When it comes to grandma’s book of secret home remedies, turmeric takes one of the top spots. Have a cold? ‘Haldi wala doodh’ can work magic. Have tanned skin? Turmeric face mask can help you get rid of the tan. 

Turmeric has been a magical elixir for centuries now. You may be surprised to know that it is steeped in ancient Middle Eastern and Southeast Asian food, society and medicinal history. Traditionally, this yellow-coloured spice has been used in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine for over 3000 years to treat various health conditions. In addition, it has been used as a key ingredient in all the Indian curries and lentils.

So, what is so special about turmeric? 

Turmeric is loaded with anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and antiseptic properties due to the presence of the compound curcumin in it that has powerful biological properties. Its benefits can include reducing chronic pain, inflammation, improving liver function, providing pain relief, and more.

Health benefits of turmeric

Preventing ageing and heart disorders

Turmeric’s curcumin has the ability to enhance endothelial functioning. The endothelium is a thin membrane that lines blood arteries and the interior of the heart. This membrane’s main jobs include controlling blood pressure, preventing cardiac problems, and slowing down ageing. Curcumin can therefore lower the chance of developing cardiovascular complications and help prevent age-related problems.

Pain relief

It is believed that turmeric relieves pain. It’s also said that the spice helps with arthritis discomfort. Research appears to support the use of turmeric as a pain reliever; one study found that for knee arthritis patients, the household remedy appeared to function just as well as ibuprofen (Advil). The study participants consumed 800 mg of turmeric in the form of capsules daily, yet there seem to be differences in the recommended dosage.

Preventing specific kinds of cancer

Curcumin appears to be a promising cancer treatment. Research indicates that it may offer protection against cancers of the pancreas, the colon, the prostate, pancreas, the breast, and the stomach. Furthermore, it might lessen angiogenesis, which is the development of new blood vessels inside the tumour. Turmeric usage may also lessen cancer metastases, or the spread of the disease at the minutest molecular level. Please note that the research is limited, and we still lack conclusive evidence. 

Guarding against Alzheimer’s

Foods high in curcumin, such as turmeric, shield the brain from prevalent degenerative illnesses. It may therefore postpone or even reverse Alzheimer’s. Reduced brain-derived neurotrophic factors (BDNF) have been linked to Alzheimer’s disease. The brain and spinal cord contain the protein known as BDNF. Furthermore, it maintains the health of neurons or nerve cells.

Thus, including turmeric in your diet could aid in raising BDNF levels.

Treatment for depression

Depression is a common problem in modern society. Similar to Alzheimer’s disease, depression is linked to decreased BDNF levels. Turmeric exhibits potential to boost BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor) levels in the brain, thereby helping as a potent antidepressant. A comprehensive study review found some evidence that curcumin may also boost the brain neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine.

Prevention of eye diseases

According to an analysis of several clinical and preclinical studies, using topical curcumin can help shield the eyes against deterioration. The effectiveness of curcumin as a therapeutic agent has also been proved in the treatment of a variety of eye diseases, including glaucoma, conjunctivitis, pterygium, age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, corneal neovascularization, corneal wound healing, and dry eye disease.  

Enhancing liver functioning

The antioxidant properties of turmeric have drawn attention lately. Turmeric’s antioxidant action is protective and effective in aiding bile production, which supports the liver detoxification process and prevents fat build-up in the body while restoring liver functions, and preventing further damage.

Promotes better skin

Turmeric contains antimicrobial and therapeutic properties. It promotes quick healing of wounds and injuries when used topically. Turmeric is also associated with ceremonies in India. Turmeric is frequently applied to the skin to give it a natural glow before festivals or marriages.

Antioxidants are abundant in turmeric. It also possesses antibacterial and anti-inflammatory qualities. As a result, it successfully heals a number of skin disorders, including psoriasis, acne, eczema, and photoageing.

Brain related benefits

Additionally, recent research has indicated benefits associated with the brain. Several studies point out that the anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin may shield the brain against disorders linked to memory. Further investigation is required to validate these results.

Closing thoughts

Turmeric can improve digestion, ease pain, and strengthen the immune system, among other health benefits. However, when determining whether or not to try turmeric, it’s crucial to proceed with caution. Consult your physician before using turmeric to treat any ailment you may have, as with any alternative medicine, to avoid certain side effects. 

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