Can Turmeric Resolve Brain Damage from Alcoholism?
It is difficult to imagine that the active ingredient in the spice turmeric can help a brain resolve alcohol-induced damage, but that is the finding of one research study.
Although the study’s result is not meant to provide a rationalization for heavy drinking, it does give hope to those who have compromised brain function with heavy alcohol consumption.
The research was done at the Panjab University Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences in India. It is heartening to know that an institute of pharmaceutical science is looking at a common, inexpensive herb for health protection and healing.
The scientists at Panjab kept rats drunk with ethanol over a long enough period of time (10 weeks) to produce alcohol-induced neural damage. They observed and recorded the rats’ behaviors and ran tests on them to measure changes and abnormalities in their neurological functioning.
The rats showed impairment in memory retention, spatial navigation, increased oxidative stress and other biochemical problems.
Sounds like a horrible experience for the rats involved, but at least some were not left in a brain-damaged state. The addition of curcumin to the rats’ regimen, according to the research report, resolved the damage whether molecular, biochemical or behavioral.
Other studies have shown that curcumin has anti-cancer properties and may reverse inflammatory and metabolic problems resulting from type 2 diabetes. Curcumin is known to be effective in reducing the discomfort of rheumatoid arthritis or other inflammatory illnesses. More than 50 studies indicate it is protective against the development of Alzheimer’s disease.
Many people take curcumin as a supplement. Enteric-coated curcumin capsules are a convenient way to get the anti-inflammatory benefits. The best supplements also contain piperine, a black pepper ingredient, which helps with nutrient absorption.
Another way to get the benefits of curcumin is to add turmeric to your diet. Most of us are familiar with turmeric as the main spice in Indian curry dishes, but there are hundreds of delicious meals to prepare that include turmeric. You can also get its benefits from drinking turmeric tea:
- ~ Bring four cups of water to a boil
- ~ Add a teaspoon of ground turmeric, reduce heat, simmer for 10 minutes
- ~ Strain using a fine sieve and add lemon or honey to taste
If you are using any medications, have a serious medical condition or are pregnant or nursing, consult your physician before adding any supplement to your diet.