The active ingredient in turmeric is curcumin. Tumeric has been used for over 2500 years in India, where it was most likely first used as a dye.
The medicinal properties of this spice have been slowly revealing themselves over the centuries. Long known for its anti-inflammatory properties, recent research has revealed that turmeric is a natural wonder, proving beneficial in the treatment of many different health conditions from cancer to Alzheimer’s disease.
Here are 20 reasons to add turmeric to your diet:
- It is a natural antiseptic and antibacterial agent, useful in disinfecting cuts and burns.
- When combined with cauliflower, it has shown to prevent prostate cancer and stop the growth of existing prostate cancer.
- Prevented breast cancer from spreading to the lungs in mice.
- May prevent melanoma and cause existing melanoma cells to commit suicide.
- Reduces the risk of childhood leukemia.
- Is a natural liver detoxifier.
- May prevent and slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease by removing amyloid plaque buildup in the brain.
- May prevent metastases from occurring in many different forms of cancer.
- It is a potent natural anti-inflammatory that works as well as many anti-inflammatory drugs but without the side effects.
- Has shown promise in slowing the progression of multiple sclerosis in mice.
- Is a natural painkiller and cox-2 inhibitor.
- May aid in fat metabolism and help in weight management.
- Has long been used in Chinese medicine as a treatment for depression.
- Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, it is a natural treatment for arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
- Boosts the effects of chemo drug paclitaxel and reduces its side effects.
- Promising studies are underway on the effects of turmeric on pancreatic cancer.
- Studies are ongoing in the positive effects of turmeric on multiple myeloma.
- Has been shown to stop the growth of new blood vessels in tumors.
- Speeds up wound healing and assists in remodeling of damaged skin.
- May help in the treatment of psoriasis and other inflammatory skin conditions.
- Turmeric can be taken in powder or pill form. It is available in pill form in most health food stores, usually in 250-500mg capsules.
Once you start using turmeric on a regular basis, it’s fun to find new ways to use it in recipes. My favorite way to use it is to add a pinch of it to egg salad. It adds a nice flavor and gives the egg salad a rich yellow hue.
Contraindications: Turmeric should not be used by people with gallstones or bile obstruction. Though turmeric is often used by pregnant women, it is important to consult with a doctor before doing so as turmeric can be a uterine stimulant.