Let’s know the facts and separate them from fiction:
What is turmeric?
Turmeric is a plant in the ginger family, native to southeast Asia. Grown commercially, primarily in India. Its used as a culinary spice and in traditional medicine.
Turmeric is a common spice and a major ingredient in curry powder. We get turmeric from the root of Curcuma longa. It contains a chemical called curcumin which might reduce swelling.
This yellow rhizome has a warm, bitter taste. It is frequently used to flavor or color curry powders, mustards, butter and cheeses.
It has been used in India as a spice and a medicinal herb for thousands of years. Recently science has started to back up traditional claims that turmeric contains compounds with medicinal properties.
These compounds are called curcuminoids. Curcumin is the most effective one. This is the main active ingredient in turmeric, which has powerful anti-inflammatory effects. It is a powerful anti-oxidant.
Turmeric is a powerful anti-inflammatory. It provides ease in joint pain, stiffness and inflammation. If you try turmeric for joint pain ensure that you take it with black pepper. Black pepper ensures better absorption of curcumin into the bloodstream.
Curcumin in turmeric is anti-inflammatory
Though inflammation is good as it helps fight foreign invaders and repairs damage in your body. If this inflammation becomes chronic then it’s a matter of concern for you. It attacks your own body tissues.
Science believes that chronic inflammation leads to a number of health issues. These could be heart diseases, cancer, metabolic syndrome, Alzheimer’s disease, and various degenerative conditions.
Hence, anything that can fight chronic inflammation is helpful in preventing and helping treat these conditions.
Increases the antioxidant capacity of the body
Oxidative damage is considered to be one of the mechanisms of aging and many diseases. Free radicals tend to react with important organic substances such as fatty acids, proteins or DNA.
Anti-oxidants protect your body from these free radicals. Curcumin is a potent antioxidant that can neutralize free radicals due to its chemical structure.
Turmeric may help prevent cancer:
Cancer is a disease characterized by uncontrolled cell growth. There are different types of cancer that seem to be affected by turmeric.
- Curcumin has been found to be a beneficial herb in cancer treatment. Studies have shown that it can:
- contribute to the death of cancerous cells
- reduce angiogenesis (growth of new blood vessels in tumors)
- reduce the metastasis (spread of cancer)
Researchers believe that curcumin in turmeric is linked to better memory. The antioxidant properties of curcumin lead to less decline in neurocognition.
Helps fight depression
Curcumin in turmeric helps in the release of chemicals like serotonin and dopamine. These chemicals regulate mood and other bodily functions. This compound is also as effective as fluoxetine in lessening symptoms of depression.
Curcumin lowers your risk of heart disease:
Heart disease is the number one reason for death all over the world. Researchers have found a number of factors contribute to heart diseases. However, heart disease is incredibly complicated and many factors contribute to it.
Curcumin may help reverse many steps in the heart disease process. The main function of curcumin related to heart disease is improving the function of the endothelium. The endothelium is the lining of the blood vessels.
The endothelial dysfunction is the major reason for heart disease. This is when the endothelium is unable to regulate blood pressure, blood clotting and various other factors.
Whenever you have a cough and cold, your old grandmother’s recipe always includes turmeric tea. Curcumin might help you fight a variety of viruses including herpes and flu. One should keep in mind that turmeric has only 3% curcumin and it is not absorbed fully in the body. So, sipping turmeric tea occasionally won’t help.
Eases premenstrual symptoms
Curcumin eases premenstrual symptoms.
Irritable bowel syndrome:
Turmeric eases irritable bowel syndrome like abdominal pain. This herb is used in Ayurveda as a digestive healing agent.
Turmeric is a famous remedy for acne and pimples. For generations, ladies have used this herb for the purpose of skin beautification.
Improves liver function:
The anti-oxidant effect of turmeric keeps your liver toxins free, thus ensuring overall good health.
Turmeric has many health benefits. This yellow spice supports immune health, helps relieve pain, and can aid in digestion. It is always better to do thorough research before trying anything as there could be some side effects as well.