Turmeric is a root belonging to the ginger family and is a native to the Himalayan Mountains in Asia but has since spread universally and used in almost every household. Many people though use it more for the culinary purposes as a spice without understanding its medicinal and health benefits to the body. Turmeric whether taken as supplement pills, a spice in foods or in tea provides the following health advantages;
1. Helps in healing respiratory conditions
Many of the respiratory conditions are brought about by inflammation of the surrounding tissues and bacterial infections. Turmeric has both the anti-inflammatory properties as well as anti-bacterial abilities and works to treat or reduce the symptoms and the impact of the conditions. For asthma, turmeric compounds help by healing the swellings on the airways allowing for better breathing. Turmeric is also useful in the treatment of bronchitis, cold and flu as it kills the bacteria causing the diseases and helps in clearing the airways by reducing the swelling and relieving the pain there.
2. Body detoxification
Turmeric is helpful in ensuring that the liver stays healthy and functions properly to cleanse the body. Turmeric intake leads to the production of several enzymes which help absorb toxic substances from the body cleansing the body and promoting better metabolism. It helps treat and prevent liver conditions such as jaundice, cirrhosis and hepatitis. Turmeric also suppresses LDL (bad cholesterol) receptors from the liver scar cells thus reducing cellular cholesterol and in doing so preventing liver damage. Turmeric intake ensures toxicity in the liver is removed and also stimulates the lymphatic system thus preventing diseases and toxins from filling up in the liver and affecting is function.
3. Turmeric and cardiovascular diseases
Turmeric has been shown to have several health benefits to the health of the heart and surrounding tissues. This works on different levels. Firstly, turmeric helps in the reducing the levels of bad cholesterol in the body LDL by aiding the fast metabolism of this cholesterol this balancing cholesterol levels. This prevents occurrences of diseases like atherosclerosis. Turmeric also helps in inhibiting the production of homocysteine which is a body by-product that damages cell walls and quickly leads to a buildup of plaque in the heart vessels causing high blood pressure. Turmeric also improves the function of endothelium which if it dysfunctions can
easily result in heart disease.
4. Improved immunity
Turmeric helps build up body immunity and thus leads to a reduction of diseases and infections. The spice has anti-viral-anti-fungal and antibacterial properties which boost up the body immune system in fighting with antigens within and from outside the body. It also stimulates the functioning of the lymphatic system which helps in the formation and movement of the white blood cells which are also called lymphocytes. A glass of turmeric milk goes a long way in ensuring you boost your immune system and heal any scarring caused by wounds.
The various research done shows that turmeric is effective in relieving the symptoms caused by arthritis. This is both the joint pain and the inflammation that causes it. Other symptoms which are relieved by turmeric are morning stiffness and difficulty in walking. In some cases turmeric worked as good as or even better than certain medication. Turmeric can also be used along with other therapies and medication for a more effective and sustained relief.
6. Inflammation and pain relieving in the body
There are a lot of conditions and diseases which can result in body swelling and pain. The body itself contains several inflammatory molecules and an enzyme which facilitates inflammation. Once stimulated these factors result in pain and swelling in different body parts. Conditions like psoriasis, eczema, ankylosis along with respiratory diseases and arthritis all end up causing pain and swelling. Others like migraines, muscle injury, gout and hemorrhoids result in unending pain. While drugs can be used, they usually have a dosage and all have side effects. Using turmeric anti-inflammatory properties is effective and can even be complementary to the drugs being used.
7. Turmeric helps resolve gastrointestinal issues
Turmeric is crucial in solving a host of digestion and intestinal tissue issues. First it allows for better bowel movement which prevents irritable bowel syndrome, cramping and constipation. It is also essential in getting rid of heartburn and bloating. It’s anti-bacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties ensure it can help stop diarrhoea by fighting the causing agent. Turmeric is also an effective home remedy for intestinal worms with a glass of water containing turmeric sufficient for the role. Other benefits of turmeric in the digestive tract include soothing of the gut preventing irritation, preventing bowel bleeding and helps offer relief to patients suffering from serious illness like Crohn’s disease.
8. Anti-Cancer Properties
Turmeric is known as a powerful antioxidant which makes it vital in the prevention of different types of cancer. Other than that, curcumin has also been found to have other attributes crucial to limiting the spread of cancerous cells. It inhibits an essential protein which stimulates the growth of these cells. It destroys the cancer cells as well as radiation induced tumours. Research shows turmeric to be vital in the fight against a range of cancers including colon cancer, prostate cancer, skin cancer and breast cancer among others. For cancer patients turmeric also helps in the management of post-surgery pain. It is thus vital to add turmeric to your diet and also have the capsules whenever possible both as a preventive and management action.
Turmeric is vital in preventing diabetes. This is because; it helps in balancing blood sugar levels and also moderates the levels of insulin. It has also been shown to be able to prevent the onset of diabetes Type 2. It has however to be taken with the doctor’s advice when used with diabetes medication.
10. Boosting cognitive abilities.
Since ancient days, turmeric has been taken to brain function and promote brain health. Turmeric also protects the brain’s neural pathways from a build-up of plaque and prevents long term oxidative stress. This attributes make it useful in fighting the effects of Alzheimer’s and dementia.
|Author:||Maggie Martin is Ph.D. in Cell Biology graduate. She is very passionate about healthy living and has been writing about Food and Healthy Lifestyles. When she is not busy, she takes interest in a variety of things such as lifestyle, food, health, herbal medicine, and the benefits of turmeric. Follow her on Twitter @Maggiemartink|