During the past decade, physician, teacher and overall health guru Dr. Deepak Chopra has been instrumental introducing the 5,000 year old Indian holistic medical system known as Ayurveda to the West. Ayurveda promotes significant lifestyle change, including diet, exercise, meditation and bodywork. In addition, a vast number of herbs, many used for millennia, are now being introduced by its practitioners.
Although best known as a spice that gives a distinctive flavor and yellow color to curry powder and mustard, turmeric (Curcuma longa) is a member of the ginger family and has long been used for healing. Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani, and other traditional medicine systems practiced in India have relied on this pungent spice for centuries, and so it’s not surprising that the Asian subcontinent is where the most intensive research about this herb has been conducted.
Flavonoids is the umbrella term given to some 4,000 compounds that impart the colorful pigment to fruits, vegetables and herbs. Also found in legumes, grains and nuts, flavonoids can act as effective antivirals, anti-inflammatories, antihistamines and antioxidants. They’re useful for reducing cancer risk and serve to prevent or treat a wide variety of conditions.