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In April, 2002, this website's author learned of the claim that there is no Alzheimer's disease in India. Since her family is afflicted with Alzheimer's, and she herself had her share of "senior slowdown," this news was of immense interest. A simple Internet search found the claim touted by such substantial sources as the Leather Research Institute in India, and Discover.com, as well as several health-oriented online sources. Discussions with many Indians uncovered a general and near-total absence of knowledge of Alzheimer's Disease, due to the fact that it does not occur among them at all. Two Indian pharmacists, however, both attest that there is "practically no" AD in India.|
Nowhere, however, have we yet found any reference to a large survey on Alzheimer's in India. The claim of "no AD" is already being denied by a group of doctors in India, at a website called AlzheimersIndia.com. They have emailed this author that the rate of Alzheimers in India is the same as the rest of the world: about 4 to 5% of people over age 65. This website is being put up with the intention of finding the source of the "no Alzheimers" claim, and examining it for its benefits or drawbacks. (Please use the "Contact Us" box to the left if you can assist.)
Along with the news of non-existent Alzheimers in India, the report came that a substance called Curcumin (an extract of turmeric which is a major ingredient in curry powder) is being credited with extremely beneficial effects on health problems of all kinds: hiv, cancer, diabetes, healing of muscle injuries, and myriad other maladies. The research on Curcumin is quite full and convincing. (See the Research page for a list of some of the studies on Curcumin.)
Upon hearing this news, and remembering some of the remarkable health and cognitive abilities of Indian friends she had known in Asia, the author right away began adding curry powder, in small amounts, to every meal. She sprinkled it on food, both in cooking and at the table, approximately as much as one would use of salt, perhaps a bit more. She fortunately had some curry powder from an Indian food store on hand. In a very short time, two or three days, she noticed very great improvement in many aspects of her "senior slowdown." (Discussed more fully in the Effects and the Senior Slowdown pages.) Memory, word recall, handwriting (which had become shaky), and rather large need for sleep, all improved greatly in this near-instantaneous time. Most importantly, the ability to keep several things in mind returned to mid-adult level. This dramatic experience has fuelled the fire to build this website.
Talking to Indian friends, the author often gets the response, "I've used curry powder and these spices all my life, and I've never noticed anything like this." This is followed by a significant pause, and a smile, as both share the realization of why this is so. And therefore, why this discovery may be so vitally important in the rest of the world.
Curry powder is largely composed of turmeric. Turmeric is the source of Curcumin, among many other compounds. The other spices and herbs in curry powder, almost every one, are known from early times for improving mental functioning ("for getting rid of vapours in the braynes"). Curry powder offers a pleasant, easy way to add these vitally important substances to one's diet. A good teaspoon of curry powder (yes, the kind in the supermarket) per pound of meat and/or vegetables in any recipe will make that dish into a mild "curry". Use less to enhance the natural flavors of your dishes without dominating them. Best is to simply keep curry powder at the table and sprinkle it lightly onto your food --- it is already roasted, and blends well with many savory dishes such as soups, omelettes, meats, vegetables, rice, pasta, etc.
If tried on every meal for just a few days, a new clarity of mind may well be noticed, subtle but undeniable. Several different details can be held in mind. Sequences of all kinds can be remembered. The elusive word turns up easily. The handwriting clears up. Fine motor skills such as threading a needle or attaching a piece of jewelry return. Balance may return. The desire to organize and clean returns. Enthusiasm for one's life may become the dominant emotion. More at the
Starting Out page.
Watch out for these:
Some unpleasantness may be noticed if one suffers from advanced gall bladder trouble, since curry powder stimulates the gall bladder. Also, if one uses too much right at the table, it might upset the stomach. Sprinkle it on more than salt, but less than salsa. Regular salt shakers don't let the curry powder pass through. Use shakers with large holes, like parmesan cheese shakers available at Smart and Final.
Join us in discussing and sharing the Curry Powder discoveries and information as we find out more. Join the free email group, "Curry_Powder" at Yahoo!Groups
There are two steps to joining:
1. Join Yahoo!Groups (a simple process, no cost). Click Here if you're not yet enrolled in the Yahoo!Groups system and wish to "Register", as they call it. (This step takes you to Yahoo!Groups Home Page; it does not commit you to anything.)
2. Join the Curry_Powder group within Yahoo!Groups.
Click here to join the Curry_Powder group, only if you've already enrolled in the Yahoo!Groups system.
(This step also does not commit you to anything; it takes you to the Curry_Powder group's Subscribe form.)
Yahoo!Groups (formerly eGroups, formerly Onelist) is unique in the world of discussion groups. YahooGroups has far more than 1,000,000 groups, with well over 10,000,000 members, and is gaining over 1,000 new groups a day. Why there are no press articles about it is quite a mystery. The author learned about it through a group called "Truckers' Wives"!
Our Curry Powder group at Yahoo!Groups is the only discussion group of its kind, devoted to using curry powder for health. It's totally free, no charge, and you don't need to reveal any personal information. As the Curry Powder group grows, imagine being able to ask several other people instantly, in just one email, whatever is concerning you about health, curry powder, or anything even slightly related to these ideas. Get instant information as members discover and post it to the group.
Hope to see you there!
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Curry: as used in India, this simply means "sauce"; Indian foods made with sauces are thus all "curries"
Curry Powder: a readily-available blend of spices which is a Western approximation of Indian spice blends, and typically contains turmeric, coriander, chillies, cumin, mustard, ginger, fenugreek, garlic, cloves, salt, and any number of other spices
Masala: In India and her neighbors, a blend of powdered spices, of a specific type for a specific type of dish; said to be about 100 kinds of masalas in Indian cooking
Garam masala: A readily-available masala composed of delicate, heat-sensitive spices; thus, it is added at the end of cooking, after the flame has been turned off (see left)
Curcumin: Confusion exists in present usage of this word; Curcumin is the name for turmeric in many countries; however, expensive products called "Curcumin" are now being sold with the vitamins at health food outlets, and research on curcumin abounds in current medical literature. Some say that curcumin is the yellow oils that give turmeric its yellow color, and which are also used as both food coloring and textile dyeing. Others call these yellow oils "curcuminoids" or "curcumin extract." Curcumin has nothing to do with "Cumin" spice (see below). See the
Curcuminoids: Chemicals in turmeric that are being studied for their physiological effects; one group of curcuminoids comprises a potent yellow-orange volatile oil (see Curcumin Extract below); this oil contains three compounds called turmerone, atlantone, and zingiberone, among other substances
Curcumin Extract: The term used by Indian pharmacists to denote the potent and expensive yellow-orange oil which is the dye substance extracted from turmeric, used both for food coloring and for textile dye; has been used for centuries in India
Curry Leaves: A plant with small, dark green leaves (about 1 inch long) that give a mild flavor to Indian food; usually used fresh, not dried; they are sometimes included in Curry Powder, but do not give Curry Powder its name
Cumin: A small, warm-climate annual plant of which the seeds are used; often mistranslated as "caraway" in curry recipes due to similarity of the Indian words for both cumin and caraway, jeera, as well as nearly-identical appearance of the seeds; assume that "caraway" means "cumin" in curry recipes; "Cumin" has nothing to do with "Curcumin" (see above)
Chilli: Red chillies, also called Red Pepper or Cayenne Pepper in America
Chilli Powder: In Asia/Europe, the powder of pure red chillies -- this would be called Red Pepper or Cayenne Pepper in America; American "Chilli Powder" is a very different blend of spices, including cumin and with very little red chilli in it, used in Chili con carne, barbecue and "Texas" style cooking
Haldi or Haldie: The Indian name for Turmeric
Turmeric: A plant of which the root resembles ginger, and is used extensively in India, which produces almost the whole world's supply, as well as consumes 80% of that supply; botanical name is curcuma longa; is native to Southeast Asia, from Vietnam to the humid hilly regions of Southern India; Indian name Haldi