Turmeric – Its History & Health Benefits

Dubbed “the golden spice,” for not only its characteristic gilded luster, turmeric is also ‘golden’ in that it is chock full of health benefits and uses. Small wonder then that turmeric has seen a bit of a rise in terms of popularity. We’ll see why that is and why I recommend you start integrating this wonder root into your regimen!

The history of turmeric is a long one. It was used to treat ailments of various kinds as far back as 4,000 years. Turmeric was mainly used in Ayurvedic and traditional medicine in China and South Asia. It was employed to treat ailments like intense pain, fatigue, rheumatism, and respiratory problems in those areas and is also very popular in India. 

Throughout time, turmeric has been taken in different ways and the same can be said today. But the most effective way is to consume it with a liquid. You can do so by taking it as a liquid shot or adding it to your drink, like a tea or a smoothie.

Now let’s go into the many health benefits of turmeric:

1. It’s anti-inflammatory.

This is its most popular benefit. Turmeric is known to ease swelling and relieve pain, which makes it useful for those with arthritis. It was observed in one study that observed patients with ulcerative colitis that subjects who took 2 grams of curcumin a day in conjunction with prescription medication stayed in remission longer. It also reduces the side effects risks that are synonymous with prescription anti-inflammatory drugs.

2. It lowers heart disease risk.

Thanks to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, turmeric can boost the way the endothelium functions. It also reduces the level of LDL, or low-density lipoproteins, also known as the “bad” cholesterol. A study on healthy adults of middle age and older showed that when they consumed curcumin supplements for 12 weeks, their resistance artery endothelial production was increased. This means a more optimal blood pressure.

3. It improves brain function and helps against depression.

Curcumin carries properties that can improve how much brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) your brain produces. This means booster new neuron growth and defense against degenerative brain processes. This is exactly why turmeric has been used in fighting off Alzheimer’s disease and other similar ailments. The boosted BDNF also means turmeric can help reduce the hippocampus-shrinking effects of depression and is just as effective as fluoxetine (Prozac) along with increasing levels of dopamine and serotonin.

4. It fights pain.

Turmeric is also known to be very helpful in helping people find relief from pain. Studies show that consuming the extract of turmeric could help in lessening the pain felt from osteoarthritis. If this is the sought-after benefit, turmeric is of course best used in conjunction with prescribed medicine with your physician’s approval.

5. It boosts your immunity.

Given we are living through a pandemic, boosting your immunity could very well mean winning a struggle against COVID-19. Turmeric won’t prevent you from catching the virus, but it could help give you a fighting chance against it. Turmeric is one of the top foods for boosting the immune system thanks to its antiviral, antibacterial, antimicrobial, and antioxidant properties.

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