Natural Medicine Cabinet: Health Benefits of Turmeric


.


Known for its bright yellow color and warm, bitter taste commonly used to flavor curry, turmeric has long been used in ancient Ayurvedic and Chinese medicines to cure a number of ailments ranging from arthritis to liver problems. Although this perennial shrub (native to Southeast Asia and a relative of ginger) can grow up to five feet high, turmeric's medicinal and culinary benefits are derived from its roots or rhizomes. Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, is responsible for this herb's healing powers. This powerful antioxidant has been shown to have a number of health benefits.

turmeric powder
Turmeric, a spice commonly used in Indian curry, contains curcumin, which has a number of health benefits. Photo By Carlos Lorenzo/Courtesy Flickr. 

Arthritis: In addition to being an antioxidant, curcumin has anti-inflammatory properties, making turmeric useful for treating inflammatory diseases such as arthritis. An Indian study at the Central Drug Research Institute in Lucknow, India found that curcumin can ease some symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Patients participating in the study reported an improvement in morning stiffness, joint swelling and pain.

Liver cleanse: In addition to its antioxidant properties, curcumin also enhances the body’s ability to detoxify by increasing the liver’s ability to remove toxins. Studies have also found that curcumin can decrease liver cholesterol and increase the secretion of bile, which aids in digestion and the flow of toxins out of the body.

Cuts and Wounds: Because turmeric has antibacterial properties, when applied topically, this herb can prevent cuts and wounds from infection and therefore speed up the healing process.

Cancer: Like other antioxidants, curcumin’s ability to fight free radicals can help prevent certain types of cancer. In addition to helping the liver remove toxins from the body, curcumin can also interfere with the development, growth and spread of cancer. Human studies of turmeric’s ability to waylay cancer are only in the early stages, but past research shows that curcumin might be helpful in preventing breast, colon and prostate cancers. Although additional research is still needed, turmeric appears to have some positive effects on cancer.

turmeric root 
The rhizomes of turmeric produce a distinctive yellow-orange color commonly seen in curries. Photo By Howard Walfish/Courtesy Flickr. 

Brain health: By reducing a buildup of plaque in the brain, turmeric can enhance cognitive function and improve brain health, including preventing Alzheimer’s disease and even offering some antidepressant effects.



Digestion problems: Turmeric supports the digestive system in several ways. By increasing the flow of bile, turmeric helps to keep digestion on track. This herb also contains essential oils that can prevent gas. Turmeric can also help with more serious problems such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). This disease, which includes Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, causes the digestive tract to be inflamed, leading to symptoms of abdominal cramps, fever and weight loss. Because turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties, this herb can reduce the weight loss and internal inflammation caused by IBD.



Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 64% Off the Cover Price

Get the latest on Natural Health and Sustainable Living with Mother Earth News!

Mother Earth News

Your friends at Mother Earth Living are committed to natural health and sustainable living. Unfortunately, the financial impact of COVID-19 has challenged us to find a more economical way to achieve this mission. We welcome you to our sister publication Mother Earth News. What you sought in the pages of Mother Earth Living can be found in Mother Earth News. For over 50 years, “The Original Guide to Living Wisely” has focused on organic gardening, herbal medicine, real food recipes, and sustainability. We look forward to going on this new journey with you and providing solutions for better health and self-sufficiency.

The impact of this crisis has no doubt affected every aspect of our daily lives. We will strive to be a useful and inspiring resource during this critical time and for years to come.

Best wishes,
Your friends at Mother Earth Living and Mother Earth News

Save Money & a Few Trees!

By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of Mother Earth News for only $12.95 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.95 for 6 issues.

Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
International Subscribers - Click Here
Canadian subscriptions: 1 year (includes postage & GST).


Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter

Classifieds