Turmeric is fast rising in popularity in the west after being used in India for thousands of years as a spice and medicinal herb.
Turmeric has many benefits because it contains compounds called curcuminoids. The most important is curcumin, which has powerful anti-inflammatory effects and is a very strong antioxidant.
Here are some of the benefits of taking turmeric:
- Curcumin can inhibit many molecules known to play major roles in inflammation.
- Curcumin has powerful antioxidant effects. It neutralizes free radicals on its own, then stimulates the body’s own antioxidant enzymes.
- Curcumin boosts levels of the brain hormone BDNF, which increases the growth of new neurons and fights various degenerative processes in the brain.
- Curcumin improves the function of the endothelium and is a potent anti-inflammatory agent and antioxidant.
- Turmeric has many healing properties for skin. It’s a natural anti-inflammatory so it reduces redness or other skin irritations. It’s antibacterial, so it’s great for blemishes, acne and skin balance.
- Curcumin leads to several changes on the molecular level that may help prevent cancer.
- Curcumin can cross the blood-brain barrier and has been shown to lead to various improvements in the pathological process of Alzheimer’s disease.
- Curcumin can help treat symptoms of arthritis and is in some cases more effective than anti-inflammatory drugs.