Saturday, July 11, 2009

Nicotine Addicts - Use This Spice To Alleviate Your Illnesses

image by diana34, sxc.hu

This Spice Can Stop Further Liver Damage

We all know how harmful nicotine is to health. The ubiquitous cigarette or pipe or bidi or cigar or whatever is your favorite smoking device, held to the lips, nowadays does not even conjure the image of the suave and dapper individual that films of yesteryears used to project. Today the image is anything but. The smokers know it too, of course, and despite that, stopping the hand from reaching out for that next puff is rather difficult. The body is no longer in one's control. That is what, after all, entrapping oneself to some addiction leads one to.

image by gklinek, sxc.hu

While research continues on a) how to get the tobacco smokers off their addiction, and b) how to genetically modify the tobacco itself to produce a more benign version --- it appears to be still some way off before a foolproof solution can be found that can guarantee 100% success in all cases. And while this research continues in the labs around the world, millions of human beings continue to merrily smoke their favorite brand, and correspondingly millions of precious livers continue to get perforated in this smoke. Till such time that some real breakthrough is obtained, can these livers be saved from further damage?

image by defbv, sxc.hu

Turns out that this might not be an impossible task - of saving the smoked livers from further damage. Tobacco these days comes blended with a myriad variety of sweeteners and flavors. Researchers say there's one flavor that the addicts might do well to get hitched to. There is a whole bunch of papers published in peer-reviewed journals that points to the efficacy of this naturally-occurring pigment on restoring the liver to its original health. (And here is an article on the pigment, published earlier on this blog.) This pigment, in case you haven't clicked on the links already, is called curcumin, and is an important ingredient in a spice known as turmeric, grown in abundance in south-Asian countries, and used as a routine condiment in meal preparations in south-Asian homes.

Turmeric root, wiki

Enterprising entrepreneurs amongst us might find it an attractive proposition to conduct a survey to find out whether anybody else has already brought a curcumin-filled cigarette filter in the market; and if not, then be the first off the mark to do so!

image by stocker, sxc.hu

There is an interesting twist to the saga of nicotine addiction, and the application of curcumin to this twist is interesting too. Of late, a number of societies around the world have begun taking to a smoking device that originated in India centuries ago. Why and how it spread can be explained by the internet. Very slowly, an entire social culture and etiquette is building around this device. I am of course referring to the hookah, also known as Shisha or Nargeela or Argeela, depending on which community you are a product of or have come in touch with. Besides the languid glamour that has come to be associated with hookah, another (mis)conception that has added to its attractiveness is the notion that the nicotine loses some of its toxicity when it bubbles through boiling water, so you can still enjoy your high but with a reduced risk. Which, unfortunately is not true. This fad is growing to such an extent that niche cafes are springing up in the unlikeliest nooks and corners to cater to the fast growing clientele, the entire cuisine revolving around this ingenious contraption with burning coal in one container and water in another.

image by thiagors, sxc.hu

Cafes now offer hookahs with water laced in different flavors. Why not lace the water with curcumin? The interesting point is this: while it is confirmed that the boiling water makes no impact on tobacco's toxicity, it is confirmed that curcumin's extraordinary properties are further enhanced when it is mixed in water that is then boiled. The recipe suggested is to add 5mg of curcumin in every ml of water. Boiling the mix for ten minutes is all it takes for the contraption to turn from a liver-killer to a liver-saver.

image by selma04187, sxc.hu

So in case you are planning to launch the next hookah cafe in your town, you might consider adding curcumin-flavor to your menu-card, and tom-tom in the advertisement fliers about how your clientele's health-consciousness is your uppermost concern.

image by mattox, sxc.hu

[Talking of health consciousness, here is an article that describes cultures whose inhabitants enjoy the best of health --- across generations, all because they are very conscious about it: "You've Entered The Blue Zone".]

image by ap-ture, sxc.hu

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