As the University of Maryland Medical Center webpage notes, Turmeric has been used for 4,000 years to treat a variety of conditions. “Studies show that turmeric may help fight infections and some cancers, reduce inflammation, and treat digestive problems.”
This spice predominantly present in Indian cuisine has been known for its potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties in both Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine. It has been used to treat wounds, skin diseases, as well as digestive and liver problems.
Here’s what you can expect from turmeric if you use it daily.
1. REDUCED INFLAMMATION
This spice is abundant in anti-inflammatory compounds, the most notable being curcumin. Several studies have noted its excellent anti-inflammatory properties and have pointed to how useful it can be for inflammation-related illnesses.
In a clinical trial in Italy, researchers tested the effects of curcumin on patients with osteoarthritis, a chronic condition of the joints characterized by pain and inflammation. They discovered that patients treated with curcumin were able to “reduce their reliance on standard painkillers (NSAIDs) by 63 percent compared to patients on conventional medical therapy alone.”
“Turmeric has long been known to have anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties and this trial, on this special turmeric extract, is another important step towards validating the curcumin in turmeric as an increasingly popular herbal dietary supplement,” said Mark Blumenthal, Founder and Executive Director of the nonprofit American Botanical Council.
2. REDUCED CANCER RISK
As Dr. Marcel Hernandez notes, “laboratory have shown that curcumin interferes with several important molecular pathways involved in cancer development, growth, and spread.”
While tests on humans are still in their early stages, a considerable amount of evidence on animals has shown that turmeric contains anti-cancer properties. As a study which focused on its properties notes, curcumin has the ability to “interfere with multiple cell signaling pathways,” preventing cancer cells from spreading and reducing inflammation.
“The activity of curcumin reported 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 reflects its ability to affect multiple targets” notes the study abstract.
3. AID AND RELIEF IN DIGESTION-RELATED DISORDERS
Turmeric acts as a tonic for the digestive system, protecting the lining and helping in various digestion-related conditions. Research in this field has discovered that turmeric can be helpful in various digestive conditions, such as:
-Indigestion or dyspepsia: it stimulates the gallbladder to produce bile; reduces symptoms of bloating and gas in people suffering from indigestion.
-Ulcerative colitis: it can help people with ulcerative colitis stay in remission, allowing for a significantly lower relapse.
It should be mentioned that turmeric does not help with stomach ulcers, as it may increase the production of stomach acid. Researchers advise against using turmeric for stomach ulcers because of this.
4. PROMOTING BRAIN HEALTH
In a study published in the Public Library of Science, it was discovered that curcumin, the main ingredient in turmeric, can enhance neurogenesis and cognition. Neurogenesis is the process of the formation of new neurons.
This means that a regular intake of turmeric can boost your brainpower and help you maintain a healthy brain for a longer time. As the study abstract notes, the neurogenesis- and cognition-enhancing potential of prolonged curcumin treatment may be “due to its diverse effects on genes related to growth and plasticity.”
5. PROMOTING HEART HEALTH
The curcumin present in turmeric is also excellent for ensuring a healthy heart. According to scientists from the University of Maryland, curcumin has effective plaque-removal properties, making it effective against atherosclerosis.
Atherosclerosis is plaque buildup that can block arteries and lead to heart attack or stroke. Which is more, it was found that turmeric’s ability to stop platelets from clumping together prevents blood clots from forming up along the walls of arteries.
6. PREVENTION AND TREATMENT OF NEURODEGENERATIVE CONDITIONS
Because of turmeric’s powerful anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and circulatory properties, research points to its ability to prevent and help in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, Multiple Sclerosis, and other conditions.
Bearing in mind that turmeric also has the potential to trigger and enhance neurogenesis, and combined with its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effect, it can be easily said that this spice is one of the best foods for the brain.
7. HELPS IN MAINTAINING HEALTHY BLOOD SUGAR LEVELS
It has been found that turmeric is an excellent food that can help you keep your insulin levels in check. Insulin helps in the metabolization of the glucose we get from food, and a disruption in the creation of this hormone is characterized as a form of diabetes.
Turmeric can help in the production of insulin, lower your insulin resistance, and enhance the effectiveness of diabetic drugs. It cannot, however, replace ongoing treatment for diabetes.
8. REDUCING BLOOD PRESSURE
Turmeric has been observed to be a natural type of diuretic, which helps in the removal of excess fluid in the body. It works great for thinning your blood and dilating blood vessels, meaning that it will improve your circulation and minimize the strain on your heart.
Turmeric is also good for lowering cholesterol levels naturally. All of this adds up to maintaining healthy blood pressure levels and reducing your chance of heart disease.
You should note that the body can’t metabolize curcumin easily, and the best way to increase the absorption is by combining it with some kind of fat or oil.