This is not new, but probably good to remember anyway
The life of spices: Science finds medical promise in the kitchen cabinet
Getting spices into your daily meals can be a tasty way to get an antioxidant boost. Here’s four that have been the subject of research.
• Turmeric: Its active ingredient is curcumin, used in traditional medicine to treat ailments from gallstones to anemia, to heal wounds and treat arthritis.
• Ginger: Grown underground, but not technically a root. It is one of the most-studied plants in the world and is known as an aid to relieve nausea.
• Cayenne: Includes capsaicin, another antioxidant and anti-inflammatory that may help reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer and other pro-inflammatory diseases of aging.
• Cinnamon: A powerful antioxidant. A teaspoon of cinnamon has the same antioxidant power as a half cup of blueberries.
Read more about the four
In 1993, an eager biochemist at University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center struggled to put the brakes on a protein he had discovered a few years earlier, a protein that can turn on cancers and inflammatory diseases.
Bharat Aggarwal knew that the protein, tumor necrosis factor, or TNF, could trigger a whole cascade of inflammation in the human body — a very bad thing. He also knew that turmeric, the yellow curry spice, was a potent anti-inflammatory in traditional Ayurvedic medicine.
The next step, sprinkling some turmeric on a culture of TNF, may seem like a bit of a leap. But it didn’t feel that way to Aggarwal, a professor of cancer medicine at M.D. Anderson.
“In Ayurveda, it is nothing new,” he said. “And the beauty is that it is very, very safe.”