Experts at the University of Maryland Medical Center note that turmeric has been used for 4,000 years, adding that it’s the best remedy for many health conditions. Turmeric fights infections and destroys cancer cells. It also reduces inflammation and soothes digestive issues.
Turmeric adds flavor and color to your food, and its healing power is greater than most conventional medication. Today, turmeric is added to many drinks and is a common ingredient in cookbooks. Let’s not forget that it’s also added to cosmetic products.
Turmeric is native to southwest India, and belongs to the ginger family. We use it as a spice in our food, and it’s most common in Bangladeshi, Indian and Pakistani cuisine.
But, the yellow spice is much more than just… a spice. It’s one of the greatest ancient remedies, and Asians have been using it for thousands of years. Today, turmeric is used in the treatment of numerous ailments due to its ability to relieve almost every symptom. It’s approved by both medical professionals and herbal practitioners.
6 common benefits of turmeric
- Reduces inflammation
Turmeric is one of the greatest anti-inflammatory agents out there. It contains over twelve anti-inflammatory compounds. Curcumin, its active ingredient, gives this spice its power, as confirmed in numerous studies.
One of these studies was published in the October 2007 issue of Alternative and Complementary Therapies. Dr. James Duke, a world renowned ethnobotanist, released his findings in the July 2008 issue of the American Botanical Council.
Dr. Duke went through 700 different studies, and confirmed that turmeric outperforms commercial drugs. Most of these prescription drugs are used in the treatment of chronic, debilitating conditions. Unlike turmeric, most of the drugs have serious side effects.
- Reduced risk of cancer
Although the research is still in its initial phase, both lab and animal studies have provided promising results. According to researchers at the American Cancer Society, curcumin “interferes with several important molecular pathways involved in cancer development, growth and spread.”
Another study from the US National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health confirms the anticancer effect of curcumin. The study outlines several “pathways” that the active ingredient counteracts to provide such properties.
Researchers emphasized the cancer-fighting properties of curcumin in their summation.
Curcumin is effective against leukemia and lymphoma, gastrointestinal cancers, genitourinary cancers, breast cancer, ovarian cancer, head and neck squamous cell carcinoma, lung cancer, melanoma, neurological cancers, and sarcoma. This activity reflects the ability to affect numerous targets. In other words, an ‘old-age’ disease such as cancer needs to be treated with ‘age-old’ treatments.
- Enhances digestion and relieves digestive disorders
Curcumin is also powerful when it comes to enhancing digestion and relieving the symptoms of digestive disorders.
A group of scientists at the University of Maryland Medical Center conducted a study, and confirmed the effect of turmeric in several conditions. Indigestion and ulcerative colitis are two of them.
Here are some of their findings:
Curcumin stimulates the production of bile in the gallbladder, thus improving digestion
Turmeric is a safeguard to those dealing with ulcerative colitis (a chronic condition of the digestive tract accompanied with intermittent symptoms)
However, researchers couldn’t find anything that relates turmeric and stomach ulcers. Moreover, sufferers are usually advised to avoid turmeric, at it increases the production of stomach acid.
- Improves brain health
Turmeric has great effect on your cognitive skills. Researchers confirm that turmeric enhances your learning ability in different environments. Curcumin also helps in preventing neurodegenerative conditions, such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Scientists also conducted a study which was later published in the Public Library of Science. It gives us a further insight into the brain-boosting effect of turmeric.
The study involved a curcumin-fortified diet, and scientists checked the behavioral performance in rats after 6 and 12 weeks. According to their conclusion, curcumin enhanced the spatial and non-spatial memory. They also found a connection between curcumin treatments and improved cognition and neurogenesis.
To make it more clear, turmeric may be of great help in neuroplasticity – or the development of new brain connections.
- Strengthens heart
Curcumin makes your heart healthy. The Maryland study also confirmed the effect of curcumin on plaque buildups. These buildups lead to heart attack and stroke. Have you ever heard of atherosclerosis?
Curcumin reduces bad LDL cholesterol, and prevents clots. This leads us to the following conclusion: Turmeric interacts with blood-clot medications. Consult your doctor before supplementing turmeric, especially if you’re taking any medication.
- Relieves arthritis symptoms
As mentioned before, turmeric is an incredible anti-inflammatory agent. It relieves arthritis symptoms, and many health professionals swear in its power. Some say that it’s as powerful as other pharmaceutical alternatives. Or even more.
Curcumin supplements helped patients with rheumatoid arthritis, as confirmed in a study released in the US National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health. The supplements provided a “reduction in tenderness,” and reduced “disease activity.” This wasn’t the case of study participants who didn’t take any supplements.
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