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Turmeric: Nature’s Wonder Drug

New research has gathered 600 reasons why turmeric (and its primary polyphenol, curcumin) might be the healthiest dietary supplement on the planet. Turmeric, a perennial plant grown in India and harvested for its rhizomes, has been used for 6,000 years in Ayurvedic medicine and has been shown to be a successful treatment for cancer, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, arthritis, allergies, and more.

turmeric

Turmeric market at Ortigia, in Syracuse, Italy. Photo by Giovanni Dall’Orto via Wikimedia Commons.

Turmeric root is a cousin to and looks much like fresh ginger, but with a bright-orange center. It has an earthy, slightly peppery flavor and can be added to nearly anything: eggs, smoothies, rice, stir-fries, soups, vegetables, etc. It’s also available dried and ground.

Curcuma_longa_roots

Photo by Simon A. Eugster via Wikimedia Commons.

Although conventional medicine states there’s little evidence of disease-fighting results from turmeric, alternative medicine retorts that’s merely because few clinical trials have been conducted. And they probably won’t be. According to GreenMedInfo.com, “Truth be told, the FDA’s ‘gold standard’ for proving the value of a prospective medicinal substance betrays the age old aphorism: ‘he who owns the gold makes the rules,’ and unless an investor is willing to risk losing the 800+ million dollars that must be spent upfront, the FDA-required multi-phased double-blind, randomized clinical trials will not occur.”

GreenMedInfo has reviewed more than 5,000 study abstracts from the National Library of Medicine’s database, MEDLINE, and have compiled a list of 600 potential health benefits of turmeric/curcumin, including: reducing inflammation, destroying multi-drug-resistant cancer, preventing and reversing Alzheimer’s, preventing osteoarthritis, lowering risks of heart disease, treating depression, treating digestive problems … the list goes on and on. It’s also been shown to be successful in treating dozens of health conditions simultaneously with no side effects.

There’s also evidence that turmeric might be most effective when paired with black pepper. Not convinced? Read more about that in the HomeSafeHome section of the Dec/Jan issue of MaryJanesFarm, out mid-November. Continue reading