What Are the Health Benefits of Turmeric?

Turmeric comes from the root of the Curcuma longa plant, a relative of ginger. This plant is cultivated in India, Asia, Indonesia as well as parts of Africa. It requires a large amount of rain to thrive. When harvested, the root is chopped into pieces, then boiled and allowed to dry in the sun. In India, turmeric has been used as a dye for clothing as well as food. Turmeric has been called Indian saffron and is an integral part of both the cuisine and the medicine of that country. Turmeric has a deep yellow color that makes it a good coloring agent for foods like yellow mustard and salad dressings. Turmeric is widely known as one of the ingredients in curry.

Aside from its use as a dye and its distinctive flavoring, turmeric has long been used as a medicine in both India and China. The root has natural anti inflammatory properties which have long been established. The qualities of turmeric have been compared to those of over the counter medicine like Motrin. Turmeric has also been shown to have properties like those of hydrocortisone Unlike some over the counter medications used to treat inflammation, turmeric has none of the toxic side effects like intestinal bleeding and ulcers. Turmeric is a powerful antiseptic and antibacterial agent and can be used to assist in the healing of cuts and other injuries.

If you have never heard of turmeric you might think it is a rare exotic spice. That is not the case. You have probably consumed turmeric many times in your life even if you were not aware of it as it is very common. Turmeric is what gives mustard its yellow color and it is a commonly used ingredient in Indian cuisine.

As it turns out, turmeric may have some important health benefits as well. Recent reports have indicated there may be a relationship between a high intake of turmeric and a lowered incidence of Alzheimer's disease. Part of the evidence for this is because of the fact that the rate of Alzheimer's is much lower in India where the consumption of turmeric is much higher. Since Alzheimer's is growing at an alarming rate in the United States, it might be beneficial to add turmeric to your daily diet by adding it to your food or taking it in capsule form.

Turmeric has been used in conjunction with cauliflower to stop the growth of human prostrate cancer cells in mice. When used alone, turmeric and cauliflower were not effective in preventing the spread of existing tumors in mice. When used together however the combination of cauliflower and turmeric showed some signs of keeping the cancer from metasizing. There is some evidence that turmeric may prevent metasization of other cancers as well. A test with mice indicated that turmeric prevented breast cancer from spreading to the lungs of mice.

Turmeric is also thought to have a powerful anti-inflammatory effect which is beneficial to the body for controlling arthritis and inflammatory skin conditions. Turmeric is considered to be a natural antibiotic, antiseptic, and antiviral agent as well and has recently been investigated as a treatment for MRSA, an aggressive and difficult to treat infection. Turmeric has also been researched for its anti-cancer properties and it shows promise for slowing the growth and spread of certain types of cancer.

For the possibility of receiving these wonderful health benefits it is worth adding turmeric to your diet. There have been few negative side effects reported and they seem to occur in those sensitive to the herb in the form of GI upsets.

It is very easy to add turmeric to your diet. You can buy the spice at your local grocery or health food store. To begin you might want to try some new Indian recipes that traditionally call for turmeric. Once you are used to cooking with the spice and are accustomed to the flavor you will find your own ways to incorporate this spice into your daily meal preparation. If you do not like the taste of turmeric or prefer the convenience of capsules, you are in luck. Thanks to the many health benefits turmeric offers, many supplement manufacturers have brought turmeric and circumin supplements onto the market. Circumin is thought to be the active ingredient that gives turmeric its healing powers. Getting your daily dose of this wonder herb can be as easy as swallowing a pill.

Post a Comment