Turmeric, the main spice in the Indian dish curry, is arguably the most powerful herb on the planet at fighting and potentially reversing disease. Turmeric benefits include so many healing properties that currently there are over 10,000 peer-reviewed articles published proving turmeric benefits, especially one of its renowned healing compounds, curcumin.
1. Anti-inflammatory: Researchers attribute the powerful antioxidant properties of turmeric to one of its component, curcumin. Curcumin not only finds utility in food as spice and coloring agent but also in cosmetics and medicine for its anti-inflammatory and anti-cancerous properties.
Curcumin’s ability to inhibit enzymes that mediate inflammatory processes makes it a powerful anti-inflammatory agent. Enzymes that mediate inflammatory processes in the human body include cyclooxygenase-2, lipoxygenase, inducible nitric oxide synthase, COX-2, LOX, and iNOS.
2. Fights Cancer: Inflammation is interlinked with the growth of certain forms of cancer cells. In these types of tumor development, Curcumin also finds utility as a component with chemopreventive effects. Recent scientific studies suggest that Curcumin confers protection against endotoxins and also appears to be a promising compound for countering effects of infections.
3. Osteoarthritis Relief: The disease evolves over time and is characterized by declining joint functions and thereby increasing patients’ discomfort. Curcumin isolated from turmeric (Curcuma longa) has been recognized with the excellent safety profile, and with available data supporting its potency for targeting multiple inflammatory diseases, curcumin has a great potential for treating arthritis and had been classified as having preclinical evidence of efficacy.
4. Anti-mutagenic: Chemotherapy and radiation treatments are often known to initiate new forms of cancer. The consumption of Curcumin in powder form (as recommended by physicians) can effectively inhibit metastasis. The lab level studies have found curcumin’s ability to inhibit carcinogenesis at three levels: promotion, angiogenesis and tumor growth. (Role of curcumin in systemic and oral health)
5. Anti-aging: In rats, the topical application of Curcumin in the skin of mice significantly inhibited the activity of Ultraviolet rays. The inhibitory effects were attributed to Curcumin’s ability to scavenge reactive oxygen species, otherwise free radicals. The safety profile adds to the credibility of the compound for sunscreen manufacturers to a greater extent. (Potential of herbs in skin protection from ultraviolet radiation)
6. Cardiovascular Benefits
Curcumin has been found to inhibit platelets from clumping together and thereby improving blood circulation. The compound has also been effective in lowering cholesterol level; Curcumin’s ability in conferring protection against pathological changes resulting from atherosclerosis also has been recorded in various scientific literature. (The protective role of curcumin in cardiovascular diseases)