Turmeric, also known as Curcuma longa, is a perennial plant of the ginger family, Zingiberaceae. Turmeric is mostly grows in South Asia and harvested for its roots or rhizomes which ground into yellow-orange powder. The powder is widely used as a culinary spice, as well as being a popular flavoring agent for curries and other South Asian dishes.
In addition to being a popular culinary spice, Curcumin, an active ingredient in Turmeric, which responsible for the yellow-orange color of Turmeric also have a long history of medicinal use. The health benefits of Turmeric have been recognized for many years in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine. Here are 10 health benefits of Turmeric:
Curcumin is an antioxidant that is considered to be more powerful than vitamin E. It has an anti-mutagenic activity, and the ability to inhibit the growth of certain cancers. Recent research suggests that turmeric may inhibit the development of breast, colon, skin, stomach, and lung cancer.
- Protect against Alzheimer’s disease
Inflammation in the brain has been thought to be a factor that contribute to the development of Alzheimer’s disease. Research has shown that turmeric has anti-inflammatory activity and anti-oxidants. Therefore, regular consumption of Turmeric may protect against Alzheimer’s disease.
- Treat Arthritis
Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, it is not surprising that Turmeric is used as an natural treatment for Arthritis pain. Taking 500mg to 1000mg Turmeric capsules three times a day can provide significant relief from osteoarthritis pain.
- Treat Uveitis
Uveitis affects the white outer layer of the eye and retina. Turmeric powder may be useful in treating inflammation of the uvea.
- Reduce Diabetes risk
Curcumin in Turmeric may help keep blood sugar levels in check and thus reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. A study conducted by researchers at Columbia University Medical Center observed obese mice fed with turmeric had a significant reduction of insulin resistance.
- Act as Natural Liver Detoxifier
Turmeric has a liver-protective effects which help to reduce damage from pathogens and toxic compounds like heavy metals, nicotine, radiation, and other harmful chemicals.
- Wound Healing
Turmeric has antiseptic and analgesic properties which help in healing the wounds as well as avoid infections. Turmeric is also a natural pain reliever hence can be used after an injury.
- Reduce the risk of Heart Disease
Turmeric is effective in preventing oxidation of cholesterol from taking place, thus reducing the risk of heart disease.
- Benefits for Skin
Turmeric is an effective remedy for skin disorders like acne, spot, and dryness. Mix turmeric into the facial cream and apply it on problem areas. In the case of chickenpox, turmeric is applied as a powder or paste to facilitate the process of scabbing.
- Benefits for Hair
It can be used for the treatment of dandruff, and as hair dyes and colorants. Turmeric extracts used as a hair growth stimulators.
For those of you who do not like the taste of turmeric, it is available in pill form at most health food stores. Make sure to add turmeric to your diet to keep your body stay healthy.