There can be very few people who haven’t heard of the Indian spice turmeric which has been used in Indian cooking for centuries, being one of the main constituents of curry powder. It is found in everything from the mildest to the hottest curries. Its puritans pride coupon
But did you know that turmeric has medicinal uses? Like most people, you probably didn’t, but it is used in both Indian and Chinese medicine as a very effective remedy.
The main active chemical in this nutrient is a substance called curcumin which has been shown to have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties.
There are several health benefits associated with turmeric. However, this short article is concentrating on the growing evidence that suggests that one of its medicinal uses may be to help prevent the onset of dementia and its associated memory loss.
It has been found that rates of Alzheimer’s disease are far lower amongst the elderly in India than their equivalents in the Western world. It is believed that this is almost certainly due to the Indians including turmeric regularly in their diet, and which is believed to be the factor that slows down the onset of this neurodegenerative disease.
Alzheimer’s disease is associated with an increase in protein fragments called amyloid plaques in the brain. A healthy brain will break down these protein fragments and eliminate them from the body.
However, in Alzheimer’s, these plaques accumulate and disrupt the function of the neurons in the brain which are vital to an individual’s memory. Curcumin appears to reduce the number of these plaques forming by up to 50 percent.
A team from the University of California has been researching this link between turmeric and Alzheimer’s. They have conducted experiments which appear to show that curcumin does slow down the progression of the disease in mice and rats.
They have found evidence in mice that, if given a diet that is rich in curcumin, the amyloid plaques that have formed are dissolved. It also appears to prevent new plaques from building up in the brain. Not only that, it appeared to reduce associated inflammation of the brain tissue.
So there you have it. As you can see, turmeric isn’t just used in cooking but has medicinal qualities as well. The research to date has not yet found a cure for Alzheimer’s, but it may go some way to helping prevent the onset of the disease.
The next time you’re enjoying a curry, just think of the role the turmeric in your meal is playing in your general health and wellbeing.
This is but one of the several health benefits of turmeric, and I shall be covering others in future articles.