Turmeric is the most studied herb in the world due to the fact that it is a super food. There are over 10,000 published articles that prove the medicinal benefits of Turmeric. Turmeric isn’t just something you add to an Indian curry.
When I was younger, I got told to have turmeric for everything. If you have a cold, have turmeric. If you broke a leg, just rub some turmeric on it. Your partner has left you for someone else, have turmeric it will make you feel better. I thought it was bulls*it. How is this herb supposed to heal anything?
Turmeric and black pepper go hand in hand. When turmeric is digested on its own, the liver looks at it and says who the f*ck are you? You’re not on the list, so you’re not getting in, which in turn flushes the turmeric out of your body. Curcumin is the key compound in turmeric that possess all the health benefits and when mixed with piperine which is a key compound in black pepper, it increases the bioavailability by 2000%. Basically, black pepper with turmeric boosts absorption by 2000%!
Now to be abit more serious and get into the science behind it.
The Top 5 Medically Proven Benefits
Curcumin is the key compound in turmeric which holds all the amazing healing powers. It has powerful anti-inflammatory effects and is a very strong antioxidant. So powerful, that the effectiveness equals or betters anti-inflammatory drugs with little or no side effects.
It is believed that chronic inflammation plays a major role in almost every chronic Western disease. Which I believe is down to the bullsh*t that is in all foods you get in a supermaket, with preservatives, E numbers and artificial sweeteners.
Therefore, anything that can help fight chronic inflammation is extremely important in preventing and even treating Crohns disease, Ulcerative Colitis, Cancer.
The science behind is that curcumin targets multiple steps in the inflammatory pathway, at the molecular level. Curcumin blocks NF-kB, a molecule that travels into the nuclei of cells and turns on genes related to inflammation. NF-kB is believed to play a major role in many chronic diseases.
The journal Oncogene published the results of a study that evaluated several anti-inflammatory compounds and found that aspirin and ibuprofen are least effective, while curcumin is among the most effective anti-inflammatory compounds in the world!
2. Boosts Anti-Oxidant Capacity
Turmeric vastly increases the anti-oxidant capacity in the body. Oxidative damage is believed to be one of the mechanisms behind aging and many diseases. The main reason antioxidants are so beneficial, is that they protect our bodies from free radicals. Free radicals tend to react with important organic substances, such as proteins, fatty acids or DNA.
Curcumin happens to be a potent antioxidant that can neutralise free radicals due to its chemical structure but curcumin also boosts the activity of the body’s own antioxidant enzymes. Curcumin delivers a b*tchslap against free radicals. It blocks them directly, then stimulates the body’s own antioxidant mechanisms.
3. Cancer Killer?
There are many different forms of cancer, but they do have several commonalities, some of which appear to be affected by curcumin supplementation.
Researchers have been studying curcumin as a beneficial herb in cancer treatment. It can affect cancer growth, development and spread at the molecular level.
Studies have shown that it can reduce angiogenesis (growth of new blood vessels in tumors), metastasis (spread of cancer), as well as contributing to the death of cancerous cells.
Multiple studies have shown that curcumin can reduce the growth of cancerous cells in the laboratory and inhibit the growth of tumours in test animals. Whether high-dose curcumin (preferably with an absorption enhancer like pepper) can help treat cancer in humans has yet to be tested properly.
However, there is some evidence that it may help prevent cancer from occurring in the first place, especially cancers of the digestive system such as colorectal cancer.
In one study in 44 men with lesions in the colon that sometimes turn cancerous, 4 grams of curcumin per day for 30 days reduced the number of lesions by 40%.
Curcumin has shown some promise in treating depression. In a controlled trial, 60 patients were randomised into three groups. One group took prozac, another group took a gram of curcumin and the third group took both prozac and curcumin.
After 6 weeks, curcumin had led to improvements that were similar to prozac. The group that took both prozac and curcumin fared best.
Depression is also linked to reduced levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor and a shrinking hippocampus, a brain area with a role in learning and memory. Curcumin boosts BNDF levels, potentially reversing some of these changes.
There is also some evidence that curcumin can boost the brain neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine.
5. Lowers the Risk of Heart Disease
Heart disease is the biggest killer in the world. It has been studied for many decades and researchers have learned a lot about why it happens.
Curcumin may help reverse many steps in the heart disease process.
Perhaps the main benefit of curcumin when it comes to heart disease, is improving the function of the endothelium, which is the lining of the blood vessels.
It is well known that endothelial dysfunction is a major driver of heart disease and involves an inability of the endothelium to regulate blood pressure, blood clotting and various other factors.
Several studies suggest that curcumin leads to improvements in endothelial function. One study shows that is as effective as exercise, another shows that it works as well as the drug Atorvastatin.
But curcumin also reduces inflammation and oxidation, which are also important in heart disease.
In one study, 121 patients who were undergoing coronary artery bypass surgery were randomised to either placebo or 4 grams of curcumin per day, a few days before and after the surgery. The curcumin group had a 65% decreased risk of experiencing a heart attack in the hospital.