memory lossEating a single gram of turmeric each day could cause short-term memory improvements in people predisposed to memory loss, according to a study conducted by researchers from Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, and several Taiwanese research institutes, and published in the Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

“Our findings with turmeric are consistent with these observations, insofar as they appear to influence cognitive function where there is disordered energy metabolism and insulin resistance,” researcher Mark Wahlqvist said.

Turmeric root has been used as a spice and medicine for thousands of years and is still an important component in traditional Asian cooking and medicinal systems. It is a critical component of curry powders, giving them their yellow color.

That yellow color itself comes from a trio of chemicals known as “curcuminoids,” the most commonly known being curcumin. In recent years, much research has focused on the antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and other health-promoting benefits of curcumin.

Six-hour memory boost

The new study involved testing the working memories of adults over the age of 60 who had recently been diagnosed with pre-diabetes — which is known to be associated with memory loss — but who were not receiving treatment. Participants were fed a breakfast of white bread, supplemented with either 1 gram of turmeric or a placebo. Their memories were tested both before the meal and after it.

“We found that this modest addition to breakfast improved working memory over six hours in older people with pre-diabetes,” Wahlqvist said.

As the world’s population ages, health experts believe that the prevalence of conditions linked to memory loss will rise, including diabetes and dementia. The researchers suggested that early intervention, including with turmeric, might lessen the prevalence of those conditions and blunt their effects in those who develop them.

“Working memory is widely thought to be one of the most important mental faculties, critical for cognitive abilities such as planning, problem solving and reasoning,” Wahlqvist said. “Assessment of working memory is simple and convenient, but it is also very useful in the appraisal of cognition and in predicting future impairment and dementia.”

The power of curcumin

Research has also linked turmeric and curcumin more directly to reduced dementia risk. For example, a 2009 study conducted by researchers from Duke University found that curcumin caused changes in the brain counteracting some of the effects of Alzheimer’s disease. The chemical specifically targeted the amyloid plaques believed to be one of the main causes of brain damage (and therefore symptoms).

“There is very solid evidence that curcumin binds to plaques, and basic research on animals engineered to produce human amyloid plaques has shown benefits,” researcher Murali Doraiswamy said. “You can modify a mouse so that at about 12 months its brain is riddled with plaques. If you feed this rat a curcumin-rich diet, it dissolves these plaques. The same diet prevented younger mice from forming new plaques.”

“If you have a good diet and take plenty of exercise, eating curry regularly could help prevent dementia,” Doraiswamy said.

Diet and exercise are still the two best ways to prevent the disease, Doraiswamy emphasized.

Research has shown a wide variety of other benefits from turmeric and curcumin, including preventing cancer and improving cancer prognosis, arthritis relief, improved heart health and even reductions in body fat.

A series of 2013 studies conducted by researchers from the University of Tsukuba in Japan found that curcumin improved two measures of cardiovascular health as much as aerobic exercise did, while the two together provided the greatest benefit.

Studies have shown that curcumin is best absorbed from the turmeric root (or powder) itself, rather than from supplements.

Article Source: turmeric & memory loss

Originally posted 2014-12-11 11:17:24.

therapeutic bathsIf you feel that your health could use a boost, or you need a little extra care, a healing soak is one of the best ways to regain equilibrium, shed toxins and calm the mind. A perfect medium for children and adults alike, therapeutic baths not only help you relax but also gently balance the system.

View any health spa menu and you will usually find an array of different healing soaks. From weight loss to detoxification and anti-aging, the variety available is impressive. All the same, enjoying a spa treatment more than once every so often is usually too costly for the average person. This is where the beauty of creating a restorative bath at home comes in. For pennies on the dollar, we can detoxify and alleviate health complaints, while easing tension and stress. It’s easier than you may think, yet the benefits are vast.

Recipes for health
As luck would have it, we need not travel extravagant distances, or spend great amounts of money, to reap the benefits of a therapeutic bath — it’s simple enough to recreate a healing spa experience in the privacy of our own home. Have a look at the following five examples for inspiration.

Clay
Gently pulling heavy metals from the body, clay is one of the best detoxifying substances available. Eytons’ Earth recommends 5 pounds of green desert calcium bentonite, Pascalite, Inland Sea or Redmond clay per bath. Fill the tub halfway with very hot water and sprinkle the clay evenly over the surface to avoid clumping. Allow to settle for 10-20 minutes. Next, add enough hot water so that the temperature is comfortable and you are able to submerge your entire body from the neck down. In the beginning, soak for 10-15 minutes. Thereafter, gradually increase the time of each bath until you’re able to comfortably soak for up to two hours. As long as your plumbing is in good condition, and the clay is completely aqueous when drained, clogging shouldn’t be an issue.

Seaweed
Rich in minerals and helpful in supporting metabolism and hormonal balance, along with the adrenal glands and thyroid, seaweed is an excellent ingredient for a therapeutic bath. Add 4 ounces of dried seaweed (kelp and dulse are good options) to a large tea ball or muslin bag. Secure the container so seaweed doesn’t clog the drain and submerge in 8 cups of boiling water. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes, remove from heat and pour entire contents into the bathtub. Add additional hot water and soak until the gelatinous film from the seaweed completely dissolves from your skin.

Additionally, sodium bicarbonate, sea salt and magnesium sulfate are also beneficial. Sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) softens the skin and buffers the effects of radiation — dissolve 4 cups in warm water for each soak.

Sea salt can be used by itself to detoxify and ground the body, or in combination with either clay or sodium bicarbonate. Celtic or Himalayan pink salt are two excellent choices. Use 1-2 cups per bath. Magnesium sulfate (Epsom salt) is also detoxifying and has the added benefit of easing muscle and joint pain. Three cups dissolved in hot water is sufficient. As a general rule of thumb, soak for at least 20 minutes.

A few tips for keeping it safe
To neutralize chlorine in your bath water, add two teaspoons of vitamin C. Borax is helpful for eliminating fluoride — use 1-3 tablespoons per bath. Additionally, choose seaweed from sources that are free from contaminants and tested for heavy metals. Lastly, aim for a minimum of two detoxifying baths per week.

Article Source: Therapeutic_baths

Originally posted 2014-10-15 16:01:26.