The Benefits of Turmeric
Turmeric, also known as curcumin, is of the ginger family. It is a golden spice that colours curries in Asian cooking and is also a medicinal herb that has been used in India for centuries. The curcumin in turmeric contains bioactive compounds with wonderful medicinal properties.
Turmeric has powerful anti-inflammatory properties, helping to fight chronic inflammation in the body. It is also a very strong antioxidant that can neutralize free radicals and boost the activity of your body's own antioxidant enzymes, making it a great anti-aging herb. Turmeric also helps remove toxins and purify the blood. It is a blood tonic and a blood thinner.
Turmeric can increase one of the hormones in the brain, assisting in relieving symptoms of depression, Alzheimer’s as well as improving memory. As a blood tonic, Turmeric can lower your risk of heart disease improving the function of the lining of your blood vessels and helping to lower bad cholesterol. Turmeric leads to several changes on the molecular level making it an anticarcinogenic. Turmeric can be used in treating joint pain, arthritis, viruses, menstrual cramping, IBS, headaches, migraines, strengthen digestion and assist in the healing of stomach ulcers or colitis.
Turmeric can be ingested as a spice in foods or in capsule form. It is recommended to ingest turmeric with healthy fats and black pepper to help with the absorption process. Black pepper contains a compound called piperine, which inhibits the metabolic breakdown of the turmeric compounds in the gut and liver, which allows higher levels of curcumin compounds to remain in the body, increasing its bioavailability. Usually in capsule form BioPerine (the trademarked name for piperine) is added to capsules.
My favorite forms of ingesting turmeric is in a tea, a turmeric and ginger juice shot, golden milk and as a base in most of my cooking.
As always make sure you have a good source of organic turmeric. As we are all individuals and react differently, be aware of the effect that taking this medicinal herb has on you.