Turmeric has been and always will be a sacred spice for Indians. Indians have been using the spice for centuries in their daily cooking and had known the benefits so much that the turmeric has been added to all their daily rituals, for prayers, wedding, daily bath and it is a spice that not to missed out in any cookings. Why the turmeric is such a great necessity to Indians? The answer lies in its medicinal properties.
- Chest pain
- Digestive disorders
- Menstrual conditions
Using Turmeric as a Cold Remedy
Turmeric root can be used in more than one home cold remedies. One of these alternative cold remedies recommends boiling half a teaspoon of powdered turmeric root in 30 milliliters of milk, letting the mixture cool and drinking it once or twice a day to relieve throat inflammation. As the milk comes to a boil, you can breathe in the steam for added effect (just be careful not to burn yourself with the hot steam).A second turmeric home remedy for the common cold is to breathe in smoke from burning turmeric powder to increase nasal discharge. Be warned, however, that burning turmeric creates a strong odor.Finally, here's a home remedy best used when cold symptoms are just beginning: Open one or two turmeric capsules and mix the turmeric with some honey. Symptom relief should come quickly.
Other uses of Turmeric
- http://www.annalsofian.org/text.asp?2008/11/1/13/40220. One important point being mentioned is that because we have turmeric as a staple inclusion in our diet, Indians are found to be less vulnerable to Alzheimer's disease.
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Science Daily (Apr. 21, 2009) - Scientists in Michigan are reporting discovery of the secret behind the fabled healing power of the main ingredient in turmeric — a spice revered in India as "holy powder."
Using a high-tech instrument termed solid-state NMR spectroscopy, the scientists discovered that molecules of curcumin act like a biochemical disciplinarian. They insert themselves into cell membranes and make the membranes more stable and orderly in a way that increases cells' resistance to infection by disease-causing microbes.
Science Daily (July 14, 2005) — HOUSTON - Curcumin, the pungent yellow spice found in both turmeric and curry powders, blocks a key biological pathway needed for development of melanoma and other cancers, say researchers from The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center.
At M. D. Anderson, for example, dramatic results from laboratory studies have led to two ongoing Phase I human clinical trials, testing the ability of daily capsules of curcumin powder to retard growth of pancreatic cancer and multiple melanoma. Another Phase I trial is planned for patients with breast cancer, and given this news of curcumin's activity in melanoma, animal studies will soon begin, Aggarwal says. Ground from the root of the Curcuma longa plant, curcumin is a member of the ginger family. It has long been utilized in India and other Asian nations for multiple uses: as a food-preservative, a coloring agent, a folk medicine to cleanse the body, and as a spice to flavor food (two to five percent of turmeric is curcumin, for example).
While researchers had thought curcumin primarily has anti-inflammatory properties, the growing realization that cancer can result from inflammation has spurred mounting interest in the spice as an anti-cancer agent, Aggarwal says. He adds that another fact has generated further excitement: "The incidence of the top four cancers in the U.S. - colon, breast, prostate, and lung - is ten times lower in India," he says. This work is just the latest by M. D. Anderson researchers to show how curcumin can inhibit cancer growth. "Curcumin affects virtually every tumor biomarker that we have tried," says Aggarwal. "It works through a variety of mechanisms related to cancer development. We, and others, previously found that curcumin down regulates EGFR activity that mediates tumor cell proliferation, and VEG F that is involved in angiogenesis. Besides inhibiting NF-kB, curcumin was also found to suppress STAT3 pathway that is also involved in tumorigenesis. Both these pathways play a central role in cell survival and proliferation."
In this study, the researchers treated three different melanoma cell lines with curcumin and assessed the activity of NF-kB, as well the protein, known as "IKK" that switches NF-kB "on." The spice kept both proteins from being activated, so worked to stop growth of the melanoma, and it also induced "apoptosis," or programmed death, in the cells. Surprisingly, it didn't matter how much curcumin was used, says the researchers. "The NF-kB machinery is suppressed by both short exposures to high concentrations of curcumin as well as by longer exposure to lower concentrations of curcumin," they say in their study. Given that other studies have shown curcumin is non-toxic, these results should be followed by a test of the spice in both animal models of melanoma and in human trials, they say.
The study was funded by the National Cancer Institute and the Department of Defense. Co-authors included principle investigator Razelle Kurzrock, M.D.; first author Doris Siwak, Ph.D. and Shishir Shishodia.