect
  • Anticancer properties
  • Therapeutic effect on skin
  • Aid digestion
  • May protect the brain
  • Treat  rheumatoid arthritis
  • Promotes repair to stems cells in the brain

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