Turmeric, a rhizomatous herbaceous plant that belongs to the family of ginger, is a product Curcuma longa.
It contains chemicals like the yellow coloured Curcumin which gives a warm, bitter taste. For years, turmeric has been used by Asians, and recently in use in many parts of the world.
This herbaceous plant, asides from its many health benefits and medicinal uses, has been used as a colourizer. It is the main spice in powdered curry. It is used to flavour and adds colour to food.
Turmeric is becoming more and more widely popular for its health benefits and medicinal uses. It is said that the curcumin contained in turmeric is a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory chemical. Its inflammatory functions serve to relieve arthritis pain, decrease swelling and treat other inflammatory conditions. Its antioxidant functions help in treating skin diseases, wounds and even liver conditions.
The health benefits of this spice may also be connected to preventing Alzheimer’s disease which is a progressive disease that causes memory loss and other mental impairments.
The main functions of turmeric include:
Inflammation is the normal response of the body to protect tissues against infections and diseases. Without it, infections would go unchecked. But in cases of chronic inflammation, which may cause pain and swelling, curcumin in turmeric helps in reducing this effect and fighting against chronic inflammation.
Inflammation has the ability to prevent the functions of serotonin and dopamine, which are important in regulating mood, and plays a role in the reward system and brain’s pleasure. The anti-inflammatory functions of Curcumin counter this effect, thereby functioning as an antidepressant.
Relieve pain and prevent Alzheimer’s disease.
Turmeric might be considered a pain reliever as studies have shown that it might be used to relieve arthritis and osteoarthritis pain.
Curcumin has been shown also to fight inflammation and oxidative stress, which are two factors that may contribute to Alzheimer’s disease. In fighting inflammation and oxidative stress, it prevents the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and improves memory and cognitive functions.
Antioxidants are compounds that inhibit oxidation which is capable of producing free radicals. These free radicals react and cause damage to the body. The antioxidants contained in turmeric protects the body from these reactive oxygen species called free radicals, thereby maintaining the integrity of the skin and prolong ageing. These antioxidants may provide glow and lustre to the skin, bringing out its natural glow.
Improve liver function.
The antioxidants contained in Curcumin also improve liver functions by destroying toxins that might otherwise cause damage to the liver.
Asides from the above functions, this root plant carries out several other functions in the human body when consumed.
It has been used to treat digestive conditions, boost the immune system in fighting against diseases. It also contains a sunscreen that protects the skin from UV-rays which are harmful to the skin and create free radicals which oxidize DNA bases and subsequently cause mutation.
Many studies have also shown that curcumin has been used in treating other chronic inflammatory induced conditions like heart disease, diabetes and even cancer.
Side Effects of Turmeric
Surely, there’s hardly a thing with advantages without a disadvantage or two.
Tumeric like every other thing has its own side effects.
When taken in excess, it irritates the stomach and causes stomach upset, diarrhoea, vomiting, nausea.
Therefore, it is best taken in moderation. At least about 500-2,000mg daily, as shown by studies, may be efficient.