Turmeric and Its Benefits for Your Health

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Turmeric, also known as Indian saffron or golden spice, is a plant that grows in Asia and Central America.  The bright yellow color of processed turmeric has inspired many cultures to use it as a dye, but ground turmeric is also an important ingredient in curry powder.


It can be consumed in capsules, teas, powders, and extracts.  Curcumin is the active ingredient in turmeric and has powerful biological properties.  Ayurvedic medicine, a traditional Indian treatment system, recommends turmeric for a variety of conditions.  These include chronic pain and inflammation.  Western medicine has begun to study turmeric as an analgesic and healing agent.


While turmeric is a tasty spice that is nutritious to consume, it has also been traditionally used in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine to treat inflammation, skin diseases, wounds, digestive ailments, and liver conditions.



Anti-inflammatory properties

The Arthritis Foundation cites several studies in which turmeric has reduced inflammation.  This anti-inflammatory ability may reduce the aggravation felt by people with arthritis in their joints.  The foundation suggests taking turmeric capsules of 400 to 600 milligrams (mg) up to three times a day to relieve inflammation.



Pain relief

Turmeric is a pain reliever.  The spice is also known to relieve arthritis pain. Studies seem to support that turmeric relieves pain, and one study noted that it seemed to work as well as ibuprofen in people with arthritis in the knees.


Although dosage recommendations seem to vary, those who participated in the study took 800mg of turmeric in capsule form each day.



Liver health

Turmeric has recently received attention due to its antioxidant capabilities.  Its effect appears to be so powerful that it can prevent toxins from damaging the liver.  This could be good news for people taking potent medications for diabetes or other health conditions that could damage their liver with prolonged use.



Reduced cancer risk

Curcumin may be a promising treatment for cancer. Studies suggest that the trusted source has protective effects against pancreatic cancer, prostate cancer, and multiple myeloma.



Turmeric adds flavor to foods, which explains its presence in curry powder.  However, turmeric may also play an important role in the digestion of that food.  The spice may contribute to healthy digestion as a result of its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.  It is also used in Ayurvedic medicine as a digestive healing agent.  Western medicine has now begun to study how turmeric can help with intestinal inflammation and intestinal permeability, two measures of digestive efficiency.


The spice is even being explored as a treatment for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).



Ask your doctor before taking any supplement to make sure it is safe for you.



Medical News Today

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