Turmeric is a spice and a major component in traditional Eastern medicine. Check out the infographic below to know about its incredible benefits!
Turmeric is a flowering plant, and distantly related to ginger. Just like ginger, its tuberous shoots are used in foods and health supplements.
In its powdered form, it has gone through a lot of processing that includes boiling, drying, and fine grinding. This is what we all know as turmeric: it lends a distinct flavor and color to food. It’s not just a colorful spice, it has numerous therapeutic and powerful benefits.
Curcumin is the active component in turmeric. Its a phytonutrient with antioxidative properties, that helps to bolster joint, cardiovascular, and overall health and well being. Turmeric is considered a superfood by everyone looking to add value to their daily health and curative medical routines. It’s been used in India and many Asian countries throughout history, both in the food and in various remedies. Read on to find out how it can make a difference in your life.
Helps to reduce inflammation:
Turmeric can contribute to treating inflammatory conditions like arthritis, joint inflammation. Certain studies done in these areas, such as those published in the 2016 issue of the Journal of Medicinal Food, have shown that turmeric is on par with NSAIDs when it comes to relieving pain and stiffness in arthritis.
While inflammation includes the conditions mentioned above, it also comprises muscle sprains, injuries, cancer, irritable bowel syndrome, and liver disease. Turmeric can help treat these and provide some relief from them.
Helps to relieve arthritic pain:
In an Italian study done on patients with knee osteoarthritis, half the patients took a special turmeric formulation to supplement the standard medical treatment, while the other half only took standard medical treatment. The group that took the turmeric supplements was seen to have great improvements in emotional well-being, a great decline in C-reactive protein (an indicator for inflammation). These participants were also able to reduce their use of NSAIDs by 63% compared to the other participants. This isn’t the only study done on the efficacy of turmeric in treating medical conditions but it is certainly a good sign that it can help alleviate pain and the symptoms of arthritis.
Helps to heal stomach ulcers:
Stomach ulcers and inflammation can occur as a result of stress, excessive use of NSAIDs and a variety of other causes. A 2012 study, published in the Anti-oxidants and Redox Signaling Journal, revealed exactly how the curcumin in turmeric helps in healing. It showed that curcumin could promote blood vessels at the required site, and restore collagen fibers (previously destroyed by NSAIDs). Turmeric also helps get rid of H.pylori in the gut, when ulcers are brought on by this bacterium.
Helps to enhance respiratory health:
Turmeric can help reduce the inflammation of the bronchial tubes during an infection.
It will suppress the activation of macrophages (cells initiating the immune response) and inhibit the NF-kB (Nuclear Factor-kappa B) which is responsible for inflammation.
As a great antioxidant, turmeric can help reduce cell damage from infection. It even helps to fight off many infections and viruses.
The curcumin in turmeric can help increase immunity by stimulating the production of cells (such as T cells, B cells, neutrophils, dendritic cells) that will kill anything that threatens respiratory health.
Turmeric in various forms can help relieve symptoms of respiratory distress:
Helps to strengthen ligaments:
It has already been mentioned that curcumin is a great anti-inflammatory agent. It helps to neutralize the harmful effects of the inflammatory interleukin Beta 1, which brings about the degeneration of tendons, cartilage, and ligaments. Curcumin is often better-absorbed with Bioperine, a compound found in black pepper.
Is great for the skin:
Turmeric’s anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties work to remedy a variety of skin conditions: psoriasis, eczema, acne, scabies, alopecia, lichen planus, and a host of other issues. However, whenever applying anything on your skin, test it first to make sure you’re not allergic to it.
Helps wounds heal faster:
Being an anti-inflammatory, a paste of turmeric applied to an infected wound as a dressing, and cleaned and changed over a few days can speed up the healing process considerably. It will fight the bacteria in the wound, help clot the blood and minimize scarring. Does your standard wound treatment do all that?
Helps improve brain function:
Degenerative brain disorders are notoriously difficult to treat. Imagine the excitement in the field of neurological medical research when it was found that when aromatic-turmerone, a compound found in turmeric, was administered into the neural stem cells of rats, it resulted in better brain repair, and boosted its ability to repair itself by 80%. While the same method may not be used in humans, the possibilities of a cure for diseases like Alzheimers and dementia would certainly bring relief to many sufferers and their families.
Many studies have been done to test the therapeutic effect of curcumin on LDL (bad) cholesterol. Molecular Nutrition and Food Research had recently featured a study where curcumin reduced LDL cholesterol in mice, as well as triglycerides and CRP (C-reactive protein).
In a study published in the Indian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology, ten healthy participants took 500 mg of curcumin per day for a week. Not only did their blood levels of oxidized LDL (bad) cholesterol drop by 33 %, but their total cholesterol dropped 11.63 %, and their HDL (“good” cholesterol) increased by 29 %
Helps combat depression:
In a study published in Phytotherapy Research(published 06 July 2013), entitled: Efficacy and Safety of Curcumin in Major Depressive Disorder: A Randomized Controlled Trial, it was found that when the action of curcumin, was compared with the action of fluoxetine, a standard drug in treating Major Depressive Disorder, the patients treated with curcumin fared slightly better than those on the drug.
With so many remarkable benefits to be derived from the humble, yellow, turmeric, why not make it a part of your daily life? It could be a cure to many of your own ailments and eventually lead to a healthier, happier you. After all, isn’t yellow the color of happiness?