The Golden Spice

“I’ve got 99 problems and turmeric solved like 86 of them.” —

Turmeric, or the Golden Spice, is one of the major Indian health remedies making its way through the western world. You might have heard of it in the context of ‘Golden milk’. Known in India as ‘Haldi Doodh,’ this is a traditional Indian medicinal drink that consists of hot milk and turmeric. It can also be mixed into tea or honey. However, in the Western world, the commercialization of golden milk has made it an object for all sorts of modifications, including almond or cashew milk substitutes. You may also have heard of turmeric as a cooking spice. And of course if you’ve read the about the bouquet of ingredients in our Immunity Potion, then you will recognize it as an Ayurvedic spice.

Traditionally, Ayurveda has used turmeric for a variety of therapeutic practices, including for relieving indigestion, arthritis, and menstruation pain [1]. It has also been used as a remedy for skin conditions, such as skin abrasions. For example, a turmeric paste may be applied to the face to promote wound healing and glowing skin. The diverse therapeutic uses of turmeric can be attributed to its anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and antioxidant properties. In fact, many scientific studies have come out showcasing the diverse therapeutic potential of this spice.

 

Anti-inflammatory properties

Curcumin, a compound that can be extracted from the dried root of turmeric, has been shown to be involved in various anti-inflammatory pathways. One of the more relevant ones include its inhibition of pathways activated by the pro-inflammatory cytokine known as Tumor necrosis factor α, or TNF-α [2]. TNF-α activates the NF-κB transcription factor, which promotes the expression of other pro-inflammatory genes. Studies have shown that curcumin can block this activation, and therefore inhibit its inflammatory effects. This is is significant because inflammation plays a major role in the development of many chronic conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease, asthma, and diabetes. In fact, several studies have corroborated the anti-arthritic properties of turmeric.

Anti-Microbial Properties

Although the popularization of turmeric in the Western world has occurred in the recent years, research on its antimicrobial properties has been ongoing for years. In fact the first Western study was published in Nature in 1949 [3]. Researchers found that curcumin was effective at inhibiting the growth of Staphylococcus aureus, a common germ that can be fatal in the case of infections, such as pneumonia or sepsis. Although this nature study was the first in the western world, it paved the way for numerous other studies that would not only showcase curcumin’s anti-microbial properties, but also its synergistic effects when combined with antibiotics [4]. While these studies are fairly recent, the therapeutic use of the plant in Ayurveda dates back to thousands of years ago.

Did you know?

Curcumin, the compound present in turmeric, is best absorbed by the body when it is taken in conjunction with black pepper. Our Immunity Potion contains both organic, whole plant derived turmeric and black pepper to help maximize its therapeutic properties.


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