Familiar to many as the spice that lends its yellowish color to curry, turmeric is an herb native to India used for thousands of years. Aside from its use in food, it also contributes to a variety of medicinal benefits.
Modern science has only recently come around to seriously exploring the medicinal properties of turmeric and has found some pretty positive signs. As it turns out, the herb has compounds useful for improving one’s overall health and wellness.
The main active ingredient in turmeric, a compound known as curcumin, has been linked to several significant health benefits. Below, we’ve listed five ways the curcumin found in turmeric may be used for various conditions and improve the quality of one’s life.
1. Use for Anti-Inflammation
The compound known as curcumin has significant anti-inflammatory and antioxidant capabilities. Chronic inflammation is a contributing factor to many severe conditions including Alzheimer’s, heart disease, and cancer. Lowering inflammation early on may help to prevent these conditions from happening later. The level of curcumin in turmeric is only slight, but with the right preparation and added ingredients, it can help boost anti-inflammation considerably.
2. May Boost Brain Function
Another exciting thing about curcumin is that it can improve overall brain function. This is thanks to the hormone BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor) which causes neurons in the brain to increase and multiply. Curcumin can increase the level of BDNF in your brain, which may improve and even help prevent severe brain diseases. It may also play a role in enhancing memory and retention. The full potential of curcumin and BDNF are still unknown, but positive signs show it may be a massive help for healthy brain function.
3. May Reduce the Risk of Heart Disease
One of the most well-studied effects of curcumin in turmeric is the role it plays in endothelium. Endothelium refers to the lining of your blood vessels, which are responsible for regulating blood pressure, clots, and other various factors. Studies have indicated that curcumin may improve endothelial function as well as exercise. One study found that those who took curcumin while undergoing coronary artery bypass surgery were 65 percent less likely to experience a heart attack.
4. May Ease Arthritis
Given its anti-inflammatory properties, people living with arthritis may find some relief from turmeric as well. As stated above, chronic inflammation can lead to many unpleasant conditions, arthritis included. With reduced inflammation, those with arthritis may begin to improve, feeling less pain and better muscle control.
5. May Fight Depression
According to a recent study, curcumin can have a beneficial impact on those living with depression. Since depression has been linked to lower levels of BDNF (mentioned above), increased levels of this hormone can effectively combat the negative effects. Some evidence suggests it can also increase levels of serotonin and dopamine. Improving one’s mood even slightly can have enormous therapeutic benefits for those with depression and other disorders.
Like most forms of holistic medicine and herbal remedies, turmeric as a medicinal herb is still being fully understood by the scientific community. Facts like this give us hope for its potential as a benefit to our overall health and wellness. The benefits of turmeric may have the power to transform one’s life for the better, which is a possibility well-worth the consideration.
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