In the air of the oriental bazaar, where spices are sold, aromas boil like trade in its ranks. Coriander, cloves, pepper, cumin, nutmeg – dozens of warm, enveloping scents. And one more, bitter, slightly camphor, with hints of wood and musk – everywhere and above everything. It is emitted by a bright yellow-orange powder, which is present literally on every tray. This is the basis of the foundations of oriental cuisine and medicine, the spicy gold of India, the queen of turmeric.
How many thousands of years this spice rules in the kitchens of Southeast Asia, now no one will say. The Italians, for example, first became acquainted with it seven centuries ago, thanks to Marco Polo, and the Greeks in general – about the same time that they heard the news of Christ.
For oriental housewives, the rhizomes of turmeric, one of the plants of the ginger family, ground into flour, are like salt for us: it is impossible to do without. In India, this seasoning is part of all the main spice mixtures. Vegetables, fish and meat, sweet drinks, rice and noodles are cooked with it. And, by the way, they are right.
Not only does the thick yellow sauce give dishes an incomparable bright taste, but at the same time it helps to absorb protein, kills pathogens of intestinal infections and serves as a natural preservative. In a hot and humid tropical climate, this is oh so relevant!
In national medicine, this spice occupies no less place than in cooking. Colds and poisoning, inflammation of the joints and purulent abscesses on the skin, gastric and kidney diseases, insomnia and even scorpion stings – which are not treated with infusions, decoctions, pastes and ointments with turmeric.
And these are not idle inventions of local Aesculapius. As soon as official Western medicine became interested in the properties of this medicinal plant, discoveries fell down one after another.
The bioflavonoid found in the rhizome of turmeric was named so – curcumin. It contains so many healing properties that would be enough for a small pharmacy.
Natural antibiotic, antiseptic, antioxidant, hepatoprotector, immunomodulator and aphrodisiac, it also has antifungal and bactericidal properties, treats allergies, inhibits the development of tumors, increases the activity of brain cells, helping to fight even Alzheimer’s disease.
But scientists were especially interested in the ability of curcumin effectively reduce the concentration of cholesterol in the blood. Medical science has been diligently looking for such substances since the middle of the last century, when it became clear that there is a direct link between cholesterol levels and cardiovascular diseases, which stubbornly form mortality statistics in developed countries.
In fact, cholesterol, which is contained in high-calorie foods, accumulates in the body in excess, causing atherosclerosis, leading to heart attacks and strokes. Fear of this “terrible” substance around the world is pushing people to low-fat diets. But not everyone knows that low cholesterol is also not the case.
Turns out, cholesterol is also good. This substance ensures the stability of all cell membranes, is involved in the synthesis of vitamin D, male and female hormones, regulates the functioning of the brain and the immune system. You can’t do without it. Paradox? The point is this.
This substance does not dissolve in water, which means that it cannot be delivered to organs and tissues simply with the help of the bloodstream. It is transported throughout the body by special transport proteins. They form something like a shell for cholesterol, so that it flies through the vessels as if in a sealed capsule. This capsule is a lipoprotein compound. The whole question is in the density of its walls.
“Bad” cholesterol – low molecular weight. Such capsules do not cope with their work: cholesterol crystals precipitate and, accumulating on the walls of blood vessels, clog them over time.
High-molecular lipoproteins, on the contrary, cleanse the vessels, capturing bad cholesterol “on the way” and transferring it to the liver for further excretion. So the less low molecular weight lipoproteins in the body and the more high molecular weight lipoproteins, the better for the heart and blood vessels.
Recommendations for increasing the proportion of “good” cholesterol to the detriment of “bad” are well known, not to say banal.
Balanced diet with a preference for antioxidant-rich vegetables, fruits, whole grains, vegetable oils, and fish over fatty meats, sour cream, butter, and other classic Russian delights.
Controlling your own weight. Mandatory physical activity to combat the so-called “immobile stress”. Quit smoking, finally.
But in reality, we often put off a healthy lifestyle “until the next Monday” and catch ourselves only when it’s too late to talk about prevention.
In addition, sometimes cholesterol rises as a result of diseases of the liver, kidneys, and simply with diabetes. If your low molecular weight lipoprotein level is above 130 mg/dl, you are at risk. It’s time to take urgent action.
This is where it will come in handy curcumin, isolated from an ancient oriental spice using modern technology.
Turmeric is a rather spicy spice: for a kilogram of rice, for example, it is placed on the tip of a knife. When it comes to the therapeutic effect, it is easier to use its extract in cellulose capsules.
For example, “CURCUMIN GN Extract” company production Gamma Naturalis. The dosage is calculated: each capsule contains 10 mg of curcumin, it just corresponds to the daily needs of a person.
Apparently, the time has come for this golden root, long known to Eastern medicine, to reveal its properties to Europeans.
In preparing the article, materials were used
provided by Gamma Naturalis.
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