Turmeric sometimes called Indian saffron or the golden spice is a spice that comes from the turmeric plant. It has countless of health benefits and it is commonly used in Asian food.
You probably know turmeric as the main spice in curry. It has a warm, bitter taste and is frequently used to flavor or color curry powders, mustards, butters, and cheeses. But the root of turmeric is also used widely to make medicine. It contains a yellow-colored chemical called curcumin, which is often used to color foods and cosmetics.
Curcumin is the active ingredient in turmeric, and it has powerful biological properties. Ayurvedic medicine, a traditional Indian system of treatment, recommends turmeric for a variety of health conditions. These include chronic pain and inflammation. Western medicine has begun to study turmeric as a pain reliever and healing agent.
What Are Health Benefits Of Turmeric?
It helps your body fight foreign invaders and also has a role in repairing damage.
Without inflammation, pathogens like bacteria could easily take over your body and kill you.
Although acute, short-term inflammation is beneficial, it can become a major problem when it becomes chronic and inappropriately attacks your body’s own tissues.
Therefore, anything that can help fight chronic inflammation is of potential importance in preventing and even treating these diseases.
Curcumin is strongly anti-inflammatory. In fact, it’s so powerful that it matches the effectiveness of some anti-inflammatory drugs, without the side effects
Chronic inflammation contributes to many common Western diseases. Curcumin can suppress many molecules known to play major roles in inflammation.
Oxidative damage is believed to be one of the mechanisms behind aging and many diseases.
The main reason antioxidants are so beneficial is that they protect your body from free radicals.
Curcumin is a potent antioxidant that can neutralize free radicals due to its chemical structure.
In addition, curcumin boosts the activity of your body’s own antioxidant enzymes.
In that way, curcumin delivers a one-two punch against free radicals. It blocks them directly, then stimulates your body’s own antioxidant defenses.
3. Pain Reliever
Turmeric is well known in holistic therapy because of it’s anti-oxidant abilities. The antioxidant effect of turmeric appears to be so powerful that it is said to be able to stop your liver from being damaged by toxins. This is great news for people who take powerful drugs for issues such as diabetes or other health conditions that might hurt their liver with long-term use.
4. Aids digestion
Turmeric can help digestion. Turmeric whilst adding flavour to food, can also play an important role in digesting that food. The spice can contribute to healthy digestion as a result of its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Turmeric is used in Ayurvedic medicine as a digestive healing agent. Western medicine has now started studying how turmeric can help with gut inflammation and gut permeability, two measures of digestive efficiency.
The spice is even being explored as a treatment for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
5. Improved Brain Function and a Lower Risk of Brain Diseases
Curcumin boosts levels of the brain hormone brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which increases the growth of new neurons and fights various degenerative processes in your brain.
It may also improve memory and make you smarter, which seems logical given its effects on BDNF levels.
6. Boosts Stress Tolerance
If you feel stressed, adaptogens should be your new best friend! In herbal medicine, some botanicals are termed “adaptogens”, which means they have the ability to modulate the release of stress hormones from the adrenal glands. This can help you adapt better to physical and emotional stress and be more resilient to anything that comes your way. They also help to keep your hormones balanced.
The curcumin in turmeric is a known adaptogen that has the ability to decrease the secretion of stress hormones in the body. In 2011, researchers in India found that turmeric had several adaptogenic properties that help with body weight, memory, blood sugar, and moreover that it helps the body maintain healthy stress hormone levels
7. Weight Management
Elevated stress can cause sudden weight gain. When stress hormones (cortisol) get out of whack, fat accumulates near the stomach because the cells in the stomach are more sensitive to cortisol, and very effective at storing energy. As turmeric can help you balance your stress hormones, it can help stop that extra spare tire from forming around your waist.
The anti-inflammatory properties in curcumin are able to fight obesity too. One study actually found that taking curcumin can reduce the growth of fat cells!
8. Joint Health and Mobility
As the curcumin in turmeric is an anti-inflammatory, it can benefit the joints and help keep them from getting inflamed and swollen. This was demonstrated in a scientific study on rheumatoid arthritis patients. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory disorder that causes painful swelling in the joints. Researchers found that 500 mg. of daily curcumin was more effective than the prescription drug Diclofenac when given to RA patients.
When it comes to taking turmeric for your joints, it was shown most effective when taken before symptoms kick in, as a preventative measure to keep your joints healthy, pain-free, and mobile. But some studies have demonstrated it can help treat osteoarthritis (a degenerative disease of the joint) as well.
9. Lower Risk of Heart Disease
Heart disease is the number 1 cause of death in the world.
Researchers have studied it for many decades and learned a lot about why it happens.
Unsurprisingly, heart disease is incredibly complicated and various things contribute to it.
Curcumin may help reverse many steps in the heart disease process.
Perhaps the main benefit of curcumin when it comes to heart disease is improving the function of the endothelium, which is the lining of your blood vessels.
In addition, curcumin reduces inflammation and oxidation (as discussed above), which play a role in heart disease as well.
Did you know that Bitter kola has been used for centuries to treat chest colds in traditional medicine? You might like to read 8 amazing bitter kola health benefits