Used in Indian curries and other Asian cuisines, turmeric sets dishes aglow with its rich yellow-orange color thanks to a special compound called curcumin. In fact the name curcumin comes from the ancient Sanskrit word for “yellow.”
Research studies show curcumin has very strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, which means turmeric may “calm” irritated situations inside cells on a microscopic level such as in the heart and brain. As an anti-inflammatory agent, curcumin shows promising potential health benefits including curbing a host of ailments that have their roots in inflammation.
- Digestive Ailments: Used in traditional Indian and Chinese medicine to treat various digestive diseases including irritable bowel syndrome, curcumin may suppress the growth of harmful bacteria in the gut.
- Alzheimer’s Disease: Evidence is accumulating that curcumin may help slow the buildup of harmful proteins that accumulate in the brain seen in Alzheimer’s disease.
- Heart Disease: Blood vessels in the heart and elsewhere become inflamed as part of the disease process and studies show that curcumin may slow this process.
- Cancer: As an antioxidant, curcumin in turmeric root has been shown to curb the action of potential cancer-causing agents and may also halt abnormal cell growth.
- Muscle Aches: Following tough workouts, your muscles become sore due to microscopic muscle damage and inflammation. Studies show that curcumin may curb some of this damage and soreness helping to promote speedier recovery from exercise.
Want to go for the gold and try using turmeric at home? Check out our DIY Turmeric Tricks to learn how to make turmeric ginger tea and a moisturizing skin mask!