The Basics of Turmeric
Many spices may have healing properties, and once consumed, can provide some incredible health benefits! Since spices are usually formed from natural herbs, plants, and seeds, there is no question as to why they have been used in many natural health remedies throughout the course of history.
One such popular spice is called turmeric. Turmeric comes from the rhizomes of Curcuma longa— a plant used for culinary and medicinal purposes in Indian and Asian cultures dating back nearly 4000 years. It has been practiced around the world and has evolved into a common herbal substance that is utilized in many different ways. The spice can be incorporated into anyone’s lifestyle by adding it to meals; however, it is seen to be more beneficial in its more concentrated supplemental form. Turmeric can even be used in the form of an extract for topical treatment.
Turmeric Health Benefits
Turmeric is thought to have many medicinal properties including boosting energy levels, healing wounds, improving digestion, and decreasing inflammation. The spice’s main active ingredient, curcumin, is responsible for most of these benefits. Curcumin gives turmeric its distinctive bright yellow-orange color and is full of antioxidants that protect the body from free radicals and prevent damage to the cells. Studies show that taking ground turmeric with black pepper will activate curcumin properties, making it more beneficial to the body by increasing its bioavailability rate and making it easier to digest.
The daily intake of turmeric has proven to be a powerful anti-inflammatory and strong immunity booster. Studies show it can even help in the prevention of cancers by inhibiting mutations, detoxifying carcinogens, and decreasing cell proliferation. This research has been seen in specific data on colon, prostate, gastric, and breast cancers. Some evidence suggests that turmeric will not only be used as a preventative measure but may one day be used as a treatment for cancer.
The anti-inflammation properties of turmeric come into play by stimulating the production of bile, resulting in improved fat digestion. Because of this, turmeric can help heal inflammatory digestive conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Crohn’s disease, and easily upset stomachs. It is also shown to have many prebiotic properties that lead to positive changes in gut health and the relationship between the gut and the immune system.
There are many benefits shown by using turmeric as a topical treatment in the form of an extract. It makes the skin more radiant and supple by improving elasticity, reducing redness, and preventing excess wrinkles. Further studies show that it has provided benefits to skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, and acne. There have been numerous findings on the positive impact that turmeric may have on the skin— resulting in many skincare companies including turmeric in their topical serums.
Making turmeric a part of your everyday life may bring many benefits to your health. There are numerous ways to incorporate it into your lifestyle, by using it in your cuisine, as a topical treatment, or by supplementation. Before deciding to use herbal supplements, consult with a trusted healthcare provider to discuss possible interference with your health conditions or prescription drugs.
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