Click here to print this page

Planning Retirement Online

The health benefits of Turmeric

July 2016

Nothing new under the Sarawak sun!

I have just been reading a fabulous book about life in Sarawak by Margaret Brooke. She was the Ranee (the wife of the English Rajah or ruler) of Sarawak in the mid 1800s.

In the middle of the book she describes how the old Dyak and Kayan tribes used to use turmeric as a medication to cure all sorts of ills. So it was interesting to see new reports out this week about the “wonderful” discovery of the health benefits of turmeric.

We have mentioned turmeric in our Food of the Month section here at Laterlife because it is a great spice to add flavour and colour to all sorts of dishes including curry.

But without doubt turmeric also has some other properties that have good influence on health, and recently these have been backed up not just by reports from Asia, but from modern scientific research.

For instance, researchers at the University of California ran a study looking at patients with head and neck cancers. The patients were given two tablets containing 1,000 milligrams of curcumin, the main component in turmeric and an independent laboratory in Maryland evaluated the results. These shows that the cancer promoting enzymes were inhibited by the curcumin, preventing further development and advance of the malignant cancer cells.

Not only that, but the Maryland researchers also said that turmeric’s powerful antioxidant properties appear to fight cancer causing free radicals, reducing and in some cases preventing damage from them. This means that there is possibility that curcumin may be able to be used to also fight other types of cancer including prostate and colon cancer.

Cancer Research UK report that a phase 1 clinical trial showed that curcumin could stop precancerous changes becoming cancer. They also reported that research has 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.

Another researcher, Dr Horwitz who is the medical director of the Arizona Centre for Integrative Medicine in America, has looks at the health benefits of turmeric and has concluded it is one of the most potent natural anti-inflammatories available.  In a test he supervised with rats, he found turmeric completed inhibited the onset of rheumatoid arthritis in the animals.  Other studies have shown that turmeric may also be helpful with other types of arthritis.

Already in Germany, turmeric can be prescribed for people with digestive problems after investigations reported turmeric can help upset stomachs, bloating and gas and could also be useful against IBS.

Turmeric needs to be eaten raw for the best benefits, and people often simply sprinkle it on vegetables.

However, there is a word of warning about turmeric. While it is generally safe and has no real side effects, it has been proven to interact with warfarin and new anticoagulants. This is because the curcumin in turmeric reduces the ability of platelets – the cells which help blood to clot – to join together so that there could be an increased risk of bleeding in people taking blood-thining medication.

While the traditional tribes in Sarawak had clearly come across something very potent, today it makes sense to talk to your doctor before self medicating with any substances including turmeric.


Daiang Lehut, one of the women of the Ranee of Sarawak
met in the the tribes that used turmeric 200 years ago.


 

Back to LaterLife Interest Index


Bookmark This Share on Facebook Receive more like this

 

Latest Articles:

Health food of the month: Prawns


prawns

Prawns add flavour and health at any time of year, these easy to cook little crustaceans make a perfect addition to many recipes.

more

AXA Health:
Tips to delay dementia and boost your brain power

Older woman struggling to recall a memory

According to Alzheimer’s Research UK, there are over 850,000 people with dementia in the UK, with that figure set to rise to 2 million by 2051.

more

White wine might also have health benefits

Glasses of wine

There have been some interesting reports in recent media about the health benefits of white wine and how white as well as red can provide good levels of antioxidants and other benefits.

more

Gene therapy – The future of our health

Gene therapy

Gene therapy is hugely exciting. Whether it will fulfil its promise and in future years produce terrific treatments for many health problems we don’t know but at the moment, although still in its early stages, the results are very encouraging.

more

Back to LaterLife Health Section

Visit our Pre-retirement Courses section here on laterlife or our dedicated Retirement Courses site

Bookmark


Advertise on laterlife.com