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The active ingredient in Turmeric is curcumin. The medicinal properties of this spice have been slowly revealing themselves over the centuries. Long known for its anti-inflammatory properties, recent research has revealed that turmeric is a natural wonder, proving beneficial in the treatment of many different health conditions from cancer to Alzheimer’s disease.

Some health benefits of turmeric are that its a natural antiseptic and antibacterial agent, useful in disinfecting cuts and burns.  When combined with cauliflower, it has shown to prevent prostate cancer and stop the growth of existing prostate cancer. It is known to prevented breast cancer from spreading to the lungs in mice. There is even research out there that indicate that it may prevent melanoma and cause existing melanoma cells to commit suicide.  Because of its health benefits there is some growing evidence that it reduces the risk of childhood leukemia.  My favorite reason to season with Turmeric is that besides adding flavor to my dish, is that it is a natural liver detoxifier.

Now there is evidence coming out that it may prevent and slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease by removing amyloyd plaque buildup in the brain because it is one of the few nutrients that can cross the blood brain barrier.  While I am on the subject of Turmeric and its relationship with cancer, I want you to know that it may prevent metastases from occurring in many different forms of cancer.   For those who are on the chemo medication paclitaxel, it will boost the effects and at the same time reduce the side effects.  Researchers are looking at some promising studies of its effect on pancreatic cancer.  There are other studies that are starting to reveal just how positive in effect it has on multiple myeloma.  There is also some strong indications that it stops the growth of new blood vessels in tumors. Turmeric has shown promise in slowing the progression of multiple sclerosis in mice.

When I prescribe a suppliment that has Turmeric in it, it is because it is a natural painkiller and cox-2 inhibitor. Another thing we do know is that it speeds up wound healing and decreases scarring.  In other skin conditions, like psoriasis and other inflammatory skin conditions, the evidence of healing is mounting. It also may aid in fat metabolism and help in weight management.  I even found out that the Chinese have been using Turmeric for depression for centuries.  Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, it is the natural choice for treating arthritis.  It is a potent natural anti-inflammatory that works as well as many anti-inflammatory drugs but without the side effects, in fact, I have patients who after taking many varieties of anti-inflammatory medications, have found that Nutri-West Total Inflam or TLM [which I recommend  http://astore.amazon.com/energizingyourlife-20?_encoding=UTF8&node=3 ] to be “worth its weight in gold” as one patient described its outstanding effect.

Turmeric can be taken in powder or pill form. As a spice, I use it on a regular basis in recipes. It is good to add to any soup or seasoning combination. It adds a nice flavor to any egg or meat dishes, and stir fries.

If you have gallstones or some bile obstruction, it is wise to clear the system with a liver and gall bladder cleanse first. If you are pregnant, remember that Turmeric does have a uterine stimuli properties. In this case, it would be wise to consult your physician before starting on a therapeutic level.