|The health benefits of turmeric
The health benefits of turmeric have been known in Chinese herbal medicine for years where it has been commonly prescribed to treat stomach ailments and as a blood purifier.
Modern research has shown that the health benefits of curcumin are real, and there are studies that prove its usefulness as an anti-inflammatory agent and as an antioxidant. Further health benefits of turmeric and turmeric extract include a degree of protection for the liver against toxins, and the property of improving circulation.
What is Turmeric?
Turmeric is a plant in the ginger family. Its botanical name is Curcuma longa, and it is often used as a spice in cooking like ginger. Also like ginger, turmeric is also used medicinally.
The active ingredient in turmeric is curcumin - the component of Indian curry that gives it its bright yellow color and provides the health benefits of turmeric and turmeric extract. Scientists believe that curcumin's antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties may make it a powerful cancer fighter. At least one study at the University of Texas showed that curcumin can slow and even stop reproduction of cancerous cells in multiple myeloma, an insidious form of cancer.
Among the specific health benefits of turmeric are:
Digestive System health benefit of turmeric: Curcumin induces the flow of bile which breaks down fats. In one study, turmeric extract protected against the damage caused by medications like reserpine and indomethacin.
Another recent study concluded that turmeric may help reduce the pain and irritation experienced by patients with irritable bowel syndrome.
Anti-inflammatory health benefit of turmeric : Curcumin relieves the pain associated with arthritis by reducing inflammation in the joints.
Cardiac health benefit of turmeric: The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin combine to help keep the heart healthy, scientists speculate. In several studies, patients treated with curcumin showed less plaque buildup in the arteries. A study in India confirmed that turmeric has beneficial effects on heart functioning in patients recovering from myocardial infarction.
Antibacterial health benefit of turmeric: The volatile oils in turmeric seem to offer anti-bacterial protection when applied topically to injuries to the skin.
Cancer health benefit of turmeric: There is mounting evidence that turmeric extract with curcumin fights skin cancer and breast cancer. It may also reduce the incidence of colon cancer and prostate cancer.
Research into the benefits of turmeric in fighting cancer is among the most exciting news about the bright yellow spice. Doctors at the University of Texas following up on earlier research have found that turmeric extract helped stop the spread of breast cancer cells to the lungs.
Possible side effects of turmeric
According to the study group at the University of Texas, turmeric has few known side effects