Turmeric is a spice used to color curry. It’s also one of the most potent and multi-functional herbal remedies out there. This spice has been used for centuries in Asian cooking and as a dye for clothing. Even today, holistic health gurus tout the need to include turmeric in your diet. However, one of the most beneficial ingredients that comprise turmeric is a compound called “curcumin,” This miracle compound does most of the health-benefit heavy lifting. But what exactly can it do for you? Here are seven unique and amazing benefits that curcumin has been found to possess.
Inflammation can be annoying at the best of times. While little moments of inflammation are your body’s way of handling and getting rid of foreign particles and other biological influences like viruses and the like, longer periods are typically a sign that something is wrong. It is an indication that your body is fighting something a chronic issue or something it shouldn’t be fighting (like its own tissues, cells, etc.)
Curcumin has been proven to be a valuable substance in the treatment of this kind of inflammation. This is because it can muffle some of the molecules that cause the inflammation. However, just one dab of the stuff isn’t going to take care of the issue. Studies suggest that heavier doses are required to reduce chronic inflammation significantly, and the doses required are something you should do only after consulting with your doctor.
2: Brain Health
Brains are a network of neurons connected in different ways and sending signals through those neuropathways. Certain proteins are vitally important in making sure those networks are maintained and ensuring new ones as time goes on. It has been found that curcumin is a great source of these kinds of proteins.
When a brain is deficient in BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor), it can lead to problems and difficulty learning new things, retaining information for longer periods, or general on-the-fly functionality that you would typically expect with a brain that is functioning normally. In clinical trials, curcumin has been shown to kickstart the creation of this important chemical and slow down the degradation of higher brain functionality.
3: Cancer Treatment
While working as an anti-inflammatory and being important for brain health is important, another known benefit of curcumin is in the treatment of cancer patients. In clinical tests, curcumin has been shown to prevent tumor growth and actually attacks the cells that are multiplying due to cancer, among other things.
It must be noted that you should not take this to mean that curcumin can cure cancer. It isn’t quite that potent. And like the application for use against inflammation, it requires quite a big dose to do what we know it’s capable of doing.
4: Arthritis Treatment
Curcumin has been found to be effective in the treatment of arthritis. In patients with arthritis who took either curcumin or any other kind of drug for anti-inflammation treatment, the curcumin seemed to prove just as, if not more, effective at soothing their symptoms.
5: Heart Disease Prevention
Do you know what one of the most common causes of heart disease is? It’s called an oxygen free radical. It’s called that because this type of molecule is more active and unstable than most. When it comes into contact with certain types of biological matter (like a heart, for example), it reacts in dangerous and damaging ways. Curcumin has been shown to neutralize these overactive agents.
But that’s not all it can do for your heart. Encasing your blood vessels is a layer of tissue called the endothelium. When this lining is damaged or otherwise not working properly, the heart is more prone to clotting or developing other various difficulties. Curcumin has been shown to strengthen the endothelium, making it less likely to fail at a given moment. In addition, curcumin’s anti-inflammatory properties apply just as well to heart-related complications.
6: Depression Treatment
We’ve talked before about how this lovely chemical can help increase brain power in general, but studies seem to suggest that this extends to mental health as well. As many types of depression are linked with some kind of brain deficiency (a crippled hippocampus, failing memory centers, etc.), it stands to reason how curcumin’s support of brain health can be an effective supplement to aid in the fight against depression.
7: Other Disease Treatments
At this point, it shouldn’t be much of a surprise to see this on the list. With its potency in the areas of brain functionality, cardiovascular health, inflammation reduction, and other benefits, it’s no wonder that curcumin has been found to help chronic pain caused by inflammation. It can also bolstered areas that would otherwise run deficient due to old age.
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