The health benefits of turmeric have been known for thousands of years. Indeed, this pungent spice has long been used throughout Europe, Asia and Africa to treat maladies ranging from wounds to cancer. Turmeric may just be familiar to you as that bright-yellow spice that bestows an earthy, peppery flavor to your rice dishes or some of your favorite condiments, but the true benefits of turmeric lie in the good things it can do for your long-term health. Read on to learn about the health benefits of turmeric and why this aromatic spice can pep up more than a few dishes — can actually make you feel better and help you live longer, too! 

Longer life. Turmeric contains powerful antioxidant compounds, referred to as curcuminoids, that are known to “scavenge” free radicals (molecules that damage cells and can result in cell death). Antioxidants help promote good cellular health, which can reduce the spread of diseases and keep you healthier longer, thereby contributing to improved mental and physical well-being and longevity.

Treating uveitis (eye inflammation). One preliminary study suggested that the antioxidants contained in turmeric extract may improve the symptoms of uveitis, or inflammation around the area of the iris of the eye. 

Better digestion. Turmeric has long been used as a remedy for dyspepsia, or indigestion (the uncomfortable pain, gas or bloating that comes from digestive problems). Turmeric is thought to stimulate bile secretion from the gallbladder, which aids in the digestion of food, thereby reducing the symptoms of dyspepsia.  

Reduces inflammation and osteoarthritis. The curcumin in turmeric has proven anti-inflammatory properties, which can alleviate the pain and swelling associated with inflammation. One study demonstrated that patients who used turmeric, along with other popular herbs applied in Ayurvedic medicine, a type of traditional herbal treatment used in Indian medicine, showed a reduction in joint pain and swelling, two common symptoms linked to osteoarthritis.

Fights ulcerative colitis. Curcumin’s anti-inflammatory properties may help soothe the inflammation associated with diseases that affect the bowels, such as ulcerative colitis. One preliminary study indicated that patients who took curcumin (a main constituent of turmeric), showed improved remission in cases of ulcerative colitis.

Reduced cancer risk. As previously mentioned in this article, the phytonutrient curcumin, found in turmeric, promotes longevity by scavenging free radicals. Curcumin may also reduce cancer risk by preventing cells from mutating as a result of damage by free radicals. Cell mutation can lead to the spread of malignant tumors, or cancer. Antioxidants, such as those found in turmeric, have been proven to play a role in cancer risk reduction.

The health benefits of turmeric make this spice a must-have as both a flavorful addition to dishes and a powerful extract to help you live a healthier life. Consume no more than 3 turmeric (curcumin) powdered capsules per day, or use as a tincture of no more than 30 drops 4 times a day.  Turmeric makes it easy to add zest to your condiments and food while adding good health to your future!

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Photo credit: manabray

Originally posted 2014-01-08 12:56:52.


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