Food GOLD: Turmeric is just as effective as 14 pharma drugs but suffers from NONE of the side effects


Image: Food GOLD: Turmeric is just as effective as 14 pharma drugs but suffers from NONE of the side effects

What if you could replace all the pills in your medicine cabinet with just one herb? Depending on what you take and why, that may be possible with turmeric. Its main component, curcumin, boasts enough health-enhancing properties to keep pharmaceutical execs up at night.

In fact, this herb is so powerful that it has been at the heart of more than 12,000 peer-reviewed biomedical studies. Researchers have found more than 800 different therapeutic and preventive uses for curcumin. Here is a look at just a few of the drugs to which it compares favorably, as outlined by Green Med Info.

Metformin (for diabetes)

Diabetes numbers continue to climb as Americans grapple with obesity, and that means more and more people are taking Metformin – and taking on its scary risks as well. However, a study in the journal Biochemistry and Biophysical Research Community found that curcumin has value in treating diabetes; it is between 500 and 100,000 times more powerful than Metformin when it comes to activating AMPK, which raises glucose uptake. Studies have also shown that it has a 100 percent efficacy rate in preventing those with pre-diabetes from developing full-fledged diabetes.

Lipitor (for cholesterol)

A 2008 study revealed that curcumin compares favorably to atorvastatin, which you may know as Lipitor, when it comes to dealing with the endothelial dysfunction behind atherosclerosis while reducing inflammation and oxidative stress. Other studies have shown that it can impact triglyceride levels, LDL cholesterol, and total cholesterol. While most of the studies so far have been done in animals, it is believed that it could have the same effect in humans, although the right levels have yet to be established.

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Prozac (for depression)

A study in 2011 found that curcumin compares favorably to the antidepressants fluoxetine (Prozac) and imipramine when it comes decreasing depressive behavior. Best of all, it doesn’t carry the serious side effects that Prozac does, which include sleep problems, tremors, headaches, nausea, a lower sex drive, and suicidal ideation. In addition, it’s well-tolerated by patients.

Researchers believe it works on depression by inhibiting monoamine oxidase, the enzyme that has been linked to depression when it’s present in high amounts in the brain. It also raises levels of calmness-inducing serotonin and dopamine.

Oxaliplatin (for chemotherapy)

A study published in the International Journal of Cancer looked at curcumin’s effects in stopping colorectal cell lines from proliferating. The researchers discovered the herb compared favorably to the chemotherapy drug oxaliplatin. Other studies are underway exploring the impact curcumin has on various types of cancer after animal studies showed it could help prevent illnesses like skin, stomach and colon cancer in rats.

Anti-inflammatory medications

Curcumin is also great for inflammation, which is at the root of many chronic illnesses today such as cancer, metabolic syndrome, Alzheimer’s disease, degenerative diseases, and heart disease. A study published in Oncogene identified it as an effective alternative to drugs like ibuprofen, aspirin and naproxen given its strong anti-inflammatory effects, fighting inflammation at the molecular level. Meanwhile, in a study of patients with rheumatoid arthritis, curcumin worked even better than anti-inflammatory drugs.

Curcumin is so effective at addressing such a vast array of conditions that it’s hard to discuss it without sounding like you’re exaggerating. However, turmeric is truly “food gold” and it’s something well worth making a conscious effort to consume more of. You might not be ready to clean out your entire medicine cabinet, but that doesn’t mean you can’t start adding this spice to your food. It pairs well with a variety of dishes, soups, salads, stews, and smoothies; consuming turmeric with fats is ideal, and make sure you add a pinch of pepper to boost its bioavailability.

Sources for this article include:

GreenMedInfo.com

NaturalNews.com

VeryWellHealth.com

9 Herbs and Spices With Proven Health Benefits


9 Herbs and Spices With Proven Health Benefits

Even when our food choices aren’t the best, herbs and spices do more than just improve taste.  They give any meal a nutrition boost.  And according to a new study they may even reverse the damage from an unhealthy meal.

Researchers from Penn State University cooked up coconut chicken, cheese bread and a dessert biscuit for six men. The subjects were aged 30 to 65 and overweight but otherwise healthy.  On one day the meal was served plain.  On another day researchers added two tablespoons of a blend of nine herbs and spices to the meal.

After each meal the researchers drew blood from the subjects every 30 minutes for four hours.  They found that antioxidant activity in the blood increased 13% after the spicy meal compared to the plain meal.

The spices and herbs also decreased post-meal insulin levels by 21% and triglyceride levels in the blood by as much as 31%.  That in turn could reduce heart disease risk.

The spices used in the Penn State study included garlic powder, rosemary, oregano, cinnamon,cloves, paprika, turmeric, ginger and black pepper.  Besides heart benefits, each of these spices has its own proven health benefits.

9 Herbs and Spices With Proven Health Benefits

1. Cinnamon Balances Blood Sugar

Cinnamon normalizes blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetics by improving the ability to respond to insulin. It works by slowing the rate at which the stomach empties after eating.  In one study people ate about a cup of rice pudding with and without a teaspoon of cinnamon. Adding the cinnamon slowed the rate the stomach emptied from 37% to 34.5% and significantly slowed the rise in blood sugar levels.

And a 2003 USDA study found that after 40 days of eating between just 1 and 6 grams of cinnamon (about 2 teaspoons), type 2 diabetics reduced their blood sugar levels by 18-29%.

2. Garlic Slows Atherosclerosis

The Penn State researchers noted that studies associate garlic use with a 38% decrease in the risk of heart problems.[i]  Other studies show aged garlic helps slow the progression ofatherosclerosis.[ii]

Most studies showing the heart benefits of garlic use doses of 600 to 5600 mg of garlic powder, 9 to 18 mg garlic oil, 1000 to 7200 mg aged garlic extract, or 4 to 10 grams of raw garlic.

3. Rosemary Protects Eyesight

A relative of mint, rosemary has traditionally been used to stimulate the immune system, improve digestion, increase circulation, boost memory and act as an anti-inflammatory.

Animal studies show it acts as an antidepressant, improves type 1 diabetes and evenprevents weight gain from a high fat diet.

A recent study showed that rosemary also protects against age-related macular degeneration.

4. Oregano Reduces Viral Activity

You may know oregano as the essential herb for Italian cooking especially for tomato sauces andpizza.  But it’s also a powerful medicinal herb. Studies show oregano supports the immune system, and has antifungal, antibacterial and anti-cancer properties. It also increases liver regeneration.

The oil from oregano contains an antiviral compound called carvacrol.  It can significantly reduce viral activity within 15 minutes of exposure.[iii]  Look for oregano essential oil standardized to 60-75% carvacrol.

5. Cloves Fight Pain

Cloves are rich in eugenol which has been proven to fight environmental toxins and inflammation. Studies show it may also trigger programmed cell death of colon cancer cells.  And the oil is an effective mosquito repellent.

Cloves are also a mild pain killer.  They’ve been proven to be as effective as benzocaine as a topical anesthetic.  That’s why it’s added to over-the-counter sore throat sprays and mouth washes.  It’s also a good addition to your homemade toothpaste.

6. Paprika Battles Multi-Drug Resistance

Paprika is more than a decoration for deviled eggs. It’s made by grinding red chili peppers and is full of vitamin C and carotenoids. The carotenoids from paprika have been shown to combat ulcer-causing H. pylori and help reverse multi-drug resistance.

Use paprika as a rub for meats and fish, or add a teaspoon to hummus for extra spice.

7. Turmeric Improves Memory

There are now over 600 documented health benefits to eating turmeric.

Researchers in Taiwan just added one more.  They found that just one gram of turmeric at breakfast helps improve the memory of people in the early stages of diabetes.[iv]  The turmeric improved working memory over the following six hours.  Other studies have found that turmeric also reduces the risk of dementia.

8. Ginger Soothes Muscle Pain

The Chinese have used ginger for thousands of years to treat stomach upset, diarrhea, and nausea.  Today it is known to relieve nausea due to seasickness, motion sickness, morning sickness and chemotherapy nausea. One study showed ginger root to be more effective for nausea and vomiting during pregnancy than Dramamine, a commonly used over-the-counter and prescription drug for motion sickness.

Ginger also contains anti-oxidant compounds known as gingerols which have powerful anti-inflammatory properties. In addition to reducing muscle pain from exercise, they have been shown to reduce pain and swelling, and improve mobility in those suffering from osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.  Gingerol have also been found to:

9. Black Pepper Reduces Cigarette Cravings

Black pepper improves digestion by signaling the stomach to produce hydrochloric acid. It also helps prevent intestinal gas and acts as a diuretic.  And inhaling the vapors from black pepper has been shown to help people stop smoking.

You may see black pepper added to some of your supplements. That’s because one of its active ingredients piperine enhances the bioavailability of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients

Add fragrance to your home using simmering waters infused with spices, herbs, & fruit.


 

Here’s the thing. I’m married to a man who hates artificial scents of any kind. That goes for air fresheners, candles, perfume, soaps and anything else that is scented. We buy unscented everything. I could probably buy a car with the money I’ve saved on perfume throughout the years of our marriage.

Turns out that King-Man may just be ahead of his time. I’ve recently been reading about air fresheners and their harmful ingredients. Many of them are especially hard on people with allergies and asthma. One more thing to stay away from.

But, the air in my house gets stale sometimes. Or, the day after I’ve cooked with garlic, that aroma that was so appealing when I was cooking becomes very unpleasant. I want to walk into my house and have it smell pleasant. Nothing overpowering or even that noticeable. Just pleasant.

There is a simple, all natural, truly lovely solution. That is to fill the air in my home with subtle scents of spices, herbs, and fruit. All I have to do is simmer some sweet smelling ingredients in water. The steam fills the air with a pleasant scent. Truth is, I did this many years ago on the advice of our realtor when we were selling our house. Realtors often advise sellers to bake cookies or boil cinnamon water right before a potential buyer drops by. That inviting aroma goes a long way to leave a good first impression. Why I didn’t continue scenting the air in a similar way for our own enjoyment, I don’t know.  I’ve now got a simple routine going that keeps our house smelling pleasant without staleness or day-after garlic odor.

Keeping the supply list simple. I only used items available at the grocery store or in my yard for these scent recipes. I want this to be easy and inexpensive so that I can set up a sustainable routine of pleasantly scenting our home. These recipes are simply guidelines and don’t have to be followed exactly. In fact, I change them up all the time based on what I have on hand in my kitchen or yard.

 

Fragrant items for naturally scenting your home:

  • citrus — I’ve tried other fruits. Some of them smell good initially, but they don’t hold up for more than one use. Citrus is sturdier, longer-lasting, and gives these scent recipes freshness. Lemons and oranges are particularly fragrant and have the best staying power in these scented waters.
  • herbs — Any herb can be used for making a room scent, but the ones that are sturdier and on woody twigs hold up the best. My favorites for room scents are rosemary and thyme.
  • pine or cedar twigs/needles — There may be other fragrant trees that will work, too; pine and cedar are the two I’ve tried for their appealing, fresh fragrance.
  • extracts — A touch of vanilla or almond extract improves most room fragrance mixtures. Mint extract has a nice fresh scent.
  • spices — You can use ground or whole sweet spices. The whole spices look prettier, if your scented water will be in a location where it will be seen. I have found that cinnamon sticks and whole cloves have the most scent staying power. Cinnamon sticks can be rinsed off and reused several times. They keep on giving.

Natural Room Scents

By Monica

Ingredients

  • Citrus, sliced — lemons, oranges, limes (may use peel only, if preferred)
  • Herbs — rosemary, thyme, & bay leaves
  • Spices– whole cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, allspice (optional), anise (optional); may substitute ground/powdered spices
  • Ginger (fresh or powdered)
  • Extracts–vanilla, almond, mint
  • Pine twigs (or other fragrant twigs)

Directions

Use a pint (2 cup) jar, container, or pot to combine scent waters. Add ingredients to container, cover with water, and choose from these options:
–simmer on stove top, topping off with more water as it evaporates
–add heated mixture to a slow cooker, fondue pot, or something similar that will keep mixture heated. Preheat waters to a boil (in microwave or on stove top). As water evaporates, always top it off with HOT water to keep the temperature as high as possible. Higher heat = more fragrance.

FRAGRANT COMBINATIONS:

1. Orange, Cinnamon & Spice. 1 orange, 2 cinnamon sticks (or 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon), 1/2 tablespoon whole cloves (or 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves), 1/2 tablespoon whole allspice (or 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice), 1 anise star (optional)

2. Lemon, Rosemary & Vanilla. 3 sprigs of fresh rosemary, 2 lemons, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.

3. Lime, Thyme, Mint & Vanilla. 3 limes, 3-4 sprigs fresh thyme, 1/2 teaspoon mint extract, 1 teaspoon vanilla.

4. Orange, Ginger, & Almond. 1 orange (or peel from 2 oranges), 1 4″ finger of ginger, sliced (or 1 tsp ground ginger), 1/2 teaspoon almond extract.

5. Pine, Bay Leaves, & Nutmeg. Handful of pine twigs or needles, 4 bay leaves, 1 whole nutmeg, outer layer grated into mixture.

Scented waters may be refrigerated between uses. Reuse for 2-3 days, or as long as they still have a pleasant fragrance.

 

Source: http://www.theyummylife.com