Turmeric, also known as Indian saffron or the golden spice, is a plant native to Asia and Central America. The turmeric powder in our spice cabinets and shelves is made from the roots of the plant. It is used as a coloring agent because of its bright yellow color. It is also used in many religious occasions. Teas, powders, capsules, and extracts are some of the commercially available turmeric products.
The scientific name of turmeric is Curcuma longa and it belongs to the family Zingiberaceae. Turmeric has various active ingredients, and Curcumin is the most important amongst all. Curcumin is responsible for most of the medicinal values of turmeric. The ayurvedic system uses turmeric for various health conditions from pain to cancer. Moreover, western medicine has begun the study of turmeric as a healing agent and pain reliever. Keen to know how turmeric is beneficial for health? Here are a few health benefits of turmeric.
Curcumin in turmeric is a powerful antioxidant a property it derives from its chemical structure. Oxidative damage is responsible for various chronic health ailments and age-related conditions. Free radicals and highly reactive molecules are responsible for this damage. Antioxidants protect your body from these free radicals. Curcumin also boosts the activity of your body’s own antioxidant enzymes.
As mentioned above, turmeric is rich in antioxidants. This antioxidant effect can stop your liver from being damaged. Active compounds in turmeric are seen to improve the liver function and lower the levels of toxicity in the body by triggering the lymphatic system. Turmeric can be beneficial for individuals who suffer from liver disorders like fatty liver disease and cirrhosis or are on medications that damage the liver as its side effects.
Turmeric checks pimple growth by combating the growth of pimple-causing bacteria. It also inhibits oil secretion by the sebaceous glands. Adding turmeric to your daily skin care routine makes your skin glowing and flawless. Moreover, anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties of turmeric aid in the healing of skin cuts and soothe skin irritation. Antioxidants in turmeric fight signs of aging like pigmentation and wrinkles by curbing the action of free radicals.
This spice is reputed as a pain reliever and is effective against arthritis pain as well. According to a study, turmeric is seen to be as effective as ibuprofen in people with arthritis for their knees. The administered dose during this study was 2 grams per day for 6 weeks.
This golden spice improves your metabolism rate and causes the body to burn a significant number of calories, resulting in weight loss. Detoxification of the liver and reducing cholesterol are some of the mechanisms by which turmeric aids weight loss. Moreover, turmeric is an ideal weight-loss supplement as it lowers bad cholesterol (LDL).
Although turmeric is used in Indian cuisines as it adds an element of deliciousness and color, it plays an important role in digestion. Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric aid healthy digestion and it is widely used as a digestive healing agent in Ayurvedic medicine. Various studies have confirmed its beneficial effect on gut permeability and in preventing gut inflammation. Turmeric is also beneficial against irritable bowel syndrome.
Curcumin and vitamin B6 in turmeric boosts cardiovascular health. Vitamin B6 inhibits the production of homocysteine that is responsible for cell wall damage. These weakened walls are responsible for various heart complications. Use of turmeric for high cholesterol is due to its ability to lower bad cholesterol (LDL) by removing it from the blood vessels. This makes it effective against atherosclerosis (plaque deposition on the blood vessel wall), which is a key factor for various heart disorders.