Just what is turmeric and why is it good for me?

Turmeric is the main spice in Indian curry dishes and is often thought to be the most powerful herb known for fighting and potentially reversing disease.  The benefits of turmeric have been researched and written about in thousands of articles and research papers.  This herb is a phenomenal, natural ingredient to add to recipes and to take on an every day basis for optimal health.

Turmeric comes from the Curcuma longa plant, which grows in India and many Asian countries.  It is related to the ginger family and because of its yellow color is often called the golden spice.  The active substance in turmeric is curcumin, chemically known as a curcuminoid. 

Practitioners in Chinese medicine have been using turmeric for thousands of years. There are many different potential health benefits of turmeric, a few of the more important benefits are:

  • Can slow or prevent Blood Clots – turmeric greatly reduces instances of platelet aggregation and potentially reduces the risk of blood clots from forming.
  • Fights inflammation – potentially the most powerful benefit of curcuminoids like turmeric are their anti-inflammatory compounds.  Many studies have shown great potential in turmeric helping Alzheimer’s symptoms.  The anti-inflammatory effect has been associated with reduced neurotoxicity and potential reversing of amyloid pathology in nerves.
  • May outperform common arthritis drugs – turmeric and curcumin containing compounds have shown remarkable effectiveness in studies with rheumatoid arthritis patients.  Not only was there a positive correlation with turmeric and reduced arthritis symptoms, but there were no negative side effects common to many arthritis drugs.  These side effects often include leaky gut and heart disease and are often seen in patients taking the arthritis drug diclofenac sodium, an NSAID.
  • May reduce depression symptoms – Medical research has shown great promise in the benefits of turmeric in reducing depression symptoms.  The results seem to be connected to the way curcumin impacts neurotransmitter function.  In a major study in 2014, volunteers given turmeric improved as much as patients given fluoxetine over a six-week trial.
  • Boosts skin health – Turmeric has shown positive effects in treating multiple skin conditions due to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.  People regularly taking turmeric notice a calming of the pores and decrease in acne and acne scarring.  Even the terrible skin condition known as scabies improved in 97% of cases within 3 to 15 days.

The benefits of turmeric are far too encompassing for this short paper.  Other benefits can include help with diabetes, obesity, inflammatory bowel disease, many cancers and cholesterol control. 

Many people consider turmeric to be a miracle nutrient while Doctors recommend daily consumption for its many beneficial qualities.  Personally, I have taken turmeric for years and find it to be an absolute necessity for my daily health regimen.

- Dr. Sterling

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