Posts in : Wellness
by adminComments Off on How Does Turmeric Help You Lose Weight?
Turmeric is a beautiful bright orange spice that can be found in an Indian marketplace or kitchen where delicious curries and other vegetable dishes are prepared. In fact, turmeric is an essential part of spices that you see labeled Curry Powder. Turmeric comes from the root of a plant, and it is ground into a powder. For centuries, Asian communities have used turmeric for cooking and for healing wounds. The great news for weight-watchers is that this spice can help you lose weight. Here is what researchers have learned so far.
Did you know that turmeric also has beauty benefits?
Curcumin is a plant-based polyphenol that is found in turmeric, and it is the reason why researchers want to study turmeric further. They want to find out all they can about its link to weight control. This ingredient in turmeric is said to help break down fats in the body. In doing so, turmeric may help to regulate the body’s metabolism and it may contribute to successful weight management. Studies using mice have drawn interest and have led to more discussions about how turmeric may curb weight gain in humans.
Researchers at Tufts University in Boston fed a selected group of mice with curcumin added to the animals’ food. What they found is that curcumin appeared to curb the amount of weight gained in mice; the surprising twist is that the animal feed had a high fat content, and yet these mice did not gain a lot of weight. Their weight gain was less than in another group of mice in the study that never had curcumin added to their high-fat feeds.
The inflammation that is associated with obesity is because of the presence of immune cells, called macrophages, in the body’s fat tissues. These cells produce “cytokine” molecules that can cause inflammation in organs. Scientists looking for ways to understand obesity have suggested that if they can suppress the number and activity of these cells with turmeric, it may be possible to reduce some of the adverse consequences of obesity.
In a Columbia University study of turmeric, researchers discovered that mice that were fed quantities of turmeric had a reduced incidence of diabetes and were not susceptible to weight gain. They also had fewer liver problems than the control group. Turmeric administration was also associated with a decline in body weight and fat content.
The Bottom Line
With a lot of cautious optimism, research interest is high regarding spices that have been shown to exhibit activity against obesity through antioxidant and anti-inflammatory mechanisms. Those spices include turmeric.
Studies have been focused on mice and it may be too soon to tell if turmeric can have the same effect on humans. The signs are promising and there will be more studies to watch for regarding the links between turmeric, weight loss and anti-obesity. More evidence is needed on human rather than animal subjects.
The turmeric plant was initially cultivated in India, China and the Middle East but is now grown in other tropical areas, too. If you look around, you will most likely find interesting recipes that call for turmeric, yet do not have a curry base. In years or even months to come, with all this interesting research, turmeric is bound to be a more familiar word in your diet vocabulary.
Read about all the health benefits of Turmeric
by adminComments Off on Does Turmeric Really Prevent/Treat Cancer?
What turmeric is
Turmeric is a spice that is often used as a food flavoring in Asian dishes. It belongs to the ginger family. It is also known as Indian saffron, jiang huang, haridra, haldi, as the major ingredient of curry powder 2, and as a bright yellow orange food coloring agent (E100).
Turmeric grows in many Asian countries such as India. It has been used for many years in some herbal remedies. The main active ingredient is curcumin or diferuloyl methane.
Currently there is no research evidence to show that turmeric or curcumin can prevent or treat cancer but early trials have shown some promising results.
Read more about Turmeric
Research into preventing cancer
A phase I clinical trial looked at giving curcumin to 25 patients with pre-cancerous changes in different organs. This study seemed to show that curcumin could stop the precancerous changes becoming cancer.
Research has also shown that there are low rates of certain types of cancer in countries where people eat curcumin at levels of about 100 to 200 mg a day over long periods of time.
Research into treating cancer
A number of laboratory studies on cancer cells have shown that curcumin does have anticancer effects. It seems to be able to kill cancer cells and prevent more from growing. It has the best effects on breast cancer, bowel cancer, stomach cancer and skin cancer cells. A 2007 American study that combined curcumin with chemotherapy to treat bowel cancer cells in a laboratory showed that the combined treatment killed more cancer cells than the chemotherapy alone.
A 2007 American study in mice seemed to show that curcumin helped to stop the spread of breast cancer cells to other parts of the body.
An American phase 2 study reported in 2008. 25 patients had curcumin treatment and 21 had tumors that could be measured. In 2 patients their tumors shrank or remained stable. In some patients their levels of particular immune system chemicals that destroy cancer cells went up. But the researchers found that blood levels of curcumin were very low because it is not well absorbed from the gut. Scientists have since developed injectable, fat soluble forms of curcumin which may improve the results.
These studies look promising but we need to do more clinical trials in humans before we will know if curcumin has any potential to treat cancer in people.
Side effects of turmeric
It is important to remember that turmeric used in cooking is very safe. But we don’t know how safe curcumin is when used for medical reasons. So far, research studies seem to show that it causes few or no side effects. But we don’t know much about the side effects of taking it in large amounts to treat or prevent cancer. There have been some reports of stomach pain if too much is swallowed and skin problems if it is taken for a long time. For these reasons we recommend that if you use curcumin for reasons other than in cooking, you should talk to your doctor first.
Interested in adding turmeric to your daily regimen?
Check out this delicious recipe for spiced turmeric tea!
by adminComments Off on Spiced Turmeric Tea
Given the many health benefits of turmeric, here is a recipe for a daily turmeric tea.
- 1 cup milk or almond milk
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ginger
- pinch of nutmeg (optional)
- pinch of clove (optional)
- raw honey to taste
Bring milk and spices to a boil on the stove or microwave. Add honey to sweeten to your preference. Enjoy your Spiced Turmeric Tea while rejuvenated yourself with our Turmeric Antioxidant Mask!
Also, try our authentic India Chai Tea Medley
by adminComments Off on Turmeric
Turmeric is a spice grown in India and other tropical regions of Asia. This spice is known for its distinct yellow color in Indian and other Asian curries. Unknown to the Western World, this wonder spice has been used medicinally for over 4,000 years in Asian countries, such as China, India and Indonesia! It has been used orally to treat a whole slew of ailments such as indigestion, ulcers, ulcerative colitis, osteoarthritis, arteriosclerosis, jaundice, bile, fevers, and gallstones.
Turmeric has been used for centuries for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties to treat a variety of skin conditions such as eczema, acne and psoriasis. Women in India swear by turmeric and continue to use it regularly as a face pack (at least twice weekly) in their skincare regimes to keep their skin smooth, young and radiant! Recently, turmeric has gained some exposure as a skin treatment when Dr. Oz discussed using turmeric on the face for skin redness, wrinkles and age spots on his show. A Turmeric Mask is another great, natural option in managing skin redness, wrinkles and age spots.
Try ReNude’s Turmeric Mask to your face and enjoy all these benefits! Turmeric Antioxidant Mask
Turmeric is well known for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant action. The benefits are endless, and many of them are still unknown.
Animal and laboratory studies have found that curcumin, an antioxidant that is an active ingredient in turmeric, demonstrated some anti-cancer effects in the lab. But human research is needed to determine curcumin’s role in cancer prevention and treatment in people. Several types of cancer cells are inhibited by curcumin in the laboratory, and curcumin slows the growth and spread of some cancers in some animal studies. Clinical trials are underway to find out if it can help humans as well.
Curcumin is being studied to find out whether it helps other diseases such as arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, and stomach ulcers. It is also being studied to see whether it can help lower “bad cholesterol” and improve outcome in kidney transplants. A few early studies have been done in humans, but much more human research is still needed to find out if curcumin can be effective in these uses.
In herbal medicine, turmeric is used to treat indigestion, ulcers, ulcerative colitis, osteoarthritis, arteriosclerosis, jaundice, bile fevers, and gallstones. It is not recommended to consume it during pregnancy or the nursing period.
Other Beliefs and Benefits
Some believe turmeric may prevent and slow the growth of a number of types of cancer, particularly tumors of the esophagus, mouth, intestines, stomach, breast, and skin. Turmeric is promoted mainly as an anti-inflammatory herbal remedy and is said to produce fewer side effects than commonly used pain relievers. Some practitioners prescribe turmeric to relieve inflammation caused by arthritis, muscle sprains, swelling, and pain caused by injuries or surgical incisions. It is also promoted as a treatment for rheumatism and as an antiseptic for cleaning wounds. Some even claim turmeric interferes with the actions of some viruses, including hepatitis and HIV.
Supporters also claim that turmeric protects against liver diseases, stimulates the gallbladder and circulatory systems, reduces cholesterol levels, dissolves blood clots, helps stop external and internal bleeding, and relieves painful menstruation and angina (chest pains that often occur with heart disease). It is also used as a remedy for digestive problems such as irritable bowel syndrome, colitis, Crohn’s disease, and illnesses caused by toxins from parasites and bacteria.
Because lab studies suggest that curcumin can help slow the growth of cancer cells, some people say that it can do the same in humans.
Also see Turmeric for Beauty? for more information on turmeric and your skin!