Herbs and spices to keep you young

Certain herbs and spices contain very powerful compounds that fight inflammation. Here are some of the best of them:

Turmeric
Ginger
Cinnamon
Chilli Pepper
Cayenne Pepper
Thyme
Rosemary
Basil
Oregano
Green tea, rooibos tea and white tea

Turmeric

The yellow spice widely used in Indian cooking contains curcuminoids which possess considerable anti-inflammatory activity.  When compared to corticosteroids, turmeric extract displayed an equal anti-inflammatory capability in acute inflammation and approximately 50% as potent as corticosteroids in chronic inflammation.

Scientific research has shown that turmeric inhibits pathogenic bacteria, viruses and fungi (including candida albicans, candida kruseii, and candida parasilosis).

Curcuminoids in turmeric exhibit various cell-protective actions including prevention of free radical damage and initiating the destruction and inhibiting the replication of damaged cells. In fact, studies have highlighted the ability of curcuminoids to inhibit chemically-induced cell damage by an average of 75%.

Traditionally, turmeric was used to support liver function and to treat jaundice in both Ayurvedic and Chinese herbal medicine. Turmeric enhances glutathione content and glutathione-S-transferase activity in the liver. These substances are key protectors against the damaging effects of toxins and free radicals.

Turmeric has also been used since ancient times for digestive problems such as gastritis and hyperacidity, a practice that is backed up by reports that it helps to increase mucous production and protects the stomach lining. Curcuminoids also increase bile flow into the intestines, thus improving the breakdown of dietary fat.

I’ll  cover some of the other spices and herbs in future posts.