Turmeric, sometimes called Indian saffron or the golden spice, is a tall plant that grows in Asia and Central America.
The turmeric on shelves and in spice cabinets is made of the ground roots of the plant. The bright yellow color of processed turmeric has inspired many cultures to use it as a dye. Ground turmeric is also a major ingredient in curry powder.
Capsules, teas, powders, and extracts are some of the turmeric products available commercially.
Curcumin is the active ingredient in turmeric, and it has powerful biological properties. Ayurvedic medicine, a traditional Indian system of treatment, recommends turmeric for a variety of health conditions. These include chronic pain and inflammation. Western medicine has begun to study turmeric as a pain reliever and healing agent.
This article explores the nutritional content of turmeric, how it might benefit health.
The Arthritis Foundation cites several studies in which turmeric has reduced inflammation.
This anti-inflammatory ability might reduce the aggravation that people with arthritis feel in their joints.
The foundation suggests taking turmeric capsules of 400 to 600 milligrams (mg) up to three times per day for inflammation relief.
Turmeric is thought of as a pain reliever. The spice is reputed to relieve arthritis pain as well.
Studies seem to support turmeric for pain relief, noting that it seemed to work as well as ibuprofen (Advil) in people with arthritis in their knees.
Though dosing recommendations seem to vary, those who participated in the study took 800 mg of turmeric in capsule form each day.
Turmeric adds flavor to food, which explains its presence in curry powder. However, turmeric can also play an important role in digesting that food.
The spice can contribute to healthy digestion as a result of its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Turmeric is used in Ayurvedic medicine as a digestive healing agent. Western medicine has now begun to study how turmeric can help with gut inflammation and gut permeability, two measures of digestive efficiency.
The spice is even being explored as a treatment for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
Possibly reducing the risk of cancer
Curcumin shows promise as a cancer treatment. It has protective effects against pancreatic cancer, prostate cancer, and multiple myeloma.
Turmeric can increase the antioxidant capacity of the body
Oxidative damage is believed to be one of the mechanisms behind aging and many diseases.
It involves free radicals, highly reactive molecules with unpaired electrons. Free radicals tend to react with important organic substances, such as fatty acids, proteins, or DNA.
The main reason antioxidants are so beneficial is that they protect your body from free radicals.