Studies show that turmeric can be as effective as 14 pharmaceutical drugs
Turmeric and saffron are the two prominent spices used in South Asian and Middle Eastern dishes including Persians and Indians. Persian saffron and turmeric are very well-known because of their unique quality and taste. For thousands of centuries, curcumin known as turmeric has been used for its healing and medicinal properties. Based on an informative article written by greenmedinfo.com, turmeric is as effective and if not even better than 14 different pharmaceutical drugs in the market.
Here are some of the scientific studies about the health benefits of turmeric:
1. Lowering the level of bad cholesterol and improving heart health -- Alternative drugs: Lipitor and atorvastatin
A 2004 study published in the journal Atherosclerosis shows that turmeric can reduce the level of bad cholesterol and fight the plaque buildup in the arteries which is an important factor in developing heart diseases. Another 2008 study published in the journal Drugs in R & D shows that turmeric extract is as beneficial as the drugs used for inflammation and type 2 diabetes.
Besides lowering the bad cholesterol levels and fighting plaque buildup in the arteries, turmeric can improve the cardiovascular health. A study published in 2012 discovered that both exercise and curcumin supplements can significantly improve the cardiovascular health. In conclusion, turmeric can be as effective as conventional drugs such as Lipitor and atorvastatin (for lowering cholesterol and improving heart health), without having the side effects.
2. Great anti-inflammatory -- Alternative drugs: Corticosteroids and steroid
Inflammation is the root of many chronic diseases including cancer, arthritis, dementia and heart disease. Poor eating habits and high intake of omega 6 versus omega 3 is the leading cause of chronic inflammation. Studies show that turmeric is a great source of anti-inflammatory.
A study published in the journal Phytotherapy Research showed that the powerful antioxidants in turmeric can be as effective as steroid in treatment of chronic anterior uveitis (an inflammatory eye disease). Another study published in Critical Care Medicine showed that turmeric is as effective as corticosteroid drug known as dexamethasone and can provide relief for inflamed areas of the body.
Also a study published in the journal Oncogene discovered that curcumin is as effective as other anti-inflammatory drugs that can kill cancer cells such as aspirin, ibuprofen, sulindac, phenylbutazone, naproxen, indomethacin, diclofenac, dexamethasone, celecoxib, and tamoxifen.
3. Improving depression and suppressing negative thoughts -- Alternative drugs: Prozac/Fluoxetine & Imipramine
A study published in 2011 in the journal Acta Poloniae Pharmaceutica showed that turmeric can be as effective as anti-depressant drugs for improving depression and reducing negative thoughts, without having the side effects of anti-depressant drugs.
4. Blood thinner -- Alternative drug: Aspirin:
A study published in the journal Arzneimittelforschung discovered that curcumin has anti-platelet and prostacyclin modulating effects of aspirin and can help to reduce the risk of heart attack or stroke without having the side effects of aspirin.
5. Destroying cancer cells -- Alternative drug: Chemotherapy
Studies show that turmeric can destroy and kill cancer cells. In 2007, a study published in the International Journal of Cancer showed that curcumin is as effective as oxaliplatin drug for treating colorectal cancer.
In another study published in the journal Breast Cancer Research and Treatment, researchers discovered that turmeric can target the cancer cells while leaving healthy cells unharmed. Also, another study published by researchers at University of Texas shows that turmeric is very effective in killing cancer cells and leaving healthy cells unharmed.
6. Diabetes -- Alternative drugs: Diabetes drugs such as Metformin
A 2009 study published in the journal Biochemitry and Biophysical Research showed that curcumin can be 500 times to 100,000 times (in the form known as tetrahydrocurcuminoids(THC)) more effective than diabetic drugs such as metformin. The researchers also concluded that turmeric can suppress glucose production in the liver and help diabetic patients.
7. Alzheimer's Disease or dementia: Alternative drugs: Memantine and Diclofenac
In a study published in Annals of Indian Academy of Neurology, the researchers discovered that taking one-quarter of a teaspoon of turmeric extract or powder daily can improve the symptoms of Alzheimer's and dementia.
According to the researchers, curcumin is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory that can improve the cognitive functions in patients with AD. The authors suggest that “a growing body of evidence indicates that oxidative stress, free radicals, beta amyloid, cerebral deregulation caused by bio-metal toxicity and abnormal inflammatory reactions contribute to the key event in Alzheimer's disease pathology. Due to various effects of curcumin, such as decreased Beta-amyloid plaques, delayed degradation of neurons, metal-chelation, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and decreased microglia formation, the overall memory in patients with AD has improved”.
8. Protecting the brain damage due to heavy alcohol consumption:
In a study at PanjabUniversity Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, the researchers found out that the potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory molecule in turmeric known as curcumin can fight against chronic alcohol-induced cognitive dysfunction.
9. Anti-aging properties:
Studies show that the curcumin and its active metabolite, tetrahydrocurcumin (THC) could significantly increase the lifespan of three microorganisms including roundworms, Fruit flies and mice. According to the authors of the study, “given the long and established history of turmeric as a spice and herbal medicine, its demonstrated chemopreventive and therapeutic potential, and its pharmacological safety in model systems, curcumin, the bioactive extract of turmeric, promises a great future in human clinical studies designed to prevent and/or delay age-related diseases”.
10. Regenerating liver tissues:
In a study published in the Journal of the Medical Association of Thailand, the researchers discovered that primary polyphenol in turmeric, can repair and even regenerate the liver tissues of diabetic rats.
In conclusion, the studies show that the active compound in turmeric known as curcumin is as effective (in some cases even more potent) as pharmaceutical drugs. According to greenmedinfo.com, turmeric can be even more effective than the following lists of medical conditions and drugs:
· NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs)
· Hydrocortisone (for inflammation)
· Prednisone (for inflammation)
· Corticosteroids (uveitis)
· Memantine and Diclofenac (for memory)
· Atorvastain (for inflammation-mediated endothelial dysfunction)
· Dexamethasone (lung transplantation or injury)
· Fluoxetine [Prozac] and imipramine [Tofranil] (depression)
· Acetylsalicylic acid (Thrombosis and Arthritis)
· Quinidine (myocardial ischemia)
· Oxaliplatin (Colorectal Cancer)
· Metformin (Gluconeogenesis/Blood Sugar