Curcumin: A BIG Medicine says Chris Kilham, medicine hunter

Fox News .mobi released Curcumin: A BIG Medicine, an article by Chris Kilham, on 16 December, 2010. Chris Kilham is a medicine hunter who researches natural remedies all over the world, from the Amazon to Siberia. He teaches ethnobotany at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where he is Explorer in Residence. Chris advises herbal, cosmetic and pharmaceutical companies and is a regular guest on radio and TV programs worldwide.

Chris believes a powerful compound called curcumin, found in the humble turmeric root, has the power to turn modern medicine on its proverbial ear. Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is used to color butter, cheese, curries and other foods. For 5,000 years the traditional system of Ayurveda has used turmeric for the treatment of respiratory conditions including asthma and allergy, coughs, sinusitis, for liver disorders, for rheumatism and to treat diabetic wounds. Science now tells us these benefits are from the curcumin in turmeric.

Curcumin demonstrates antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, anti-carcinogenic and antimicrobial activity, liver-protective, heart-protective and anti-arthritic benefits. Curcumin may also offer significant cognitive-enhancing and anti-depressant benefits. This effect appears primarily due to curcumin’s capacity to promote the activity of neuroprotective factors in the brain, and to regulate certain neurotransmitters.

Despite the broad benefits described above, curcumin’s greatest health property may be its capacity to relieve pain by relieving inflammation. External injuries like burns, bites, scrapes, stings, cuts and bruises cause skin tissue to swell as protective fluids pour into damaged tissue between cells. Nerves may also be directly hurt. All of this activity is accompanied by pain. This is also the case with internal injuries such as when aging joints and ligaments become chronically inflamed, resulting in pain. Stopping the inflammation should stop the pain.

Curcumin inhibits the COX2 enzyme like anti-inflammatory drugs ibuprofen and acetaminophen. However, only curcumin affects the activity of NF-kappaB, PPAR Gamma transcription factors, and 5-LOX, other key factors in pain and inflammation. Chris says, By inhibiting the activity of all these factors of inflammation, curcumin delivers far superior anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving activity than most drugs.No studies in animals or humans have discovered any toxicity associated with the use of either whole turmeric root or concentrated curcumin, even at very high doses.

If you can relieve pain and do so naturally and safely, if you can lift the veil of darkness that chronic pain engenders, then you can transform people’s understanding of the benefits of natural remedies through positive experience. I believe that curcumin does this remarkably well.

Chris advocates the use of natural, plant-based remedies, the most widely employed medicines on earth, more than over-the-counter and prescription drugs. Today we are able to blend the very finely developed body of traditional medicinal knowledge, with modern technology and science. As a result we have access to safe, effective natural remedies like curcumin, to enhance people’s health, and open up the doors to greater vitality through the restorative and healing powers of nature’s bountiful pharmacy.

Chris Kilham’s field research is largely sponsored by Naturex of Avignon, France. Read more at

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