A substance in turmeric contains bioactive compounds with powerful medicinal properties. Picture: Pexels
A substance in turmeric contains bioactive compounds with powerful medicinal properties. Picture: Pexels

The hidden benefits of turmeric

By Viwe Ndongeni-Ntlebi Time of article published Apr 21, 2020

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For many years, the health-conscious have linked turmeric to healing properties and cosmetic benefits.

The bright, yellow-orange spice related to ginger is gaining more popularity each day. Now, we are seeing more people eating or drinking turmeric.

It’s available as a ground spice or in supplements and other beauty and dermatology products.

Want to know the sudden interest in the spice? According to scientists, curcumin, a substance in turmeric contains bioactive compounds with powerful medicinal properties.

Here are some of the benefits of using this spice:

Natural Anti-Inflammatory:

Chronic inflammation contributes to many common Western diseases. Curcumin can suppress many molecules known to play major roles in inflammation.

According to the 2002 study on the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, scientists now believe that chronic, low-level inflammation plays a major role in almost every chronic, Western disease. This includes heart disease, cancer, metabolic syndrome, Alzheimer's and various degenerative conditions.

Lower your risk of heart disease:

The World Health Organization says cardiovascular diseases are the number one cause of death globally, taking an estimated 17.9 million lives each year.

Speaking to Tech Times, Dr Ronald Cotterel, a family doctor at the Sutter Medical Group says turmeric can't necessarily prevent heart disease. However, the spice could theoretically help prevent heart attacks.

Aspirin has also been used to help prevent heart attacks. Cotterel expressed turmeric can be used similarly, although there are no clinical trials to back this up other than in people who have just gotten coronary artery bypass grafts.

Contribute to a natural glow:

Fancy a nice glow? Well this may be your answer.

According to MD Health, turmeric contains antioxidants and anti-inflammatory components. These characteristics may provide glow and luster to the skin. Turmeric may also revive your skin by bringing out its natural glow.

You may want to try a turmeric face mask at home to see if the spice has any positive effects on your skin. You can mix small amounts of Greek yogurt, honey, and turmeric together and apply to your face. Keep the mask on for 15 minutes and then wash off with water.

Helps with Rheumatoid Arthritis:

Modern research also suggests that curcumin, the active chemical in turmeric, may have beneficial properties for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) symptoms.

A 2012 randomized, pilot study to assess the efficacy and safety of curcumin in patients with active rheumatoid arthritis published in the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, found curcumin as a potent antiarthritic property.

This pilot clinical study evaluated the safety and effectiveness of curcumin alone, and in combination with diclofenac sodium in patients with active rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Forty-five patients diagnosed with RA were randomized into three groups with patients receiving curcumin (500mg) and diclofenac sodium (50mg) alone or their combination.

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