Turmeric Benefits & Uses

Turmeric Benefits & Uses


Turmeric is a spice that is best known for being used in curry. It has been used in India for many, many years as a spice and medicinal herb. Turmeric is a relative of ginger and is the spice that gives mustard its yellow color. Turmeric is a great source of both iron and manganese. It is also a good source of vitamin B6, dietary fiber, and potassium. (nutrient profile)

Curcumin is the main active ingredient in turmeric. It has powerful anti-inflammatory effects and is a very strong antioxidant. Let’s discuss these two wonderful benefits of curcumin.

Inflammation can become a problem when it is long-term and fighting against the body’s own tissues, such as in Alzheimer’s, heart disease, arthritis, and more. Anything that can help fight chronic inflammation is necessary in preventing and even treating these diseases. Curcumin is anti-inflammatory, and it is so strong that it matches the effectiveness of some anti-inflammatory drugs. See these studies to learn more about the benefits of Curcumin on inflammation: More potent that aspirin and ibuprofen and comparable to corticosteroid therapy with lack of side-effects

Curcumin is also a powerful antioxidant.  As an antioxidant, curcumin is able to neutralize free radicals, chemicals that can travel through the body and cause damage to healthy cells. This is important in many diseases, such as arthritis, where free radicals are responsible for the painful joint inflammation and damage. Turmeric’s combination of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties has proven beneficial to those who struggle with arthritis.

Curcumin has the ability to prevent heart attacks among bypass patients. A 2012 study followed 121 patients who had bypass surgery between 2009 and 2011. Participants in the study began taking curcumin three days before surgery and continued taking it for five days after the surgery.  In the study half of the participants took curcumin, while the other half took a placebo. During their post-surgery hospital stays, a greater number of people in the placebo group experienced a heart attack compared with those in the curcumin group. The researchers pointed out that the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin may contribute to as much as a 65 percent lower chance of heart attack among bypass patients.

Turmeric can greatly reduce the effects of Alzheimer’s and supports brain health. Here is a great study on the benefits seen in patients with dementia: Effects of Turmeric on Alzheimer’s Disease

Recent research with animals has found another bioactive compound in turmeric called aromatic-turmerone which has shown up to an 80 percent increase in neural stem cell growth in the brain at certian concentrations. Neural stem cells are then able to differentiate into the different types of neurons which play an important role in self-repair.

Some of the findings indicate that aromatic-turmerone may help int he revocery of brain function in neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s and can even provide benefits for stroke. That is provided that these same benefits apply to humans.1

There are many benefits to adding turmeric to your lifestyle. The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of the curcumin in turmeric are two of the biggest reasons to add this amazing spice to your wellness routine. There are lots of ways to get a daily dose of turmeric, far beyond standard curry fare. How can you get more turmeric into your diet and wellness routines?

  • Ginger Turmeric Tea
  • Turmeric Tea
  • Golden Milk
  • Add turmeric to egg salad to give it an even bolder yellow color and a delicious flavor.
  • Sprinkle turmeric on popcorn for a flavor boost.
  • Turmeric supplements
  • It can be used externally to sooth skin and reduce inflammation by making a paste using the spice with water, honey, or aloe vera gel.
  • Blend your own curry powder. Recipe here

Unfortunately, curcumin is poorly absorbed into the bloodstream. It helps to consume Black Pepper, which contains piperine (a natural substance that enhances the absorption of curcumin by 2000% ) with it. Also, it has not been proven to be safe during pregnancy.

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