(NaturalNews) Nature is full of various herbs and spices that protect against disease and even treat and cure it. And according to Chris Kilham, an ethnobotanist and Fox News' "Medicine Hunter", turmeric root -- also known in its extract form as curcumin -- is one such powerful spice that appears to both prevent the onset of Alzheimer's disease and even cure it.
"People who develop Alzheimer's disease get a sticky plaque in the brain called amyloid beta," explained Kilham to Dr. Manny Alvarez in a recent Fox News interview. Such plaques either develop as a result of Alzheimer's, or they are the direct cause of it. But either way, they are directly related to the degenerative process.
However studies show that turmeric actually eliminates these plaques, both when they are first starting to form and even during the late stages of their advancement.
"What we have in turmeric is something that appears to inhibit the development of Alzheimer's disease…and actually help to reduce the occurrence of plaque in the brain if you have it," noted Kilham. "We know in animal studies, when animals actually have amyloid beta plaque in their brains and they're given turmeric root…that plaque is reduced."
Observational studies have also shown that people groups who eat large amounts of turmeric virtually never get Alzheimer's.
"In countries where people consume a lot of [turmeric], there's a very low incidence of Alzheimer's disease," emphasized Kilham. "In India and Southeast Asia, it's a rare disease. And [in the U.S.] it's very, very common."
According to Kilham, drug companies are hard at work trying to develop drug versions of turmeric, but he recommends eating real turmeric whenever possible, and taking turmeric extract supplements if eating the spice in food is not an option.
"A challenge that we face is that drug companies…can't patent turmeric root," he said. "So they will continue to try to develop something else. [But] eating turmeric, eating its extracts…appears to be protective against one of the most horrific and debilitating diseases we know."