Turmeric is a very healthy herb that belongs to the ginger family. Also known as rhizomatous herbaceous perennial plant, it is native from southern Asia where it is used as a medicinal ingredient since ancient times. Curcumin, the potent chemical found in turmeric, is a staple ingredient in Indian dishes. In addition, curcumin is highly regarded for its numerous health benefits including stomach pains, acne, high cholesterol and many more.
Health Benefits of Turmeric
In the beginning, turmeric was primarily used for cooking delicious dishes specifically in the Asian continent. But as people discovered its wide array of uses, heath enthusiasts now attest to the numerous health benefits of turmeric. Today, this healthy ingredient continues to surprise researchers with regards to the wonderful things it can do to the body. Below are some of the most common health benefits of turmeric.
1. Anti-Inflammatory Effects
Recent scientific studies have confirmed what thousands of people have already known before – turmeric contains loads of notorious compounds which make it an extremely superior medicinal plant. Curcumin, a potent chemical compound, is responsible for turmeric’s anti-inflammatory powers. It effectively kills bacteria and other foreign elements that can invade and infect the body. In addition, it has been proven to promote cellular growth while assisting in repairing damaged cells.
Aside from its anti-inflammatory effects, curcumin is also highly demanded for its antioxidant properties. It is used to cure and prevent a wide range of health issues including heart diseases, cancers and degenerative conditions.
Unfortunately, curcumin is poorly absorbed by the body so additional doses must be taken to fully take advantage of its medicinal effects. To be on the safe side, it is advised to consult a doctor for proper dosage especially when taking commercially made turmeric supplements. Other natural ingredients may be prescribed to assist with the faster absorption of turmeric.
2. Prevents Heart Disease
Heart issues and diseases claim hundreds of thousands of lives all over the word each year. Although heart diseases have been studied for numerous years now, many people continue to suffer. Curcumin in turmeric has been proven to minimize risks of heart diseases while promoting better heart functions. Comprehensive scientific studies showed that curcumin is effective in increasing the overall function of endothelium, which is the outer layer of the blood vessels. When endothelium’s functions are minimized or interrupted, various heart risks such as inability to regulate proper blood pressure and blood clotting are likely to develop.
The effects of curcumin to the heart have been compared to the health befits of doing daily exercises. In addition, the efficacy of this natural heart treatment has also been compared to the effects of chemical based drugs.
Furthermore, curcumin also provides anti-inflammatory and added oxidation for the heart. When taken regular, curcumin decreased the risk of having a heart attack by 65 percent.
3. May Potentially Treat Cancer
Another fatal disease that kills millions of people around the world is cancer. There are many forms of cancer, but turmeric is considered as a potential natural treatment for most cancer types. Scientific researches showed that curcumin can minimize the growth of cancer cells to the molecular level. In addition, curcumin can effectively kill existing cancer cells, thus preventing them from spreading to other body organs.
Although the effects of turmeric to people suffering from cancer are not yet fully conclusive, there is a strong cure potential with regards to it as a preventive measure. A study involving men that who regularly consumed turmeric versus those who did not showed 40% decrease in the risk of developing cancer for the group which used this herb.
4. Minimizes Arthritis
Arthritis is a common health issue that is prevalent in western countries. There are many forms of arthritis, but almost all types experience some kind of inflammation of the joints. Due to the fact that turmeric is packed with anti-inflammatory properties, it is highly demanded as natural cure for arthritis.
For people suffering from arthritis, turmeric works by minimizing the swelling around the affected area to enable better movement of the muscles and joints. When taken regularly, turmeric is considered as a more effective treatment than chemically based anti-inflammatory drugs.
Depression affects thousands of people including teens and adults. It is considered as a serious health risk that can potentially lead to death when not treated properly. Depression is highly connected to the shrinking of the area of the brain that is responsible for learning and memory. It is also associated with decrease of various brain functions.
Curcumin helps treat depression by boosting brain functions and improving brain-derived neurotrophic factor. A scientific study showed that people suffering from depression experienced better mood and behavior after taking turmeric for six months. Moreover, the study also revealed that turmeric has better effects against depression compared to common anti-depressant treatments such as Prozac.
There are also scientific evidences that prove turmeric’s ability to increase brain neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine. In the end, turmeric users do not only experience potent anti-depressant effects, but also get better overall brain functions.
6. Cures Acne
Acne is commonly associated with young people going through their adolescent years. As puberty approaches, changes in hormone activities lead to the formation of skin issues such as acne. However, adults can also still develop acne and other skin diseases. Turmeric is rich with antibacterial properties that work best with killing germs and dirt that cause acne. Furthermore, turmeric’s anti-inflammatory properties effectively minimizes swelling on the affected area while also preventing further infection.
Turmeric can also be used to treat other skin issues such as allergies, itching, ringworm, etc. Aside from antibacterial powers, turmeric also provides soothing and calming effects. Turmeric can be directly applied to skin affected by acne. A suggested method is to mix turmeric powder with honey and apply over the infected skin.
7. Diabetes Regulator
When not maintained properly, diabetes can lead to death. Although there are no drugs to totally cure diabetes, patients are recommended to take all precautionary methods to help maintain and regulate its effects. One effective way to prevent further diabetes symptoms is by consuming turmeric.
Regular consumption of turmeric can effectively promote insulin production, which is responsible for breaking down sugar into energy. When proper levels of insulin are maintained, developing high glucose level is prevented. In addition, turmeric also minimizes the body’s resistance to insulin, which is considered as type 2 diabetes. In order to maintain proper blood sugar level, the body must be able to properly use sugar intake. If the body builds insulin resistance, sugar will accumulate and high glucose levels will develop further complications.
8. Better Overall Immune System
Turmeric is rich with lipopolysaccharide, which promotes stronger and better overall immune system. In addition, curcumin provides high levels of antibacterial and antioxidant properties that act as the body’s superior wall against various sicknesses such as common cold, fever, cough, and flu.
A study showed that people who regularly drank turmeric tea had lesser risk of contracting sicknesses such as fever and cough compared to non-drinkers. When feeling under the weather or experiencing flu like symptoms, it is advised to drink turmeric tea twice a day.
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