I Simply love Turmeric… One of the Best Herbs for Fighting Dis-ease….

Turmeric* may not initially ring a bell but you’ve probably eaten it many times.  The west is finally catching up to traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurveda (the traditional medicine of India) in recognizing turmeric as a super spice in treating a range of health problems—joint pain, eczema, cancer, and Alzheimer’s, just to name a few. It can also be used topically to treat acne, hyper-pigmentation, wrinkles and even remove unwanted hair.

Medical researchers at the U.S National Institute of Health are said to be currently conducting studies to investigate the special qualities of this spice – to fight a host of diseases. And research is revealing far more serious restorative qualities of this yellow spice.

History of the Spice

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Turmeric was traditionally called Indian saffron since its deep yellow-orange color is similar to that of the prized saffron. It has been used throughout history as a condiment, healing remedy and textile dye.

Turmeric comes from the root of the Curcuma longa plant and has a tough brown skin and a deep orange flesh. This herb has a very interesting taste and aroma. Its flavor is peppery, warm and bitter while its fragrance is mild yet slightly reminiscent of orange and ginger, to which it is related.

Turmeric is native to Indonesia and southern India, where it has been harvested for more than 5,000 years. It has served an important role in many traditional cultures throughout the East, including being a revered member of the Ayurvedic pharmacopeia. While Arab traders introduced it into Europe in the 13th century, it has only recently become popular in Western cultures. Much of its recent popularity is owed to the recent research that has highlighted its therapeutic properties. The leading commercial producers of turmeric include India, Indonesia, China, the Philippines, Taiwan, Haiti and Jamaica.

Uses for Turmeric

Health claims for turmeric include treatment of the following conditions:

  • prostrate health
  • arthritis
  • eczema
  • heartburn
  • ulcers
  • gallstones
  • kidney stones
  • inflammation

Turmeric is also used to stimulate digestion, boost liver function, and regulate menstruation. Additionally, some proponents suggest that turmeric can help prevent cancer.

Benefits of Turmeric

While a number of animal-based and test-tube studies have shown that turmeric may offer a host of health benefits, few studies have explored turmeric’s effects on human health. Here’s a look at some key findings from the available research on turmeric:

 

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1) Turmeric and Cancer

Curcumin shows promise as a means of reducing breast cancer risk among women undergoing hormone replacement therapy during menopause, according to an animal study published in 2009. In tests on rats, researchers found that treatment with curcumin inhibited the growth of progestin-accelerated tumors (a common health risk for women receiving combined estrogen and progestin hormone replacement therapy).

If you’re considering the use of any natural remedies in combination with hormone replacement therapy, make sure to consult your health-care provider before beginning treatment.

2) Turmeric and Alzheimer’s Disease

When paired with vitamin D, curcumin may help protect against Alzheimer’s disease. In a 2009 study of nine Alzheimer’s patients and four people without the disease, investigators determined that a combination of curcumin and vitamin D may prompt the immune system to clear the brain of amyloid beta (a substance that forms the brain plaques associated with Alzheimer’s disease).

3) Turmeric and Diabetes

Tests on mice indicate that curcumin may help keep blood sugar in check and, in turn, reduce risk of type 2 diabetes. In their 2008 study, scientists also found that turmeric may help tame obesity-related inflammation.

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4) Turmeric and Liver Health

In a 2007 study on rats, scientists discovered that curcumin can protect against liver damage. Study results suggest that curcumin can help curb the production of certain proteins known to promote inflammation.

5) Osteoarthritis

Turmeric may help relieve the symptoms of osteoarthritis because of its ability to reduce pain and disability.

6) Menstrual problems of Woman

For women who experience monthly menstrual cramps, try using turmeric extract or bitters twice daily for two weeks prior to expected menstruation. Turmeric is an antispasmodic to smooth muscles so it reduces digestive and menstrual cramping. It should reduce the severity of pain, if not ease them completely. Certainly, diet and standard of living have a reflective influence on the menstrual cycle, but turmeric is a great addition.

7) Bacterial Infection / Wounds

Turmeric is useful as an external antibiotic in preventing bacterial infection in wounds.

8) Eye Disorder

Curcumin may prove to be as effective as corticosteroids in the uveitis (inflammation of the uvea, the middle layer of the eye between the sclera – white outer coat of the eye and the retina – the back of the eye) the type of eye disorder.

9) Other Health Disorders

Turmeric is anti-inflammatory to the mucous membranes, which coat the throat, lungs, stomach and intestines. Regular use of turmeric can benefit from Colitis, Crohn’s disease, diarrhea, and post-giardia or post salmonella conditions. The itching and inflammation that accompanies hemorrhoids and anal fissures can reduce by use of turmeric. Turmeric can also benefit skin conditions including: eczema, psoriasis and acne, for those it is potent detoxifier.

How to Use Turmeric

Turmeric is widely available in supplement form. You can also increase your turmeric intake by using curry powder in your cooking.

Since few clinical trials have studied turmeric’s health effects, the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine cautions against using turmeric to treat any health condition. If you’re considering the use of turmeric supplements for health purposes, make sure to consult your physician before starting your supplement regimen.

Is Turmeric Safe?

Although turmeric is generally considered safe, high-doses or long-term use may cause indigestion. The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine advises people with gallbladder disease to avoid using turmeric supplements, as they may worsen this condition.

*Too much Turmeric can cause numbness in your mouth, tongue and throat. 

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What Are the Benefits of Aloe Vera?

Skin lotions and topical anti-inflammatory treatments tout aloe vera as a healing and soothing wonder gel. The gel comes from the thick leaves of the aloe vera plant. It does more than just leave skin soft, however. Aloe vera is used to heal first- and second-degree burns, protect against radiation damage, rev up the immune system, make bowels move, and fight viruses and bacteria. All this, thanks to the vitamins and minerals found in the plant.

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Vitamins

Aloe vera gel is packed with vitamins. It contains B-12, which helps make DNA, and also maintains blood and nerve cells. The gel contains folic acid, which makes new cells and prevents birth defects. It has choline, which transmits nerve impulses in the body and sends signals between the cells. It also contains the vitamins A, C and E, which are antioxidants. Antioxidants protect cells against damaging free radicals, molecules that damage the cells and lead to heart disease and cancer.

Minerals

Minerals are vital to humans, and they abound in aloe vera gel. The gel contains at least nine minerals, which are needed to make enzyme systems and metabolism function properly. Among the standouts in aloe vera are calcium, the key component in bones, teeth and cell signaling; zinc, selenium and magnesium, all essential for as many as 300 metabolic functions; and chromium, which enhances the insulin that provides cells with energy. Aloe vera also contains copper, manganese, potassium, and sodium.

Anti-inflammatories

In addition to vitamins and minerals, aloe vera has ingredients that act as anti-inflammatories. Bradykinase is an aloe vera enzyme which reduces skin inflammation. Aloe vera has 12 anthraquinones, also known as laxatives. It has fatty acids, salicylic acid and hormones called auxins and gibberellins, all of which result in inflammation reversal. These anti-inflammatories work most often by stimulating immune system function and collagen growth, or by blocking the paths of irritants.

Considerations

Aloe vera gel can be applied topically and also taken orally. One can break open the plant leaf and apply the natural gel directly onto the skin, or one can buy the gel in lotions and creams for topical treatment. Aloe vera is also available in capsule and pill form. Users should consult a doctor first, as aloe vera can decrease blood sugar levels and interact with hypoglycemic drugs and insulin. It may also increase the absorption of certain creams, including hydrocortisone.

Digestive Problems

Aloe vera gel capsules may be used to treat digestive problems ranging from heartburn and indigestion to constipation or diarrhea. All4NaturalHealth.com reports that the fatty acids found in aloe vera aid in proper functioning of the stomach, intestines and colon. Regular use of aloe vera can help the body stay healthy by regulating the digestive system, according to AloeVeraHealthBenefits.com. Use caution when taking aloe vera internally, cautions the University of Maryland Medical Center, since it can cause severe abdominal cramps. It may cause uterine contractions, and you should avoid taking aloe internally if you are pregnant.