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Compound in Turmeric Boosts Brain Stem Cells

Most people are concerned about the health of their brain these days. And, for good reason: brain diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s have been rapidly rising. According to some estimates, 35.8% of people 85 or older have some form of moderate or severe memory impairment. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to protect your brain and memory, from exercising and mental exercises, to healthy diet rich in brain foods like blueberries, walnuts, pomegranates, and more.

But, there is another way to boost your brain health—by increasing your brain's stem cells--those cells that can create more stem cells or become many other types of cells in the body. Research shows that a compound known as turmerone, found in turmeric, can help boost brain stem cells. Most of turmeric’s rave reviews go to its compound curcumin, while turmerone is barely known at all.

According to research in the medical journal Stem Cell Research and Therapy, one of the active compounds in turmeric, known as turmerone, can cause brain stem cells to start proliferating.  

Neural stem cells, as they are known, become activated after an injury or damage to the brain as a means to help regenerate the brain and nervous system and giving the cells an opportunity to recover and return to normal function.

Other research published in the same journal found that turmerone caused an increase in the number of neurons (brain or nervous system cells) generated. The researchers anticipate that their study will offer hope to sufferers of Parkinson’s and stroke.

Turmerone is primarily found in the oily part of turmeric. As a result, turmeric essential oil is one of the best sources of this natural healing compound. However, not all oils are suitable for ingestion. Most of the oils on the market are not suitable for internal use. As a result you should only use oils that clearly indicate their suitability for internal use. This is easily identifiable on the label, which would indicate “dose” or “dosage.” Additionally, you should work with a qualified natural health expert before using any essential oils internally.

Make sure you select high quality, pure, undiluted essential oils. While you may end up diluting the oils yourself, most of the oils on the market are diluted in less-than-desirable oils. High quality oils cost more than the cheap varieties on the market but are worth the increased price. Many cheap varieties can also contain synthetic versions of the oils, which offer no therapeutic value and may actually be harmful. But, worse than that, many cheap oils are adulterated with solvents used during the extraction process or toxic pesticides used in the growing process of the herbs from which the oils are extracted.

After diluting the oil in carrier oil, always conduct a 48-hour patch test on a small inconspicuous part of your skin to determine whether you have any sensitivity to the essential oils. Do not discontinue any prescribed medications without the guidance of your physician. Use essential oils with caution and the advice of a qualified natural health practitioner during pregnancy or in the treatment of any health condition.

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