Health Professional Radio – The Power of Curcumin
Neal Howard: Hello and welcome to Health Professional Radio. So glad you could join us today, I’m your host Neal Howard. Our guest in studio is returning to speak with us, Dr. Holly Lucille. We know her as Dr. Holly, she’s a nationally recognized and licensed Naturopathic Doctor, Educator and Natural Products Consultant. She’s got a belief in the science, art and the mystery of healing and has a, well a very heart-felt passion for the individual wellness of all people. And Dr. Holly is here with us today to talk about the healing powers of curcumin. Good afternoon Doctor.
Holly Lucille: Hey Neal, thanks for having me back.
N: We’re here in another segment and we were talking about that word, what exactly are we talking about when we talk about curcumin?
L: Oh my gosh, this is, I have a little bit of a love affair with this particular plant. So curcumin is from the turmeric rhizome, okay so if you think about that lovely orange hue that and spice that’s used in curry, you’re looking at this big rhizome called turmeric. Well the curcumin, it’s a family actually curcumin, curcuminoids are the active ingredient that give its all medicinal effect. So there’s curcumin extract and that’s how plants work, I wanna make this point, in naturopathic medical school I had to take pharmacology because we do have prescription rights throughout United States in different states are different but I also had to take the Pharmacognosy of plant medicine. I had to tell you it’s absolutely unbelievable to me because it’s so complex so these curcumonoids are the part of the plant that really makes the difference when it comes to all of it amazing medicinal.
N: Natural medicines there a bunch of them out there, where does this rank as far as being on a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being “Oh my goodness, it’s the best thing we’re going” and 1 being “eehhh, so-so”?
L: Well, I would have to give it an eleven, and I’m gonna tell you why.
N: Ohh, okay tell me why.
L: So when we look at different, let’s start with good drugs, let’s say the cox-2 inhibitor okay? It’s mono-targeted in a way that it works in the body, okay? So it basically influences one molecular pathway and inhibits an enzyme cox-2, okay so that hopefully will decrease pain and that’s very true with most prescription medication. Curcumin on the other hand has almost 100 molecular targets and multiple mechanisms of action, okay. So this is its advantage, its ability to influence these pathways makes it an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory that has anticancer, antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal properties and I could go on and on. And with this guy, with curcumin and the curcuminoids and we can go into absorption because there is a discussion there. It has been studied for things that you can even imagine, depression, Alzheimer’s disease, HPV, liver, cancer – yes, on and on and on. There are over, I mean there are over 8,000 references to curcumin if you put it in the PubMed database, 26% over the last year, it’s the best-selling herb in the United States.
N: So when we’re talking about depression and other things, what about this anti-smoking craze? Can it help with things like withdrawal from not only nicotine but maybe other dependencies, is that a possibility?
L: Wow, that’s a great, that’s a great question. I don’t think that if I look at that modality for withdrawal or addiction, I think curcumin is pretty amazing overall but that wouldn’t come top of mind as far as it making a direct effect, I think it could have an adjunct effect in just, first of all protecting the body from the substance that people had been addicted to whether that be smoke, whether that be nicotine, caffeine, alcohol, etc. and so you’re gonna start feeling better and I think when you start feeling better, your will increases and your ability to comply and also adhere to your new found sobriety is gonna be better. So I would use it in that way and I definitely think that we could definitely make the connection in that particular.
N: When you hear about so many great things that this one thing is doing – liver disease, Alzheimer’s, depression, HPV, diabetes, arthritis, come on I mean cancer – that’s everything.
L: I have a colleague that’s in the industry and she says “I think you should take curcumin so you just don’t die” like she made a joke about it and I actually think that that might be kind of true. (laugh)
N: Now where did you first learn about curcumin?
L: I think that, I was a holistic nurse before I went to Naturopathic medical school and but I started to learn about the evidence-based and the medicinal qualities and the dose dependency when I was at the Southwest Naturopathic medicine, I think curcumin really one is one of those herbs that is very dose dependent, meaning you need to get and curcuminoids by the way I have to tell you this Neal, turmeric in general is not very absorbable into our bloodstream and so curcumin extract should have to take a tremendous amount, many, many, many, many, many to get the effects that you would need. But there are these generations of new licensed ingredients like BCM-95 that is bound to turmeric essential oils to help facilitate the absorption of the plant that’s not really well-absorbed and so that’s a really important point too.
N: Are there things that a person can eat, certain types of food that increases the absorbency even a little bit?
L: That’s a great question too. So the turmeric essential oils, I mean I think having turmeric by itself in your food, cooking with it actually in shakes are always gonna be a great idea but to get the doses that have been used in the clinical studies that I’ve seen as a practitioner, you really have to have it in a more absorbable form, so in a capsule. It’s kind of like turmeric is the food and curcuminoids is the medicine, it’s kind of like let’s say you can eat seventeen oranges or you can take a thousand milligrams of vitamin C. It’s sort of like that.
N: Kind of like a no-brainer, yeah? (Laughs)
N: Yeah, you get pretty full on those oranges especially now when you’re seeing some of them, they’re huge. (Cross Talk) Alright, well Dr. Holly it’s been absolutely wonderful speaking with you in studio today. I’m hoping that you’ll return and speak with us in some more segments.
L: I can’t wait Neal, thanks for having me.
N: Alright. You’ve been listening to Health Professional Radio, I’m your host Neal Howard. Our guest has been Dr. Holly, she believes in the science, art and the mystery of healing and she’s got a passion for the individual wellness of everybody. She’s currently practicing in L.A. focusing on comprehensive naturopathic medicine and individualized care. Transcripts and audio of this program are available at healthprofessionalradio.com.au and also at hpr.fm and you can subscribe through our podcast on iTunes.