Health Benefits of Turmeric
Turmeric, also known as the “golden spice”(1), has been used in Asia for thousands of years due to its therapeutic benefits. It is cultivated in many Asian counties, with the largest producer being India. Turmeric is a spice that belongs to the ginger family and its main active ingredient is curcumin. Curcumin is a yellow pigment and an anti-inflammatory compound.(2) During the past years, extensive research has been done on the health benefits of turmeric. Here are some examples:
Turmeric is considered effective for pain relief. It can be applied to sprains to help reduce pain and swelling. This is done by creating a mixture of turmeric paste with some lime juice.(4)
Turmeric is considered an effective healing medicine and has strong antibacterial properties. It is also used to help many skin affiliations, including psoriasis, and can protect against skin eruptions.(1)
One of the most important health benefits of turmeric is its anti-inflammatory action. Inflammation of joints and other tissues is related to some types of arthritis, including rheumatoid and psoriatic arthritis. Studies have shown that turmeric is effective for preventing and reducing joint inflammation.(3)
Turmeric is considered beneficial for people suffering from liver affiliations. It is recommended in the diet of patients with jaundice and infective hepatitis. It can also stimulate the formation of bile in the gallbladder.(1)
Improving Digestive System
Turmeric has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties which can aid digestion of food.(5) In Ayurvedic medicine, it is widely used to reduce toxicity caused by other dietary substances.(1) Extensive research is currently being conducted on its potential to reduce irritable bowel syndrome symptoms.
Possible cancer treatment
According to Cancer Research UK, turmeric is being considered as an alternative cancer treatment. Evidence shows that it can kill cancer cells in certain cancer types.(6) However, more research is required to determine its effectiveness as a cancer treatment.
Including turmeric in your diet
Here are some ideas on how you could make use of the health benefits of turmeric by including it in your diet:
- Used in spice mixtures such as curry
- Added to rice
- Seasoned on roasted vegetables
- Turmeric tea
- Blended with salad dressing
- Cook in soups
- N. Ravindran, K. N. Babu, K. Sivaraman, Turmeric: The Genus Curcuma, CRC Press, 2007, Chapter 12.
- Gunnars, Proven Health Benefits of Turmeric and Curcumin, Healthline.
- Turmeric, Arthritis Foundation.
- Top 5 home remedies to deal with sprained ankle, Canvas Indiana University.(https://iu.instructure.com/eportfolios/25875/Top_5_home_remedies_to_deal_with_sprained_ankle)
- Ware, Everything you need to know about turmeric, Medical News Today.
- Turmeric, Cancer Research UK.