Updated on October 14th, 2019
Turmeric is a yellow, almost golden colored spice that is extracted from a perennial plant. It’s sometimes called Indian saffron because of its bright color.
Turmeric powder can be used in many dishes, like curry and other traditional Indian cuisine. Besides being quite tasty, turmeric is also chock-full of health benefits.
History Of Turmeric
Turmeric has been used for medical purposes for almost 5000 years, especially in Indian culture. India is known for its rich food, spices, history, but also its ancient Ayurvedic healing practices.
Ayurvedic medicine is an organized set of health principles for both treatment that was integrated into South and East Asian cultures. Turmeric was, and still is, a prominent part of Ayurvedic treatments. Because of the composition of turmeric, it provided cures or relief from a variety of conditions.
Today, people see it as just another spice to flavor food, but turmeric does provide a number of benefits ranging from decreasing inflammation to fighting cancer. Health Benefits of Turmeric
1. Anti-Inflammatory Properties
Turmeric is known for its ability to fight inflammation. Especially with the active ingredient curcumin, which is a polyphenol.
Curcumin effects cellular molecules by improving pain in inflammatory conditions. it can even prevent the onset of some chronic conditions thorough blocking a molecule that triggers such genes.
Conditions arise from the immune system going against its own body when normally its supposed to target foreign substances.
When this happens, white blood cells can damage tissues and organs, causing swelling, chronic pain, swelling, and other physical or psychological symptoms. Inflammatory diseases include rheumatoid arthritis, metabolic syndrome, cystic fibrosis, Alzheimer’s.
Even without such conditions. inflammation may be a contributing factor in any health issue you might have, from depression to cancer.
The amazing thing about curcumin is that it is just as effective as certain anti-inflammatory drugs. Because it’s natural, it is devoid of the negative side effects of pharmaceutical drugs.
2. Antioxidant Properties
The curcumin in turmeric is a polyphenol, which means it’s a strong antioxidant. Antioxidants are substances that oppose free radicals, which are dangerous molecules that lead to oxidative stress and chronic diseases like cancer.
Oxidative stress is when there are more free radicals than there are naturally occurring antioxidants.
Free radicals can come from air pollution, accumulated toxins within the body, and antibiotics in meat. They can eventually contribute to early signs of aging, especially in the skin.
Eating turmeric or even using it in facial masks can improve inflammatory symptoms like acne, rashes, or discoloration. It’s also great for healing the liver from the damage caused by free radicals and other toxic materials that pass through the liver.
3. Pain Relief
A study found that turmeric can be just as helpful as pain medications like ibuprofen when used on participants with chronic knee pain. For this effect, a higher dose of turmeric is needed than just using a bit of it in cooking.
Up to 800 mg of turmeric in capsules can be ingested to achieve pain relieving purposes. Research has shown turmeric to be helpful in reducing joint inflammation, thus decreasing soreness and pain.
Turmeric is great for conditions like irritable bowel syndrome and ulcerative colitis because of the positive impact it has on the digestive system. According a 2004 UK study which tested the effects of turmeric extract on participants with IBS, researchers found that there was less gastrointestinal symptoms like nausea, diarrhea, constipation, and abdominal pain.
This effect is largely attributed to turmeric’s anti-inflammatory properties, which makes sense since there is a connection between digestive issues and high inflammation. Using too much turmeric can be harder for the digestive system to process so make sure you take the recommended dosage.
Turmeric is a relatively safe addition to your diet, no matter what issues you struggle with. It’s important to do research before taking a higher dose turmeric capsules, but the spice generally has little to no side effects.
Even for healthy people with no medical conditions, incorporating a small amount of turmeric daily can improve well-being, manage physical and mental stress, and prevent aging.
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