What is Turmeric and where does it come from?
Turmeric is an important Indian spice, part of the ginger family, that has been a staple in cooking for several thousand years. But this amazing plant also has many medicinal applications, including being used as part of medicines that help to clear infections, and inflammation, both internally and externally.
Benefits of Curcumin
Beyond holistic remedies, medical practitioners of the West have started to recognise the benefits that turmeric can offer. In alphabetical order, for ease of searching, this article contains several of the known benefits of curcumin when it’s used for medicinal applications.
In a 2017 study, it was discovered that turmeric may be able to improve memory, and lessen mood swings in individuals that suffer from mild cases of memory loss. This is believed to be caused by the anti-inflammatory properties of the space, because brain inflammation has been linked to Alzheimer’s disease.
Like the evidence that suggests that turmeric may be able to help in the reduction of inflamed nerves in the brain, curcumin may be able to protect the brain against oxidative stress. This could help improve our memories, and keep our minds sharp.
Turmeric is a potent anti-inflammatory, one of the best, considering that it’s all-natural. Its anti-inflammatory properties have been tested on various forms of inflammation, including arthritis, where studies have shown that using turmeric resulted in a significant reduction of symptoms. The spice has been called a “super anti-inflammatory”, matching the effectiveness of powerful anti-inflammatory drugs.
For anyone with type-1 or type-2 diabetes, the blood-sugar balancing effects of turmeric might be worth looking into. The spice can help lower blood-sugar levels and fight resistance to insulin, making your life with these conditions easier to manage.
The antiseptic properties of turmeric make it an effective healer for burns. Not only will it reduce inflammation and lessen pain, it will also reduce the overall look of the burn mark.
Curcumin, which is the main component in turmeric, has been discovered to block an enzyme that promotes the growth of head and neck cancer. This discovery was made by doctors at UCLA, who carried out the study using 21 subjects who had the disease, and chewed two tablets containing curcumin. A lab in Maryland looked over the results of this test, and found that the enzymes in the subjects’ mouths were inhibited by the curcumin, and stopped from advancing.
Similar studies on subjects with pancreatic cancer have been carried out, with promising results, but more research is needed to figure out whether turmeric can help treat the disease.
Healthy cholesterol levels are important for a healthy heart. High levels of bad cholesterol can lead to several heart problems, including heart attacks, and strokes. The addition of turmeric, to regular cholesterol medications, has the ability to lower bad cholesterol levels, therefore preventing these health issues.
Cortisol is the stress hormone that our body produces under pressure. It has been linked to a large range of mental illnesses and disorders, and physical conditions. A study that was published in “The Journal of Affective Disorders” suggested that curcumin, which is found in turmeric, may elevate positive neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, and even lower cortisol levels.
There is hope that turmeric can assist in the treatment of depressive disorders, and help to regulate moods. A 2014 study showed that the curcumin was effective in treating patients suffering with a major depressive disorder, but more conclusive evidence would be welcome on the subject.
Early studies into the effects of turmeric on diabetes have suggested that taking the spice daily can help prevent diabetes in people who aren’t suffering from the full condition yet.
Headaches and Migraines
Headaches and migraines are two completely different conditions, but they are both caused by the inflammation of blood vessels in the brain, and an unhealthy dose of stress. The curcumin that is present in turmeric may to able to relieve some of the pain and pressure that comes with headaches and migraines, because of its anti-inflammatory properties.
Turmeric has been shown to prevent dandruff, ease scalp issues, and promote hair growth. It’s a natural remedy for hair-related issues, and a scrub made from turmeric and other ingredients can help in hair removal, as well.
Turmeric has been shown to increase the amount of immunity-boosting proteins that are in the body. A strong immune system can help your body fight off diseases, germs, viruses, and illnesses, so adding curcumin or turmeric to your diet will definitely help in your goal to stay healthy. This is because turmeric is anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-viral, these properties will help rid your body of bacteria and fungus which can make you ill.
Thanks to turmeric’s anti-inflammatory properties, a study published in “The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine” was able to show that the curcumin in turmeric is comparable to taking ibuprofen for helping with joint pain relief.
Turmeric is a natural detox, it can remove toxic substances from the blood by helping our bodies to produce several types of enzymes that can eliminate these substances. It can then repair the damaged cells of the liver, and assist against liver problems like jaundice and hepatitis.
Turmeric’s natural pain relief properties are perfect for sufferers of arthritis. Studies have shown that turmeric works about as well as ibuprofen does in these situations, and can ease the pain of osteoarthritis.
As mentioned, turmeric has been proven to reduce inflammation. Eczema is a type of skin inflammation, with several symptoms that can be treated by turmeric. Thanks to turmeric’s antibacterial properties, not only could you reduce the inflammation of eczema with the spice, you can also kill off the bacteria which is responsible for itching skin and redness which comes with the skin condition.
Turmeric can also improve your complexion. The anti-inflammatory nature of the space can be used to boost your radiance, control oily skin, and treat dry skin and acne when applied topically. It can stain, however, so it’s more beneficial to apply a product that contains it.
With all of these applications, turmeric is truly an amazing thing so why not try it out in cooking or as a supplement. Please be careful and consult a doctor if you are using any anticoagulants as turmeric is also said to thin the blood.
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