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Turmeric and Its Anti-Infective Properties

As fear increases about coronavirus so to have online searches and plenty of misinformation about how to strengthen the immune system. The bottom line is that there is no magic pill, or a specific food guaranteed to bolster your immune system and protect you from the new coronavirus. But there are real ways you can take care of yourself and give your immune system the best chance to do its job against a respiratory illness and Turmeric is a big talking point across the globe.

In the Indian West News NEW DELHI – Turmeric, or curcumin, is being advocated by some medical experts for reducing lung inflammation amid the rising COVID-19 cases in India. The virus is especially known to attack the respiratory system. Turmeric is being touted as the only way to keep inflammation in your body low so that you have a better chance of fighting the coronavirus infection.

In the Straits Times – Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo has been bolstering speculation that a herb concoction can ward against being infected with the coronavirus. He said in a statement posted on a government website that he’s been drinking a mixture of red ginger, lemongrass, turmeric and curcuma, a type of turmeric native to South-east Asia, three times a day since the spread of the virus.

Radio Naturopath “I drink the mixture instead of tea now,” Mr Joko said in the statement. Radio Naturopath Episode 244: Prevent and Treat the Coronavirus Naturally; Why Chalcones, Pomegranate, and Turmeric Are Good For You

Dr Mehmet Oz was on TODAY this week telling people to take proactive steps to boost your immune system with fruits and vegetables and Vitamin D. He has talked about the benefits of turmeric for years.

The Daily Mail UK What to eat to help protect yourself from coronavirus: Nutrition experts reveal the foods and spices that boost your immunity and health FAST

And the New York Times wrote an extensive article “Can I boost My Immune System” and mentioned  Turmeric (though they spell it turmeric) a common immune booster along with ginger and bone broth.

On the ABC March 7th 2020, as Australians rush to buy toilet paper other countries are rushing to buy up as many medical plants like Turmeric and Ginger as they can as people try to boost their ability to fight off the virus.

Listen to the ABC News Here


Quote from the
Daily Mail from the 5th of March 2020

The Benefits of Taking Turmeric

Every year during flu season we discuss how to boost your immune system.  We talk about the benefits of not only taking turmeric during the winter months, but also olive leaf extract, apple cider vinegar and of course probiotics. While it’s not flu season in Australia just yet, the effect of the coronavirus is global and we feel it is a good time to discuss the benefits of taking turmeric and how we can protect ourselves by boosting our immune system during this cautious time. So let’s dig deep about the anti-infective, antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal activity of Curcumin in Turmeric.

Infectious Diseases

Infectious diseases are those caused by viruses and microorganisms such as fungi and bacteria. They can be transmitted from human to human, from animal to human, or via contaminated food and water. This can cause from small local outbreaks to pandemics. Our most recent one is the COVID-19 Virus.

Corona Virus vs. COVID-19 Virus

There is a thin line between these two. The World Health Organization differentiates them here:

“Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses which may cause illness in animals or humans.  In humans, several coronaviruses are known to cause respiratory infections ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). The most recently discovered coronavirus causes coronavirus disease COVID-19.”

“COVID-19 is the infectious disease caused by the most recently discovered coronavirus. This new virus and disease were unknown before the outbreak began in Wuhan, China, in December 2019.”

Importance of A Strong Immune System in Preventing Infection

Everyone can be a victim of infectious diseases. Good thing you have your immune system. You need your immune system to fight against harmful infections. It prevents you from constantly getting sick. It is made up of organs, white blood cells, and tissues that work together to fight invaders. The white blood cells mainly trap viruses and bacteria that may harm your body. Having a strong immune system lessens the risk of you getting infected by various diseases, from simple coughs and colds to fatal ones.

Medications

Medications can be grouped into antivirals, antibiotics and antifungals in addition to vaccines. However, these medications can only do so much as there are only a limited number of pathogens that it can countermeasure. With that, new options are being considered such as natural compounds. This is where Turmeric comes in.

Turmeric vs. Curcumin

Turmeric is a rhizome (a whole food) from the ginger family that came from India. It has been popular in Asia for thousands of years and used in Ayurvedic medicine, an Indian practice of healing. Although popularly known as a spice used in curry, Turmeric it is also used as food color, an ingredient in make-up products, and as mentioned, in medicine. Specifically, it is used to treat pain and inflammation. Curcumin is its main ingredient, although it has over a hundred powerful compounds helping our general health. It is rich in several nutrients such as B Vitamins, Vitamin A, C, K and E, Potassium, Magnesium, Iron and Zinc, among others. With this, Turmeric has numerous benefits including cell and tissue growth, controlled cholesterol levels, red blood cell production, bone and teeth strength, energy production, and brain function, to name a few. Turmeric also helps fight certain diseases. Turmeric thrives in warm and humid environments, and has a ginger-like appearance, and orange-colored flesh.

Curcumin is the potent ingredient of Turmeric. Turmeric has a family of compounds called Curcuminoids which include curcumin, bisdemethoxycurcumin and demethoxycurcumin. Curcumin is the most abundant curcuminoid in Turmeric and is responsible for its distinct flavour and colour. The Curcumin phytochemical is responsible for Turmeric’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that pose revolutionary healing potential. Curcumin is extracted from the Turmeric (the whole food). There are thousands of studies that show Curcumin’s positive effects in the body. Curcumin can help in treating certain digestive issues, pains and aches, and even mental and emotional disorders. Tests also show that Curcumin helps prevent the enlargement of certain tumours. Turmeric is 2.5 to 5% curcumin, so Turmeric has to be processed in order to get the most amount of Curcumin as possible.

The modern lifestyle makes us prone to inflammation-related illnesses in the body, so Curcumin is the answer to that. It prevents the molecule NF-kB to activate genes responsible for inflammation. As an antioxidant, Curcumin neutralises free radicals and boosts the body’s other antioxidant enzymes. Curcumin is also helpful for our gut health. Lastly, Curcumin can increase BDFN levels in our brain. BDFN is a hormone in the brain responsible for forming new connections between neurons. Overall, Curcumin has specific benefits in our body that can be maximized when taken in a concentrated form such as supplements.

How Curcumin Boosts your Immune System

Studies have shown that Curcumin is a potent immunomodulatory agent that can modulate the activation of several pathogens. Curcumin can also control the expression of several proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines, through inactivation of the transcription factor NF-kappaB. And even at low doses, Curcumin can improve antibody responses. All-in-all, Turmeric appears to boost your immune system because it exhibits important antioxidant activities in the body such as the following:

Antiviral Activity of Curcumin

Because of lack of effective therapeutics for various viruses, resistance to antiviral drugs, and expensive antiviral therapeutics, there is an emergence of the need to find natural antiviral compounds. Scientists researched on plants that are a rich source of phytochemicals that have antiviral activities. It showed that Curcumin (in Turmeric) has antiviral activities against viruses. Curcumin, through its inhibitory activity against Inosine Monophosphate Dehydrogenase (IMPDH) is shown as an antiviral compound through the said process. Research on various bioconjugates of Curcumin against several viruses also showed Curcumin’s potency for antiviral activities. You may check this study on how Curcumin inhibits several viruses.

Antibacterial Activity of Curcumin

Bacterial Infections cause several diseases, from harmless ailments to lethal medications. Although there are antibiotics, there is a rise of antibiotic resistance of bacteria. However, studies have shown that Curcumin can inhibit various strains of bacterial infections. Read this study for a more scientific explanation of this phenomenon.

Antifungal Activity of Curcumin

Only a few out of the million fungal species are human pathogens. However, fungal infections of the skin and mucosa are popular, and most of them are harmless when treated. However, people with weak immune systems are at risk of developing severe forms of infections. Good thing there are different drugs to treat fungal diseases. New options are still however needed because of resistance and side effects. Turmeric happens to repeal production of fungal toxins. In fact, studies have shown antifungal activities from Turmeric extracts and Curcumin. Read this study to learn more.

How Else Can You Protect Yourself from Infectious Diseases?

WHO’s standard recommendations for the general public to reduce exposure to and transmission of a range of illnesses are as follows, which include hand and respiratory hygiene, and safe food practices:

  • Frequently clean hands by using alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water;
  • When coughing and sneezing cover mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue – throw tissue away immediately and wash hands;
  • Avoid close contact with anyone who has fever and cough;
  • If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing seek medical care early and share previous travel history with your healthcare provider;
  • When visiting live markets in areas currently experiencing cases of novel coronavirus, avoid direct unprotected contact with live animals and surfaces in contact with animals;
  • The consumption of raw or undercooked animal products should be avoided. Raw meat, milk or animal organs should be handled with care, to avoid cross-contamination with uncooked foods, as per good food safety practices.

However, all this being said, as far as the Coronavirus is concerned, medicinal herbs/foods like Turmeric and Ginger should only be used for initial preventive methods and should not be touted or believed as the curing medicine.

ORGANIC TURMERIC 120 CAPSULES WITH BLACK PEPPER & GINGER

VALUE BUY – 3 x BOTTLES ORGANIC TURMERIC CAPSULES

 

How to protect yourself from getting infected

WHO’s standard recommendations for the general public to reduce exposure to and transmission of a range of illnesses are as follows, which include hand and respiratory hygiene, and safe food practices:

  • Frequently clean hands by using alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water;
  • When coughing and sneezing cover mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue – throw tissue away immediately and wash hands;
  • Avoid close contact with anyone who has fever and cough;
  • If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing seek medical care early and share previous travel history with your health care provider;
  • When visiting live markets in areas currently experiencing cases of novel coronavirus, avoid direct unprotected contact with live animals and surfaces in contact with animals;

The consumption of raw or under cooked animal products should be avoided. Raw meat, milk or animal organs should be handled with care, to avoid cross-contamination with uncooked foods, as per good food safety practices.

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