From Tomb To Table: Cumin Health Benefit’s Rediscovered

Source: TheSleuthJournal
Sayer Ji
January 3, 2017

Traded along spice routes separating ancient cultures by vast distances, spices like cumin were once worth their weight in gold. Has modern science now revealed why, beyond their remarkable aesthetic value, they were so highly prized? 

Many spices are perfectly happy living a charmed life as seasonings, peppering things generously with flavor, and without ever arousing the suspicion that they may be capable of profound acts of healing, as well.

Meet cumin, a member of the parsley family, which is to say from a well-known family of healers native to the central Mediterranean region (southern Italy, Algeria and Tunisia).

Cumin’s traditional use stretches back into prehistory, as evidenced by its presence in Egyptian tombs. The Greeks actually used it much like we use pepper today, keeping cumin at the dining table in its own container, which is still practiced by Moroccans to this day. It is also been used for millennia in India as a traditional ingredient of curry.

New research now indicates that these ancient “culinary” uses, once considered primarily aesthetic in nature, may have served more fundamental medicinal roles in these cultures. How do we know this? Modern scientific investigation has revealed that cumin has a broad range of potential healing properties that, when properly applied, could alleviate human suffering.

For instance, as recently as 2010, research published in the journal Food Chemistry and Toxicology demonstrated that cumin has blood sugar lowering properties comparable to the drug glibenclamide (known in the US as glyburide), with the additional benefit (not conferred by pharmaceutical intervention) that it also lowered oxidative stress and inhibited the advanced glycated end products (AGE) which are implicated in the pathogenesis of diabetic microvascular complications.[i]

Remarkably, this is only the tip of cumin’s medicinal potential. There are at least 10 other potential medicinal properties of cumin now confirmed in the experimental literature:

  • Bacterial Infections: Cumin oil has been shown effective at killing Klebsiella penumoniae bacteria, including decreasing biofilm formation (a defense mechanism of bacteria against antibiotics), as well as enhancing the antimicrobial activity of conventional antibiotic drugs like ciprofloxacin.[ii] Even more impressive, perhaps, cumin oil has been shown to have anti-MRSA properties.[iii]
  • Candida (Yeast) Infection: Unlike conventional antibiotics which contribute to opportunistic fungal overgrowth, cumin has been shown to have considerable inhibitory activity against 3 different Candida albicans strains of yeast.[iv] It has also been studied to be effective against a wide range of other fungi and yeasts, including Aspergilli and dermatophytes (fungi that cause skin diseases).[v]
  • Cataracts: Cumin has been shown to delay the formation of diabetes-associated cataracts primarily through its anti-glycating properties, i.e. it prevents elevated blood sugar from getting “sticky” (i.e. caramelization) and subsequently damaging tissues in the body.[vi]
  • Cancers: Cumin has been shown in preclinical research to have inhibitory activity against cervical cancer[vii] and colon cancer. [viii]
  • Dental Plaque: Cumin oil has been shown effective as an anti-gingival agent alternative to the chemical chlorhexidine commonly used in mouthwashes.[ix]
  • Diabetes: As mentioned in our opening, cumin has significant anti-diabetic properties. Another 2002 study found that the treatment of diabetic rats with cumin was more effective than the drug glibenclamide, resulting in reductions in inflammation, fatty changes, tissue cholesterol, triglycerides, free fatty acids, blood glucose and glycated hemoglobin – all positive indicators. [x]
  • Food-borne Pathogens – Cumin oil has been found to work synergistically with other food preservation agents to inhibit the growth of food-borne pathogens.[xi]
  • Immune Function: Cumin has been found to effectively stimulate immune function in a way that may benefit immune-compromised individuals.[xii]
  • Fertility (Reversible Contraceptive): Cumin has been found to have potent contraceptive activities in male rats without apparent toxicity.[xiii]
  • Memory Disorders: Cumin has been found to reduce stress-induced oxidative changes in the brain, as well as improving cognition, as determined by acquisition, retention and recovery in rats, in a dose-dependent manner.[xiv]
  • Morphine Dependence/Tolerance: Cumin reduces morphine tolerance and dependence. [xv] [xvi]
  • Osteoporosis: Cumin extract has been shown effective at reversing bone loss associated with the loss of ovarian function at least as well as estradiol.[xvii]
  • Thrombosis (Clot): Cumin seed has been demonstrated to inhibit platelet aggregation, indicating it may prevent pathological blood clotting.[xviii] [Note: of course this means that it could interact adversely with blood thinners].

The evidence-based approach to understanding cumin’s medicinal value is relatively new. Only in the past two decades, but especially in the past five years, scientific research on spices and culinary herbs has virtually exploded. While enlightening, we must remember that the approach is limited in a number of ways. For one, it relies on animal research, which is both inherently cruel (vivisection) and conveys only approximate data, as these substances often have very different effects in animals than humans.

Also, spices like cumin should not be considered in isolation, as traditional recipes passed down from generation to generation contained a vast storehouse of medically relevant information pertaining to the synergies inherent in combinations of ingredients, modes of preparation, seasonal harvesting, etc. In other words, cumin does not lend itself well to the pharmacological, drug-based model of medicine, which presumes there are monochemical “magic bullets” within complex herbs or spices that must be identified and isolated into megadoses, and which are primarily responsible for their beneficial effects.

Nonetheless, it is welcoming that increasingly science confirms traditional herbalism and culinary practice. Perhaps, as the scientific evidence continues to pour in, we will be more willing to give ourselves permission to appreciate once again the wondrous superfluity of nature, its ceaseless benevolence, and the the fact that issuing directly from her fecund soil, are powerful healing gifts, that we can enjoy sensually, viscerally and now intellectually with greater abandon.


Resources

  • [iv] Juergen Wanner, Stefanie Bail, Leopold Jirovetz, Gerhard Buchbauer, Erich Schmidt, Velizar Gochev, Tanya Girova, Teodora Atanasova, Albena Stoyanova. Chemical composition and antimicrobial activity of cumin oil (Cuminum cyminum, Apiaceae). Nat Prod Commun. 2010 Sep ;5(9):1355-8. PMID: 20922990

© January 3, 2017 GreenMedInfo LLC. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of GreenMedInfo LLC. Want to learn more from GreenMedInfo? Sign up for the newsletter here http://www.greenmedinfo.com/greenmed/newsletter.

Read More At: SleuthJournal.com

How to Break Sugar Addiction

Source: iHealthTube.com
August 24, 2016

So many of us are craving sugar, but it can be for different reasons that we may not even recognize. Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum discusses sugar craving and what you can do to curb that addiction. Find out what sleep can do to help and how that connects to a number of other functions that all tie together. Find out how to break sugar addiction.

Causes and Symptoms of Candida Overgrowth

Source: iHealthTube.com
August 17, 2016

Almost everyone has some sort of candida overgrowth. What is it and what are it’s symptoms? Naturopath Ann Boroch is an expert on the topic. She discusses the basics of candida and how you might be able to tell how much of an issue it might be for you.

Is This Why Your Body Is Too Acidic?

Source: iHealthTube.com
Dr. Edward Group
August 8, 2016

Many experts say a body that’s too acidic will be a fertile ground for disease or many other complications. Dr. Edward Group discusses one often overlooked reason for a body to be in an acidic state. Find out what you can do to balance the body and help your chances of fending off disease or other complications. Is this why your body is too acidic?

Is Candida A Main Cause of These Conditions?

Source: iHealthTube.com
Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum
May 22, 2016

Autoimmune conditions seem to be on the rise. Find out what Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum says is one of the causes and is in general, a ‘big problem’. He explains what this infection is and how he generally goes about treating it. Find out how candida can be a main cause of so many health conditions

Know This Cause of Inflammation

Source: iHealthTube
March 8, 2016

Inflammation can be one of the most damaging things to a body if it continues over long periods of time. But what is the cause of this inflammation and how can we address it? Nutritionist Ann Boroch discusses a key cause of inflammation and how you can start to turn things around. It’s important to know this cause of inflammation

Here is How Candida May Actually Cause Cancer

candida-albicans-turmeric-735-350

Source: NaturalSociety.com
Alexandra Preston
January 15, 2016

For many years, the only known link between Candida spp. infections, and cancer was that it is an opportunistic pathogen taking advantage of the immune system damage caused by chemo. Recently, new research has found that Candida albicans can actually also promote cancer by producing carcinogens, causing inflammation, increasing the response of Th17 cells, and molecular mimicry of our own immune cells.

Candida produces the carcinogens known as nitrosamines and acetaldehyde. Nitrosamines activate specific pro-cancer genes, while acetaldehyde is a DNA-damaging carcinogen with many downstream effects. Inflammation promotes cancer by causing tissue damage and production of chemicals that promote angiogenesis, proliferation, migration, and adhesion while inhibiting apoptosis of damaged cells.

Th17 cells, which are dominant in the response to Candida infections, are also responsible for production of chemicals that can increase angiogenesis and tumor growth.

On top of this, antibodies produced against Candida albicans can mimic a receptor on white blood cells, possibly causing antibodies to be formed against our own immune cells. This is another strike against sugar and alcohol consumption in relation to cancer risk, as both alcohol metabolism and sugar fermentation lead to acetaldehyde production.

One real-life report of cancer being in association with fungal infections comes from Meinolf Karthaus, who observed three children with leukemia suddenly go into remission after antifungal treatment for “secondary” infections.

Additionally, one doctor had found fungal spores in every tissue sample of cancer that he studied, as he used saline instead of formaldehyde to transport the samples in order to preserve any possible fungi.

Natural Anti-Fungal Solutions for Candida

While pharmaceutical antifungals can cause even more damage to patients’ liver and kidneys, curcumin, the “main” medicinal compound in turmeric, may be an alternative.

On top of exhibiting potent antifungal activity against Candida, curcumin also has anticancer properties, such as the ability to destroy cancer stem cells. Curcumin has antifungal effects against other species as well. Cryptococcus, Aspergillus, Trichosporon, and Paracoccidioides strains have been shown to be vulnerable to its effects.

Additionally, curcumin can prevent resistance of Candida to the antifungal drug fluconazole. It appeared to be that resistant Candida were able to pump fluconazole out of the cell bodies. Despite curcumin’s poor water solubility and thus bioavailability, nanoparticles and fat soluble delivery methods can overcome this limitation. More traditionally, golden milk is a beverage that increases availability of turmeric to the body, and can be made at home.

Besides curcumin, clove oil may also be effective against Candida infections. In one study, even the vapour of clove essential oil was able to inhibit several species of fungi, though the oil vapor was only strong enough to temporarily stop Candida growth without killing the cells.

Continue Reading At: NaturalSociety.com