Popularly known as the golden spice because of its color, turmeric is not new in our lives. This bright yellow spice is a constant ingredient in most kitchen shelves. It’s mostly found in products like curry powder, herbal extracts, and teas. For most people, turmeric is just another spice that makes food taste better. However, there is more to this spice.
In India where it’s native, turmeric is used as a medicinal herb for issues like inflammation, indigestion, and chronic pain. Today in the West, the herb is used to facilitate body healing and to relieve pain. These are just a few of the therapeutic applications of turmeric. Other than in powder form, turmeric exists in supplements and root forms.
Why is Turmeric Therapeutic?
Turmeric contains curcumin as its active ingredients. Curcumin has been researched and found to contain amazing anti-inflammation and pain relieving properties. Curcumin is also known to stimulate anti-oxidation effects and this is important in promoting natural healing. The spice comes nutrient-packed. It’s rich in therapeutic minerals like:
- Iron (important for blood formation)
- Vitamin C (important for fighting infections)
- Potassium (important for blood clotting)
You should also not forget that turmeric also contains energy boosters like sugars and proteins which are important for your body and brain.
Top Health Benefits
Due to its therapeutic properties, turmeric promotes the following health benefits:
1. Soothes Body Inflammations
Generally, inflammation is beneficial when it’s short-lived. It helps your body fight bacteria and other pathogens. However, it can be a problem if it’s long-term. In such a case, it starts attacking your own body instead of defending it. This is where turmeric comes in. Through curcumin, turmeric boosts anti-inflammation effects in the body. This is how turmeric fights inflammation diseases like Alzheimer, arthritis, and stress disorders. Unlike drugs, research shows that curcumin has no major side effects when fighting inflammations.
2. Boost Brain Functions
For normal and improved brain functions, neurons have to divide and increase in number. This process is driven by a hormone called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). Researchers argue that curcumin helps to boost the levels of this hormone in the brain. By doing so, you are able to either slow down or avoid Alzheimer, Dementia, and depression. This is not all. Curcumin is also known to enhance memory. Simply, it makes you sharper. However, this doesn’t mean that you should overdose curcumin just because you want to become smarter. The intake has to be regulated.
3. Relieves Different Kinds of Pain
For both acute and chronic pain, turmeric has shown promising results in bringing relief. A certain study shows that the potency can match that of ibuprofen and other potent pain killers. Mark you; there are no worrying effects attached to turmeric as it’s often the case with most pain relievers. The turmeric dose for pain relief may vary but most experts tend to recommend 800mg/day. That’s if you are taking turmeric capsules. Examples of pains you can relieve with turmeric include burn pain, orofacial pain, arthritis pain, and sciatica.
4. Treats Digestion Problems
There’s no doubt that turmeric gives your food flavor. This is why it’s a constant ingredient in curry powders. However, you should expect more from it than just tasty food. It’s actually quite impressive in digestive functions. By facilitating proper digestion, turmeric prevents gut issues like Irritable Bowel Syndrome and indigestion. It can also treat ulcerative colitis, bloating, and gut inflammation. Medical evidence shows that the reason behind this benefit is because of curcumin’s anti-inflammation effects on the digestive tract. For this reason, it’s advisable to include turmeric whenever you can in your food preparation.
5. Improves Heart Health
So many lives are lost in the world today because of Heart Disease. Surprisingly, a majority of cases are preventable by minor lifestyle adjustments like including turmeric in your diet. Due to its anti-inflammation properties, turmeric not only prevents Heart Disease but also Heart Attack. Curcumin present in the spice improves the lining and structure of blood vessels and this is crucial in regulating blood pressure and promoting blood clotting. If blood clotting is not regulated and blood pressure is not normalized, there’s always the risk of Heart Disease. Studies also show that turmeric boosts healthy cholesterol. This is important in improving your heart health.
6. Can Fight Cancer
We all know how terrible cancer is. The fact that tumor cells constantly multiply makes cancer more dreadful than any other disease. There’s good new though. Several studies show that turmeric may not only prevent but also treat some types of cancer. We are talking about colorectal cancer, colon cancer, multiple myeloma, and pancreatic cancer. Researchers have found that turmeric has inhibitory properties. This is quite important in stopping the proliferation of cancer cells. More importantly, it prevents cancer cells from forming in the first place.
7. Promotes Joint Health
A recent study done on patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis shows that curcumin is vital in managing the condition. According to the study, curcumin is more effective than the most prescribed anti-inflammatory drug and pain reliever, Diclofenac. Curcumin is able to reduce joint inflammation and swelling. It’s also able to soothe joint pain. However, the study advocates for the use of turmeric as a preventive measure as opposed to a treatment.
8. Boost Liver Functions
The liver is your body’s detoxification center. Basically, it’s the organ responsible for fighting toxins. The problem is that some toxins are so powerful o fight back and so they end up attacking the organ. You can prevent such a scenario by taking turmeric. Due to the antioxidant properties of curcumin, turmeric helps your liver to develop resistance against the destructive toxins. In the end, your liver functions are naturally boosted and you are able to get rid of toxins effortlessly.
9. Prevents Weight Gain
Are you aware that stress can make you gain weight faster? Research shows that stress promotes the secretion of cortisol (the stress hormone). The hormone makes you want to eat more and may stimulate fat accumulation around the waistline. The good news is that the secretion of cortisol can be neutralized by agents found in turmeric called adaptogens. As a result, turmeric makes you stress tolerant. In the long run, you are able to overcome the urge to eat a lot and waistline fat tends to be broken down more efficiently.