Turmeric is a wonderful spice, full of flavour and colour with health benefits to boot. It has long been revered in Ayurvedic medicine, with the whole herb used to support blood, liver, joints, immunity and digestion. In the last decade the scientific community has woken up to its benefits. There has been an explosion of research into the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits of curcumin and the other valuable compounds within turmeric. Let’s travel round the body to look at how it can help.
Unsurprisingly it all starts with digestion: when it is consumed it comes into contact with the lining of the digestive tract a huge area that operates as a gateway to the inside of our body. It increases blood flow to the digestive area, stimulates the secretion of bile acids and helps good bacteria. It may help with IBS symptoms, and soothe the gut in conditions like ulcerative colitis.
Round the body
From the gut it is absorbed into the circulatory system. Its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties may protect the cardiovascular system by improving cholesterol management. It also helps modulate the immune system and dampen inflammatory response in a number of conditions. Research has also shown it may positively influence factors linked to the onset of insulin resistance.
For our joints, turmeric reduces pain by combatting inflammation and modifying the immune response, helping improve movement and pain in osteo-arthritis and reduce inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis.
The brain also benefits from the wonders of turmeric. By protecting nerve cells from oxidation and inflammation, it may improve cognitive function and protect against dementia. Inflammation is also an underlying factor in the development of mood disorders and there has been promising research on the benefit of turmeric in depression.
Finally, even our skin loves turmeric! Improving digestion and offering antioxidant protection, dermatologists have found it may also help with many skin conditions such as acne and psoriasis.
Cook up a curry, spice up a meal, make a turmeric latte or add to smoothies. Additionally, take a supplement to enjoy the many benefits of this golden spice!
by Charlotte Gilbert Dip.ION FdSc
20% discount on Higher Nature's Turmeric in May 2019