Turmeric (Curcuma longa) – (हल्दी) has been used for 4,000 years to treat a variety of conditions. Studies show that turmeric may help fight infections and some cancers, reduce inflammation, and treat digestive problems, and it has gotten a lot of press lately.
But remember several facts when you hear news reports about turmeric. First, many studies have taken place in test tubes and animals, and turmeric may not work as well in humans. Second, some studies have used an injectable form of curcumin, the active substance in turmeric. Finally, some of the studies show conflicting evidence.
Turmeric is widely used in cooking and gives Indian curry its flavor and yellow color. It is also used in mustard and to color butter and cheese. Turmeric has been used in both Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine as an anti-inflammatory, to treat digestive and liver problems, skin diseases, and wounds.
Here are 20 reasons to add turmeric to your diet:
- It is a natural antiseptic and antibacterial agent, useful in disinfecting cuts and burns.
- When combined with cauliflower, it has shown to prevent prostate cancer and stop the growth of existing prostate cancer.
- Prevented breast cancer from spreading to the lungs in mice.
- May prevent melanoma and cause existing melanoma cells to commit suicide.
- Reduces the risk of childhood leukemia.
- Is a natural liver detoxifier.
- May prevent and slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease by removing amyloyd plaque buildup in the brain.
- May prevent metastases from occurring in many different forms of cancer.
- It is a potent natural anti-inflammatory that works as well as many anti-inflammatory drugs but without the side effects.
- Has shown promise in slowing the progression of multiple sclerosis in mice.
- Is a natural painkiller and cox-2 inhibitor.
- May aid in fat metabolism and help in weight management.
- Has long been used in Chinese medicine as a treatment for depression.
- Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, it is a natural treatment for arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
- Boosts the effects of chemo drug paclitaxel and reduces its side effects.
- Promising studies are underway on the effects of turmeric on pancreatic cancer.
- Studies are ongoing in the positive effects of turmeric on multiple myeloma.
- Has been shown to stop the growth of new blood vessels in tumors.
- Speeds up wound healing and assists in remodeling of damaged skin.
- May help in the treatment of psoriasis and other inflammatory skin conditions.
Turmeric can be taken in powder or pill form. It is available in pill form in most health food stores, usually in 250-500mg capsules.
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