Exodus 30:23-25

“Take thou also unto thee principal spices, of pure myrrh five hundred shekels, and of sweet cinnamon half so much, even two hundred and fifty shekels, and of sweet calamus two hundred and fifty shekels, and of cassia five hundred shekels, after the shekel of the sanctuary, and of oil olive an hin: and thou shalt make it an oil of holy ointment, an ointment compound after the art of the apothecary: it shall be an holy anointing oil.”

Two things happen to you that make you realize you are getting older. The first is that you start to lose your memory, and… I can’t remember what the second one is.

One thing that I do remember, however, is my favorite food! I just love Indian food, and that is very helpful because scientists at UCLA have discovered that turmeric – the spice which gives Indian curries their bright colors – can actually improve memory among certain older people. Turmeric contains a substance called curcumin, which is known to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

The researchers carried out a double-blind, placebo-controlled study involving 40 adults between the ages of 50 and 90 years who had mild memory complaints. Participants received either the placebo or curcumin twice a day for 18 months. Over the 18 months, participants in the curcumin group performed 28% better in cognitive memory tests than they had done before the experiment, whereas negligible change was noticed among the placebo takers.

Anecdotal evidence has suggested that senior citizens in India suffer less memory loss than many in Western societies. Dr. Gary Small from UCLA said, “Exactly how curcumin exerts its effects is not certain, but it may be due to its ability to reduce brain inflammation, which has been linked to both Alzheimer’s disease and major depression.”

When I am next enjoying a chicken jalfrezi with pilau rice, it will be worth pausing to recall how God has placed such useful materials in the world around us. At least, I shall, if I remember.

 Prayer: Thank You, Lord, for the good things You have placed in this world for our comfort and our benefit. Help us to praise You for all Your good gifts. Amen.

Ref: University of California – Los Angeles. (2018, January 23). Curcumin improves memory and mood: Twice-daily supplements boosted cognitive power over 18 months. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 26, 2018 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/01/180123101908.htm. Image: Chicken jalfrezi, pilau rice, and raita; Author: Tarquin Binary, license: Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Generic.