By Kate Wharmby Seldman
Bitter cumin, a spice that's often incorporated into ayurvedic treatments, is packed with antioxidants and can boost health, a recent clinical trial suggests.
Cathy Wong, About.com's Alternative Medicine Guide, reports that a series of studies conducted by BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine indicates that bitter cumin may defend the body against free radicals, which can cause cancer, and protect against oxidative stress, which is also linked to cancer, as well as Alzheimer's disease, strokes, diabetes, and cardiovascular ailments. The spice is used as part of traditional Indian medicine to treat pain, fever, and hyperglycemia.
Studies also indicate that other ayurvedic herbs may also be rich sources of antioxidants. These herbs include fenugreek, which can combat diabetes by lowering insulin resistance, and guggul, which can lower cholesterol.
Turmeric is also an antioxidant that's in the ayurvedic arsenal. It's used to treat inflammation. In addition, studies indicate that curcumin, its active ingredient, may slow certain types of cancer. It's also good as a topical treatment for sore or strained muscles, and taking it in food or in capsules can relieve inflammation associated with psoriasis.
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