According to the WHO up to 80% of the worlds population (7 billion) rely upon traditional medicines for their primary health care needs, in part to the high costs of western pharmaceuticals. Medicines derived from plants have played a pivotal role in the health care of both ancient and modern cultures. One of the prime sources of plant derived medicines is spices.
Turmeric (curcuma longa) is known around the world by many different names. It is the root stalks of the turmeric plant - a member of the ginger family. The spice turmeric is what makes curry powder yellow and curcumin is what makes turmeric yellow. Turmeric is a good looking garden plant with broad, green tropical-style leaves throughout the summer growing season. Though it’s a tropical plant that thrives on heat and moisture, turmeric will grow well in temperate zones during summer, but it does die down in winter every year. We are fortunate to grow both turmeric and ginger on our family farm here on the Sunshine Coast.
Its flavour is peppery, warm and slightly bitter while its fragrance is mild and reminiscent of orange and ginger. Turmeric has played an important role is many traditional cultures throughout the East. More than 5000 articles have been published about curcumin. It has been tested in Petri dishes, animal studies and human studies.
Clinical studies have substantiated that curcumin exerts very powerful antioxidant effects, enabling it protect healthy cells from free radicals that can damage cellular DNA which is said, can lead to cancer. This action is significantly beneficial to areas of the body such as the lining of the colon - where cell turn over is quite rapid. With potent anti-inflammatory activity and benefits in assisting the liver detoxification and enhancement of glutathione (our master antioxidant). Having Turmeric as one of my kitchen larder items is a must.
You may have noticed that health food stores have picked up on turmeric’s rising stardom—their shelves are well-stocked with turmeric supplements of all types, usually in “pain relief” section of the supplement aisle.Most of these supplements come in the form of encapsulated powders. Turmeric powder has a fairly low bioavailability (meaning that a good portion of it isn’t properly absorbed by your body), it often isn’t very fresh, and it’s sometimes made with harsh processes that can destroy or degrade turmeric’s healthful components. Raw turmeric root is the best bet: it’s obviously as fresh as can be, and there’s no strange processes standing in between you and all the turmeric’s goodness. The raw root is often difficult to find at grocery stores, so I have sourced another option for you. Click here to see the Turmeric paste we have on our webstore. From the reading I have done two simple steps to enhancing the bio-availability of Curcumin is to add healthy fats and/or some ground black pepper when taking it in and boiling it into a tea can also help with its uptake. Now that's pretty easily done, the recipes I have given you for Turmeric Slice and Warm Turmeric Coconut Milk are both easy to make, very yummy and best of all soooo good for you. Its worth mentioning in the research I found that even consumption at everty day normal levels of adding Turmeric to your diet is beneficial. You don't need to eat a truckload to have therapeutic effects.
I have really just touched the surface on Turmeric. There are many studies linking it as a potent brain protective agent and degenerative neurological diseases such as Alzheimers and Parkinsons disease and ulcerative colitis. Its role in the prevention of heart disease and in the prevention of the oxidation of cholesterol... So I have and provided you some links around the WWW to articles by respected professionals on turmeric but I encourage you to do some digging yourselves. But as a one-stop resource, Sayer Ji - as always provides a great resource on his Green Med Info site. In fact, they have conducted a five-year long research project on the Turmeric plant, it revealed over 600 potential preventive and therapeutic applications, as well as 175 distinct beneficial physiological effects. Click here to visit the Green Med Info site.
This article from Dr Mercola includes a video interview with Dr. William LaValley, who focuses most of his clinical work on the treatment of cancer, as he mentions, curcumin appears to be universally useful for just about every type of cancer and has the most evidence-based literature supporting its use against cancer of any nutrient and a great recipe for a roasted turmeric cauliflower.