Turmeric is a common spice; almost everyone can find it in their cabinet, even if you don’t use it all that much. I first came into contact with it when working as a babysitter for a family from church; their mother instructed me to put turmeric on every meal I cooked for them that day. Upon doing some research, it turns out that this bright yellow spice has been working it’s healthy wonders in India, where it’s a staple in curry, for centuries, and is now making it’s debut in the health world as a helpful supplement! There are lots of benefits that can be gleaned from turmeric, but let me just acquaint you with seven of them in particular…
1. Turmeric boosts Brain-Derived Neurotic Factor
I know what you’re thinking; anything with the word “neurotic” in it doesn’t sound good. That’s what we call my dog when she does weird things like lick the carpet. But brain-derived neurotic factor is actually a very good thing; it is when cells in your brain are able to divide and multiply. For years it was believed that this was only possible in childhood when the brain was first developing, but recently they’ve discovered that’s not true! In fact, many brain diseases and disorders come from the brain-derived neurotic factor not functioning up to par, or even not functioning at all. That’s why is so great that turmeric stimulates and kick-starts the factor, preventing degenerative brain conditions and…yes, you guessed it, improving cognitive functions and making you smarter!
2. Helps Prevent and Treat Cancer
In a phase-one clinical trial in the UK, turmeric was given to 25 patients who showed pre-cancerous changes in different organs. The study seemed to show that turmeric could stop the pre-cancerous changes and conditions from becoming cancer. Later, several different laboratory tests showed that curcumin -the main ingredient of tumeric- did indeed fight actual cancer cells, killing the cells themselves and preventing more from growing. It seems to have the best effect on breast cancer, bowel cancer, stomach cancer, prostate cancer, and skin cancer cells.
3. Combats Depression Effectively
During clinical tests conducted by Psychotherapy Research, it was found that taking turmeric as a supplement had the same antidepressant effect on the patients as Prozac, which is a pharmaceutical drug that carries unhealthy and harmful side-effects. It worked just as well, and carried none of the horrible side-effects of the drug! It also stimulated the growth of nerves and neurotransmitters that had died during stress-induced neuro-degeneration. Click here and here to link to a more detailed article!
4. Delays Aging
The anti-oxidant properties of turmeric can work many ways to delay signs of skin aging, and also can help prevent damage from UV rays. A young heart means young body. Turmeric can help in keeping your heart healthy by fighting various possible heart disorders as you age. Turmeric has been proven to have amazing anti-arthritic potential. It can not only help keep bones healthy but help in inflammation of joints without side effects. Turmeric has been known to help in Alzheimer’s, Parkisons’, nervous system injury and neurodegeneration. It has also been proven to extend lifespan in test animals; I’m all for that one!
5. Improves Liver Function
When turmeric is taken regularly, it has been shown to cause the liver to grow more LDL receptors, thus being able to filter more toxins out of the blood and keep on top of things with less trouble. It also combats -to a degree- the effects of excess alcohol on the liver, and helps repair damage that has already been done.
6. Natural Remedy for Skin Conditions
While you might not want to use turmeric on your face, due to its propensity to leave a temporary yellowish stain, many people have had great success in treating fungal infections on the skin level. Ringworm, for example; making a paste with turmeric and water, spreading it on the wound, and allowing it to sit for ten minutes before rinsing it off gently can speed healing and relieve the pain and itching associated with the infection.
7. Pain Relief
Applying turmeric paste topically to wounds or bruises has been reported to help the pain, and many elderly people experience relief when applying it to sore, arthritic joints. This can also be helped by taking turmeric internally, either as a spice or in a tea. This has also been shown to help stress-induced headaches and soothe menstrual pain and cramps in women. Less pain is always better, right guys?
All I know is, when I head off to college this fall, I am taking a nice sizable bag of this stuff with me. I could benefit from ALL of these effects, and I’ll be you some of my dorm mates can, too. What about you? Come one, give turmeric a try; it’s the only smart choice when you’ve heard of how helpful it can be!