Turmeric (Curcumin), Cinnamon, Ginger & Garlic: The Healing Power of Spices - Paula Owens

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Turmeric, Ginger & Cinnamon: The Healing Power of Spices

Turmeric, Ginger & Cinnamon: The Healing Power of Spices - Paula Owens, MSThere is a medicine cabinet right in your kitchen with powerful, healing, therapeutic and medicinal properties that will increase your level of health, vitality, longevity and fat loss.

Turmeric, Ginger & Cinnamon: The Healing Power of Spices

Spices and herbs such as cinnamon, turmeric (curcumin), cilantro, oregano, cayenne, garlic, basil, lemon grass, milk thistle and ginger are super high in antioxidants, have potent anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-aging benefits.

Numerous studies have reported that turmeric is more advantageous than prescription drugs! Other studies report that those who include turmeric (curcumin), cinnamon, rosemary, oregano, garlic powder or paprika with their meals have a 21% reduction in insulin and 31% lower triglycerides.

Numerous studies report that chronic inflammation plays a major role in the development of various brain disorders and neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, MS, brain tumors and meningitis. Why these diseases are more common among people from some countries than others is not fully understood, but environmental and lifestyle factors have been linked to the development of neurodegenerative diseases. For example, the incidence of certain neurodegenerative diseases among people living in Asia where people regularly consume spices is much lower than in countries of the western world.

Extensive research over the last 10 years has found that nutraceuticals derived from spices as turmeric, red pepper, black pepper, licorice, clove, ginger, garlic, coriander, and cinnamon target inflammatory pathways, thereby helping to prevent neurodegenerative diseases.

Health Benefits of Ginger

Healthy and spicy, ginger is one of the most common medicinal and culinary herbs. It can be added to marinades, fish or chicken, salads, soups, vegetable dishes, tea and some desserts. One teaspoon of fresh ginger has similar antioxidant levels as one cup of spinach. I love adding fresh ginger root to my drinking water, green smoothies, or grating fresh ginger root on chicken or salmon, or stir-frying boy choy and other veggies.

  1. Helpful for nausea, motion sickness, morning sickness during pregnancy and side effects from chemotherapy
  2. Reduces inflammation
  3. Therapeutic remedy for balancing blood sugar, insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes
  4. Prevents and decreases free radical damage
  5. Lowers blood pressure and cholesterol, reducing risk of heart disease
  6. Preserves glutathione levels
  7. Eases muscle soreness associated with exercise by 25%
  8. Produces bile, making ginger helpful for digesting fats
  9. Prevents blood clots and reduces risk of stroke
  10. Increases perspiration and elimination through the skin
  11. Helpful as a digestive aid
  12. Helpful for the urinary tract and lining of the heart blood vessels since ginger is a great source of the mineral, manganese
  13. Beneficial for those with allergies and asthma (acts as an antihistamine)
  14. Increases circulation and lymph flow
  15. Treatment and prevention of the common cold and cough with anti-viral and anti-fungal properties
  16. Eliminates mucus from the sinus area and upper respiratory tract
  17. Helpful in removing and detoxing parabens from the body

Cautions: It’s best to avoid ginger and garlic 3-4 days before any scheduled surgery because they can make blood platelets less sticky increasing the risk for bleeding. Start up again right after surgery. Ginger can interact with certain medications. Ginger is contraindicated in those suffering with gallstones.

Health Benefits of Cinnamon

Cinnamon is one of my favorite powerhouse spices. Just 1/4 to one teaspoon of cinnamon with food metabolizes sugar up to 20 times better than without cinnamon. Another study showed that just a quarter teaspoon of cinnamon daily lowers blood sugar, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels in those with type 2 diabetes.

Sprinkle cinnamon in your tea or coffee (organic coffee, of course) or one of my favorites is adding a sprinkle of cinnamon to my post workout shake. Spice up chicken breasts with a sprinkle of cinnamon. Or, slice a green apple, add some almond butter and sprinkle with cinnamon.

  1. Stabilizes blood sugar by stimulating insulin receptors preventing insulin resistance and promotes insulin sensitivity
  2. The scent/aroma of cinnamon boosts cognitive function and memory
  3. Anti-inflammatory compounds helpful for arthritis and stiff joints
  4. Regulates blood sugar and cholesterol
  5. Anti-clotting effects on the blood
  6. Helpful in lowering insulin levels, Hemoglobin A1c, blood pressure and reducing blood sugar levels after meals
  7. Boosts metabolism
  8. Helps reduce sugar cravings
  9. High in manganese, a trace mineral that helps form connective tissue, bones, blood clotting factors and sex hormones, and also plays a role in fat and carbohydrate metabolism, calcium absorption and blood sugar regulation.
  10. Supports digestion
  11. Anti-fungal properties (helpful for those with Candida overgrowth)
  12. Excellent antioxidant source protecting cells from oxidative damage
  13. Cinnamonum cassia (aka Cinnamonum burmanii) is the type of cinnamon that has the most beneficial effects.

Health Benefits of Turmeric (Curcumin)

Turmeric (curcumin) is another one of my top favorites that comes with an endless list of health benefits. I add fresh turmeric root to green smoothies, use it in cooking, and also take a curcumin supplement every day.

Curcumin is the bioactive compound found in the Indian curry spice turmeric, a member of the ginger family. Turmeric is an excellent source of iron, manganese, vitamin B6, dietary fiber and potassium.

  1. Powerful for reducing inflammation and lowering an elevated C-reactive protein (CRP)
  2. Preventative and helpful for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. A study in the Journal of Biological Chemistry found that curcumin prevents the destructive formation of proteins that seem to be present in neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease
  3. Potent remedy for liver disorders, rheumatoid arthritis, IBS, Cystic fibrosis, diabetic wounds, runny nose, cough, and sinusitis
  4. Ability to cross the blood brain barrier making it highly beneficial for the brain
  5. Anti-cancer properties, suppresses cancer growth and reduces the side effects from chemotherapy
  6. A study published in the journal Phytotherapy Research reported that curcumin may be used as an effective and safe therapy for treatment in those with mild depression
  7. Prevents cellular aging
  8. Helpful for reducing stubborn belly fat
  9. Reduces risk of developing type 2 diabetes, reverses some of the damage associated with type 2 diabetes, and limits kidney damage in diabetics
  10. Turmeric is beneficial for those with colitis, allergies, asthma, skin disorders, and even cancer
  11. Lowers cortisol and reduces oxidative damage from stress
  12. Promotes healthy looking skin
  13. Preventative for memory loss
  14. Beneficial for joint stiffness and extremely effecting in treating osteoporosis
  15. Healing properties for healthy liver function while helping your body metabolize fats by reducing the fat storage rate in liver cells.
  16. Helpful for cataract formation, liver injury, chronic fatigue syndrome, immune function, and the damage that results from heart attack and stroke
  17. According to the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy turmeric may be useful in inhibiting Candida overgrowth
  18. Turmeric and curcumin are beneficial for dogs too!

Turmeric Pain Relief Recipe

  • one tablespoon of organic turmeric powder or freshly grated organic turmeric root
  • a pinch of black pepper
  • the juice of one squeezed lemon or lime
  • one cup of raw, organic honey

Stir the mixture well with a wooden spoon. Add one teaspoon of this mixture to a cup of tea. Drink this turmeric tea three times a day, and you will experience pain relief within a few hours.

Turmeric Latte Recipe

  • one cup organic coconut milk
  • one teaspoon each: Cinnamon, Ginger, Turmeric
  • dash of black pepper
  • one tablespoon raw, organic honey
  • sprinkle of clove (optional)

Over low to medium heat, add all of the ingredients. Simmer for 15-20 minutes. Serve immediately.

Turmeric and Curcumin FYI

  • Unfortunately, curcumin is poorly absorbed. Absorption increases when taken with black pepper, which contains piperine, a natural substance that increases absorption by a whopping 2000 percent!
  • Curcumin absorption is also increased when combined with fat especially fatty/oily foods (avocado, olive oil, fish oil, nuts/seeds, coconut oil, butter).
  • Curcumin is rapidly cleared from the blood, usually within one to four hours of ingestion. Taking it in divided doses helps maintain blood levels of curcumin.
  • When heated during cooking, many of the beneficial properties of turmeric are lost. When taken orally, it’s poorly absorbed and the amount required for these health benefits is so high that it can be challenging to achieve.
  • Caution: It’s best to avoid curcumin two weeks prior to surgery because curcumin inhibits blood clotting. Curcumin can interact with certain medications. Curcumin can aggravate those suffering with gallstones, bile congestion and those predisposed to kidney stones.

As with everything, quality matters!

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