8 Impressive Health Benefits of Turmeric

Turmeric, or Curcuma longa, is an ancient spice used traditionally among the peoples of India and Asia as far back as 2,000 BC. The spice belongs in the ginger family and has been highly prized in the culinary traditions of these ancient cultures for millennia. Turmeric imparts a vibrant yellowish hue to curry dishes, and the spice is also used as a natural dyeing agent for cloths. In Persia, turmeric comes from the word saffron and is closely related to the spice.

The main phytochemicals that give turmeric its most impressive and wide-ranging health benefits are curcuminoids. Amazingly, over 9,000 medical and clinical research studies have been conducted on this amazing spice and its extracted curcumin in recent years, with most finding significant physiological benefits.

There are 3 primary phytochemicals in the curcuminoid family credited for its health benefits: diferuloylmethane (or curcumin, the primary curcuminoid responsible for turmeric's vibrant yellowish color), demethoxycurcumin, and bisdemethoxycurcumin. In addition to these three chemicals, turmerone is another of the potent volatile oils found in the root.

Research has proven these curcuminoids exert powerful health-promoting effects via 160 mechanisms and pathways in the body such as antioxidant, neuroprotective, immunomodulatory, anti-inflammatory, epigenetic, and adaptogenic properties. [1][2]

8 Health Benefits of Turmeric

Turmeric provides an abundance of antioxidants capable of supporting cellular health, but what does that mean for you? Here are some of the most well-researched benefits of turmeric.

1. Mood Balancing

A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study in the Journal of Affective Disorders showed noticeable and promising results with turmeric for symptoms of depression. Two groups were studied over 8 weeks. The first group received curcumin (the main therapeutic constituent in turmeric) daily, while the other received placebo. After 8 weeks, the depression and anxiety score tests completed by all of the participants showed significant symptom improvements compared to placebo. Could turmeric be a potential new option in your cabinet for stabilizing mood? [3] Only future and more in-depth research can determine for sure.

2. Wound Healing

A study in the Sept 2014 issue of Life Sciences performed an extensive review on curcumin and wound/injury healing. Researchers found turmeric (curcumin) to have beneficial properties that appear to speed the wound healing process. These modes of action include the modulation of inflammation and oxidation, the ability to improve granulation tissue formation, tissue remodeling, and deposition of collagen. As new studies come to light showing turmeric's ability to potentiate the body's natural healing processes and outcome, the possible breadth of applications for this could be enormous. [4]

An exciting study in the Oct 2006 issue of Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry demonstrated the efficacy of a topical turmeric application for wounds in rat models. The results showed that turmeric increased collagen synthesis rates, improved wound contraction, and increased remodeled tissue tensile strength and cell proliferation around the wound site. Turmeric also showed antioxidant properties thought to contribute to a better healing process outcome. [5]

3. …read more

Source: 8 Impressive Health Benefits of Turmeric