Native to Southeast Asia, turmeric is a part of the ginger family and is commonly used as a spice as well as a medicinal herb. The health benefits of turmeric can be attributed to curcuminoids (curcumin), which has powerful anti-inflammatory properties and a strong antioxidant. However, to experience the full benefits of curcumin, one must take a supplement.
Benefit #1 – Curcumin is an Anti-Inflammatory
Inflammation is incredibly important for the human body as it works to fight off harmful invaders as well as repair damage caused by harmful bacteria, viruses, and injuries. Without inflammation, pathogens (like bacteria and viruses) can easily take over your body and kill you.
While short-term, acute inflammation proves beneficial, chronic inflammation has been shown to play a major role in almost every chronic, Western disease including heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s, and various degenerative conditions. Therefore, by utilizing the anti-inflammatory power of curcumin, you may be able to aid in conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease, pancreatitis, and arthritis, even better than common inflammation-fighting medications such as Advil (ibuprofen) and aspirin without the side effects, according to this study.
Benefit #2 – Curcumin can Boost Brain Function
What’s interesting is, curcumin can increase brain levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a protein found in the brain and spinal cord that plays a key role in keeping neurons healthy, as well as regulating communication between nerve cells, which is crucial for learning and memory. By doing this, it may be effective in delaying or even reversing many brain diseases and age-related decreases in brain function.
Common brain disorders like Alzheimer’s are associated with low levels of BDNF and turmeric may help delay or reverse such brain degeneration. Like Alzheimer’s, depression is also associated with low levels of BDNF and turmeric has shown to boost those levels and provide as an effective antidepressant.
Benefit #3 – Curcumin can lower the risk of Heart Disease
Heart disease is the number 1 cause of death in the world. It’s a complicated disease in which various factors contribute to it. Curcumin may improve endothelial function (the thin membrane that covers the inside of the heart and blood vessels), which plays a key role in regulating blood pressure. Therefore, the benefits of turmeric and the major component curcumin within it can help reverse the steps in the heart disease process and reduce the probability of developing heart disease.
Benefit #4 – Turmeric aids in Digestion
Digestion is another complicated process. Because there are so many organs and functions in the digestive process, it can be easily disrupted, especially if you aren’t getting enough vitamins and minerals that are necessary to support those organs and their functions.
The digestive benefits of turmeric also include:
- Reduces stomach pain
- Eases diarrhea
- Lessens gas
- Relieves irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Reduces nausea and vomiting
Benefit #5 – Turmeric can Prevent (or maybe even treat) Cancer
Due to turmeric’s significant anti-inflammatory properties, curcumin can reduce the growth of cancerous cells and inhibit the growth of tumors (at least, in test animals so far). However, there is evidence that curcumin can prevent cancer from occurring in the first place, especially cancers of the digestive system like colorectal cancer, pancreatic, prostate, breast, and gastric cancers. Research has shown that it can affect cancer formation, growth, and development at the molecular level – as well as reduce the spread of cancer and can contribute to the death of cancerous cells.
Turmeric and curcumin may also be able to counteract the effects of some carcinogens, such as certain additives used in processed foods. This research is heavily ongoing.
Benefit #6 – Curcumin and Arthritis
Arthritis is unfortunately very common in Western countries. Fortunately, curcumin has shown its benefits for aiding in rheumatoid arthritis – a chronic inflammatory disorder that commonly affects the joints but can also spread to other areas such as the eyes, lungs, skin, heart, and blood vessels.
Back at it again with its potent anti-inflammatory properties, curcumin has been proven to be more effective than some anti-inflammatory drugs. Turmeric has been instrumental in the treatment of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. This antioxidant also destroys the free radicals in the body that damage the body’s cells. Anyone suffering from the condition should consume the spice on a daily basis to relieve mild joint pains and inflammation, however, it should be understood that it does not serve as a substitute for medication.
Benefit #7 – Turmeric and Skin Health
While topical treatments can be useful in aiding in skin disorders, many find this unappealing as a topical skin treatment due to poor stability at a high pH level and curcumin’s bright yellow-orange color. Fortunately, due to its anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antioxidant properties, turmeric can be an effective treatment for a variety of skin conditions even when taken orally.
The skin benefits of turmeric include:
Benefits of Turmeric
The key to tapping into the health benefits of turmeric is how you consume it. Talk to your doctor before introducing turmeric into your diet as a form of treatment. For more information or answers to your questions, reach out to the Greenbush Natural Products team today.
*INDIVIDUAL RESULTS MAY VARY. STATEMENTS IN THIS WEBSITE HAVE NOT BEEN EVALUATED BY THE FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION. THE FDA DOES NOT EVALUATE OR TEST HERBS AND HEALTH FOODS. THESE PRODUCTS ARE NOT INTENDED TO DIAGNOSE , TREAT, CURE OR PREVENT ANY DISEASE. FOR DIAGNOSIS OR TREATMENT CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN. USE HERBS IN MODERATION AND WATCH FOR ALLERGIC REACTIONS. REMEMBER THAT DIET, EXERCISE AND RELAXATION ARE EQUALLY IMPORTANT TO YOUR HEALTH.