Health Benefits of Turmeric
While turmeric may primarily be known for adding color to dishes, this vibrant ingredients has a lot more to offer. It is a main component of many Indian dishes not only for its subtle earthy flavor, but also for its various health benefits. In fact, turmeric is well known in holistic medicine for the number of health boosting properties that it offers.
But to retain its healing properties turmeric should be stored in a cool, dark place as it is highly susceptible to light and may begin to lose its potency within a six month period, or sooner, if exposed to light or heat.
The most potent of its compounds is known as curcumin that displays effective anti-inflammatory properties. This active ingredient in turmeric has been studied extensively and some of the benefits that are rendered by this potent ingredient can include:
Healing wounds, bruises and sprains: Traditional homeopathic wound and sprain treatments involve making a paste with turmeric. Using one part salt and two parts turmeric with enough water to a desirable consistency, the paste can be applied to the affected area. Acting as an antiseptic and antibacterial agent, turmeric proves to be an effective disinfectant.
Immunity booster: Compounds in turmeric help stimulate the body’s immune system making it better equipped to ward off against bacterial, viral and fungal infections. A common remedy to feel better during flu season is to mix a little bit of turmeric powder in a glass of warm milk and drink it up daily.
Digestive aid: As a digestive aid turmeric may be used to relieve a troubling stomach. There are different components in turmeric that stimulate the gallbladder to produce bile that in turn enhance digestion and alleviate the discomfort associated with gas and bloating. Turmeric can further deal with most types of inflammatory bowel disease including ulcerative colitis.
Liver protection: As a natural detoxifying agent, turmeric can cleanse the liver and reduce the effect of toxins on the body.
Arthritis: The anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin are effective for treating different types of inflammatory conditions like osteoarthritis as well as rheumatoid arthritis.
Diabetes: Some studies reveal that using turmeric can be effective in the treatment of diabetes by moderating insulin levels. Its consumption also improves glucose control and can help in boosting the effect of medications that are used to treat diabetes. Likewise, turmeric is also thought to be helpful in reducing insulin resistance that can prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes.
Alzheimer’s disease: Inflammation in the brain is thought to be one of the primary triggers of various cognitive disorders like Alzheimer’s disease. The use of turmeric is conducive to overall brain health as it can aid in the removal of plaque building in the brain. As such it is suggested that the healing properties of turmeric can be beneficial in preventing or at least slowing down the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.
While the benefits are many, turmeric should not be used by people who suffer from gallstones or bile obstruction as it may worsen the condition.
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