Turmeric Tea Shows Promise In Anti-cancer Fight
When you think of India, chances are that bright orange-yellow is the color that almost immediately crosses your mind. That flashy color is often associated with either the fabric of the native sari dresses or the fiery curry dishes that the country is famous for.
The rich yellow hue is also the color of one of India's most famous spices, the turmeric, which is a key ingredient in many of the sub-continent's popular gastronomic treats, including the venerable curry.
But did you know that the also imparts countless health benefits? For centuries, turmeric has been recognized in the realm of Ayurvedic medicine as a potent antiseptic and antibacterial agent. Turmeric has often been used as a paste and topically applied to patients suffering from bruises, cuts, eczema and even psoriasis. It has also been used to treat those with mumps, measles and chickenpox. It is also known to have effective anti-inflammatory properties, and hence is extensively used to relieve arthritic pain.
But an area where turmeric is thought to have promising health prospects is in cancer prevention and treatment. It had been observed that people whose diets are rich in turmeric seem to have generally lower rates of breast, lung, colon and prostate cancer. In Okinawa where turmeric tea is very popular, the people there have some of the world's longest average life expectancy rates.
This is largely attributed to the substance known as curcumin. It is known as the principal curcuminoid of the popular spice. The curcuminoid is an antioxidant polyphenol compound which is believed to help the body's cells resist damage brought on by free radicals.
In studies involving mice, researchers found that curcumin helped stop the spread of breast cancer cells to the lung. The U.S. National Institutes of Health had undertaken clinical trials on possible curcumin treatment for pancreatic cancer, multiple myeloma and colorectal cancer.
While turmeric is primarily ingested through its inclusion as a spice in curry dishes, it has also been increasingly consumed as a tea. To make the tea, boil about 4 cups of water into a small pot. Then add 1 tsp. of turmeric and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes. This process will extract the curcumin from the turmeric. Ginger, honey or lemon may be added to enhance the flavor of the tea.
So the next time you enjoy a nice hot plate of curry, remember that its cheerful yellow color is derived from the spice that has a great potential in preventing, treating and possibly healing cancer. And while you can't possibly eat curry every single day, you can derive the health benefits of the spice via a nice hot cup of tasty turmeric tea.
by: Edwin Bartolome