Tune up with Turmeric- Part III
The effectiveness of turmeric in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis has been a puzzling fact for researchers for quite some time. Recently, a research study financed by the NIH’s National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) has made an extensive study of that. The study was regarded as a very important one since records show that the disease affects about two million Americans. Rheumatoid arthritis is characterized by joint swelling, pain, stiffness and a progressive loss of joint function, and is considered incurable. The extended research was conducted at the Phytomedicine Research at the University of Arizona among rats which had symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis created by the researchers. In the study it was found that most improvement occurred in the rats that were given an extract containing only curcuminoids. Dr Janet Funk, the lead researcher of the study, reported that the greatest effectiveness was noticed in the rats that had been treated before signs of inflammation developed.
The University of Maryland Medical Center has done extensive research on the medicinal properties of turmeric and consolidated the findings of several other studies. The report states that turmeric is ideal for the treatment of digestive disorders like stomach upsets, gas, and abdominal cramps, osteoarthritis, atherosclerosis, different forms of cancer, roundworms and intestinal worms, liver diseases, bacterial infection, wounds, and eye disorder. Its uses as a healing drug for animals are also documented in the report.
The report also says that turmeric is an excellent mosquito repellent.
It is doubtful whether another substance has so many medicinal properties or so varied uses as a drug. For instance, Autoimmune Disease refers to the surprisingly large number of uses of turmeric in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine where it is used “as an anti-inflammatory agent, a remedy for digestive disorders and liver problems, and as an effective treatment for skin diseases and wound healing”. One specific area where turmeric is found to be particularly effective has been pointed out in the article as an example of the peculiarity of the substance: “In addition, in one study, turmeric was found to improve symptoms in the autoimmune eye disorder uveitis. In this study turmeric was shown to be as effective as cortico steroids but free of the side effects commonly associated with steroids.” Look at the large number of diseases effectively treated with turmeric, “Turmeric is beneficial in the treatment of
Gallbladder problems, hepatitis, indigestion, infections, lack of appetite, scabies, alzheimer’s disease, arthritis, asthma,
athlete’s foot, boils, bursitis, breast cancer, colon cancer, cataracts, colic, dermatitis, diarrhea, eczema, fibrosis, gallstones, gas, hardening of the arteries, heart disease, high cholesterol, high triglycerides, inflammation, intestinal pain, irritable bowel syndrome, jaundice, lack of menstruation, lymph gland problems, menstrual pain, morning sickness, pain, psoriasis, sprains, ulcers, wounds, yeast infections”. It is immediately added that it is very good “for the treatment of bruises, for childbirth, eye inflammation, epilepsy, fever, hemorrhage, hemorrhoids, itching, ringworm.” The “astringent qualities of turmeric are also useful in cases of consumption, tuberculosis, bronchitis, colds and asthma”.
It is very unlikely to come across another plant or herbal product that gives so many potential medicinal benefits. It is not surprising that it has been called the wonder drug. In addition to the several diseases and ailments listed above, turmeric is known to cure toothache, chest pain, and colic. It is also called a “Potent, Yet Safe Anti-Inflammatory”.
It is now very widely acknowledged as a potent anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antibacterial medicine .
Any historical account of this plant will have to state that it has been used “throughout history as a condiment, healing remedy and textile dye”.
In India turmeric is widely used as “a carminative and stomachic in the treatment of digestive disorders such as flatulence, bloating, and appetite loss”. It is used in different forms such as a paste, oil, ointment, and lotion, boiled powder, fresh juice, and confection. It has been traditionally used for ulcers, scabies, eczema and inflammations. Recently turmeric had been tested for its “cholagogous influence on the secretion of bile, pancreatic, and gastric juices”. Currently it is being examined for its anticarcinogenic and antimutagenic properties. Early results of researches indicate that turmeric can turn out to be a very effective cancer cure in the future. It is shown to inhibit the growth of lymphoma tumor cells.
A study conducted at the University of Texas has indicated the possibility of curing cancers like melanoma tumor cells, breast cancer, colon cancer, and other cancers. It has been shown in that there must be some kind of association between the reduced incidence of leukemia and colon cancer in countries like India and China and the turmeric rich food they eat. A review article published by researchers from the Ohio State University in Columbus shows that
“curcumin demonstrated anti-cancer effects at virtually all stages of tumor developments n rodents” and that it “showed potential to kill cancer cells and prevent normal cells from becoming cancerous”.
A French laboratory study also concluded “curcumin appeared to be a potent inhibitor of cancer development. Several more laboratory studies also concluded that curcumin might prevent and slow the growth of some types of tumor cells”. A United States study has demonstrated that it “slowed the spread of breast cancer to the lungs.” Though such early reports are very positive a lot more research is essential before curcumin can be officially recommended as a potential drug for cancer treatment. However, there are clear indications that turmeric may turn out to be the wonder cancer drug too in the days to come.