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Ucchin, or Turmeric (Curcuma longa, jiang Huang, Curcuma, Indian Saffron, Ukon, Valerian)
Turmeric is thought to strengthen the immune system, relieve inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, improve digestion, relieve gas, kill parasites and worms, alleviate menstural problems, dissolve gallstones and relieve other ailments.
Turmeric has been well studied for its potential medicinal properties, especially by Indian researchers who 'discovered' its anti inflammatory actions.
Turmeric shows early promise for several medical conditions, mainly due to the powerful properties of its major active component, curcumin. Curcumin consisits mainly of the smaller bioactive components tumerone, atlantone, zingiberone, and heptanoids. Other compounds mainly consist of various proteins, sugars, resins, vitamins and minerals.
Turmeric possesses significant antioxidant properties, comparable to that of vitamins E or C, which is probably why it proves powerful against all stages of the cancer process - initiation/promotion and progression.(ref) The American Institute for Cancer Research has reported some degree of inhibition for cancers of the GI tract
Turmeric significantly reduces cholesterol absorption; one of the building blocks of gallstones and it has the ability to interfere with the replication of bacteria associated with inflammation of the gallbladder (ref). This germ-busting effect extends from bacteria to viruses. Turmeric’s bug-busting ability is one reason it has been used for centuries to treat wounds; it has an impressive ability to reduce pain and inflammation.
Curcumin is thought to be able to stimulate the body's ability to release cortisol ( a hormone that regulates metabolism and maintains blood pressure) and to sensitize the body's receptors for this hormone.
Cortisol release is thought to further decrease inflammation; furthermore turmeric may be able to slow the elimination of cortisol from the body.
NB, this section from the book states 'if used in supplement form, turmeric should be taken on an empty stomach and only after consultation with a health professional- it can be used liberally as a spice?? not sure if they mean derived curcumin when mentioning the 'supplement form' and turmeric 'whole' as a spice?
For side effects it says ' they are rare and consist only of mild upset stomach if they do occur. (personally I would never recommend health store supplements that claim to be high strength or extract formula)
The bottom line says turmeric is on the GRAS (Generally Regarded As Safe) list of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and is approved by Germany's Commission E for use as an anti inflammatory and for the treatment of gallstones. The best way to consume turmeric would be to use it as a spice on already healthy food.
If there is a choice, food is always the best medicine,Piperine studies can be found here http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/