Turmeric is an Indian herb belonging to the ginger family and produces a large, aromatic rhizome. It is also known as kasturi manjal or just simply manjal and has been used in Asia for more than 10,000 years. It was first used as a dye then upon discovering its medicinal benefits, it became a vital part of the oldest medical system known to the human race, Siddha medicine.
In the present, turmeric is commonly used for culinary purposes. It gives the Indian curry its flavor and color. Turmeric is also used to color butter, cheese and mustard. However, recent studies have proven what the ancient Indians believed in. Multitudes of researchers have already agreed that turmeric has powerful medicinal benefits and can help in combating various human illnesses.
Through comprehensive medicinal studies, scientists discovered that turmeric contains compounds called curcuminoids. Among these compounds, they were able to single out curcumin, the compound that is responsible for the bright hue of the herb. They unearthed that curcumin possesses potent anti-inflammatory qualities and it is also a strong anti-oxidant.
Turmeric fights against inflammation.
Inflammation is determined as the major cause of almost every chronic, Western disease such as heart failure, cancer, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and various degenerative diseases. Curcumin, being a natural anti-inflammatory compound, targets inflammation at a molecular level. As a matter of fact, it is discovered to be as potent as anti-inflammatory drugs.
Turmeric protects our bodies from free radicals.
Free radicals cause oxidative damage in our system which is the main reason behind ageing and many other forms of illnesses. To fight these free radicals, our body needs antioxidants like curcumin. Curcumin has a unique molecular characteristic that allows it to neutralize free radicals. Likewise, it goes even further by improving the activity of the body’s own antioxidants.
Turmeric battles against brain diseases and deficiencies.
Recent studies show that low levels of Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) are linked to Alzheimer’s disease and depression. Curcumin, can battle against these health conditions by increasing the levels of BDNF in our brain. Some studies also show that it is helpful at delaying or even reversing numerous brain diseases and age-related deficiencies in brain function. Curcumin can also improve our memory and make us smarter.
Turmeric combats heart diseases.
Commonly, endothelial dysfunction is the culprit of most heart diseases. A lot of people struggle with heart ailments because of the inability of their endothelium to regulate blood pressure, blood clotting and other important functions. Researchers all agree that curcumin can significantly improve endothelial function. Additionally, in 2012, a study was made to test the effect of curcumin on post bypass patients. The results were astonishing. The study concluded that curcumin can lower an individual’s chance of heart attack by 65%.
Turmeric prevents cancer and might possibly be the cure.
Based on various scientific studies done on animals, curcumin reduces the growth of new blood vessels in tumors and the spread of cancer. What’s even better was that some studies show that it leads to the death of cancer cells. However, there is no evidence yet that humans can enjoy the same benefits of curcumin. The good news, though, is that for human beings, curcumin prevents cancer from occurring, most especially cancers of the digestive tract.