Turmeric is a bright, yellowish-green spice that comes from a root. It is used in traditional Indian and Asian dishes and has a few powerful health benefits that you don’t want to miss out on. Besides the healing properties, it actually tastes really good, too, and people use it for cooking to entice the senses and make food more palatable.
You’ll usually be able to find this root next to the ginger root at the grocery store or you can buy it in powdered form. It’s originally from south-east India but it’s now grown in different areas. This is one of the few foods that is still good for you after it’s been heated, but new products on the market offer it raw as well. If you’ve ever seen a natural supplement called curcumin, that is actually derived from turmeric.
Traditionally this root has also been used for dying clothes so just a word of warning, it does stain anything it touches including skin so be extra careful when using it for cooking or topically.
Natural Pain Reliever
In India, turmeric is used to make a topical compress for muscle strains and injuries. Water is mixed with the ground spice to make a paste and it is covered with a cloth that is soaked in hot water. This process is utilizing the anti-inflammatory compounds of turmeric.
Turmeric has a special chemical compound called curcuminoids that are some of nature’s most powerful antioxidants. The supplement called curcumin is a more potent pain reliever because they have extracted the curcuminoids and made them into a supplement. It’s also important to note that curcumin is absorbed better by the body if you combine it with black pepper.
Can Help Lower Risk of Cancer
Curcumin supplements are also being studied for their effectiveness on cancer. Inflammation has been known to be the beginning stages that can cause cancer and because turmeric is such a strong anti-inflammatory agent, it can really help reduce the risk of cancer. Preliminary studies done on animals are showing that curcuminoids help halt the growth of blood vessels that are in tumors which stops the spread of cancer. Studies are also showing that they help to prevent cancer as well.
One of Nature’s Strongest Anti-Inflammatory Plants
Inflammation is known to be one of the leading causes of cancer, heart problems, and chronic pain. Chronic inflammation stresses and ages the body. When the body is inflamed there are free radicals that steal from healthy skin cells trying to stabilize. This causes wrinkles and decreases the ability of the brain to function properly. Studies are showing curcumin to be as effective as pharmaceutical drugs that are marketed as anti-inflammatory remedies. The added benefit is that there will not be harmful side effects to consuming turmeric as other drugs that are non-organic compounds.