Turmeric, sometimes also referred to as “The Golden Spice” or “The Indian Saffron”, is one such spice among a variety of Indian spices that almost everyone is aware of. The credit of such popularity goes to the fact that it is the most widely used spices in Indian cuisine. It’s what gives our food or curries the brilliant yellow colour. Surprisingly, that’s not the only reason turmeric is famous for; it also carries an uncompromising legacy of being one of the most powerful natural herbs used for thousands of years in Ayurveda, the traditional Indian system of medicine.
From being able to speed up the rate of healing wounds to being extensively studied by the research community as a source of chemical substances that can help in treating and preventing deadly diseases like cancer and Alzheimer’s disease, turmeric is known for a lot of health benefits, and hence, rightly deserves the above mentioned titles.
Turmeric, botanically known as Curcuma longa, is spice that is widely cultivated in India and is used in its powdered form in Indian cuisine, religious rituals, and for various medicinal purposes. It is a source of chemical compounds called Curcuminoids, one of them called Curcumin is an active ingredient of turmeric and is responsible for its colour and medicinal properties.
How Curcumin helps us?
The curcumin present in turmeric is known to be a powerful antioxidant and an anti-inflammatory agent. It is these two strong properties of curcumin that helps turmeric be beneficial in many health problems.
Being a natural antioxidant, curcumin helps reduce the oxidative stress and it also stimulates the antioxidant defense system of our body. Oxidative stress occurs when the amount of reactive free radical molecules increases in our body, and in turn causes oxidative damage to our tissues and is responsible for early ageing of the body and various chronic and degenerative diseases. That is why antioxidants like curcumin are very beneficial to us.
Curcumin being a strong and highly effective anti-inflammatory agent helps in preventing and treating allergies and chronic inflammation problems. Chronic inflammation is associated with various chronic and degenerative diseases.
There are many health benefits of curcumin but there is one shortcoming as well. It is found in small quantities in turmeric and unfortunately not effectively absorbed in our body. If we consume a little black pepper, which contains a bioactive compound called piperine, this issue can be solved because piperine boosts the absorption of curcumin by nearly 2000%.
Botanical Name: Curcuma longa (Turmeric) and Piper nigrum (Black Pepper)
Other Names of Turmeric: Haldi (Hindi), Halad (Marathi), Haridra (Sanskrit)
Other Names of Black Pepper: Kali-Mirch (Hindi), Dhanwantari (Sanskrit), Madagascar Pepper, Pepper, White Pepper
Various health benefits that turmeric can offer
The two above mentioned properties collectively allow turmeric to be beneficial in many health problems, either by helping in treating them or by preventing them. Here are the following health benefits of turmeric:
- Helps with arthritis: Arthritis is a common disease that is found to be common in people of older generations. Being a strong anti-inflammatory agent, curcumin helps in relieving and reducing the joint inflammation in people suffering from arthritis.
- Promotes longevity: The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric may help slow down the ageing of our body and prevent us from various chronic diseases.
- Helps in preventing and combating heart diseases: Curcumin helps in improving the endothelium function and keeps our blood vessels in good health and its antioxidant nature helps in reducing the oxidative damage to cardiovascular tissues. As a result it helps in lowering the risk of heart diseases.
- Acts as natural pain killer: Turmeric has been used as a natural pain killer since ancient times. Curcumin in turmeric helps in reducing pain and discomfort on par with anti-inflammatory drugs without any side effects.
- Speeds up healing of wounds and bones: Turmeric has natural antiseptic, antifungal and antimicrobial agents, thus it helps prevent infection, and the curcumin present in turmeric helps in healing wounds by decreasing inflammation and oxidation. It also helps speed up the healing of bone fractures.
- May help in preventing and treating cancer: Many studies show that curcumin inhibits the growth of cancerous cells. A study suggests that curcumin helps in killing cancer cells and does not affect normal cells.
- May help in preventing and treating Alzheimer’s disease: Studies show that the strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties may help prevent degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s diseases by reducing long term oxidative damage and chronic inflammation.
- Helps with allergies: Curcumin has strong anti-allergic properties and helps inhibit the release of histamine in the bloodstream which is responsible for the allergic response.
Apart from all these health benefits, turmeric along with black pepper helps improve digestion, boosts immunity, prevents tooth decay, and relieves symptoms of asthma.
To reap the full potential health benefits of turmeric, one should supplement it with black pepper. Altveda provides the best quality curcumin extracts with black pepper in the form of capsules that are pure and completely natural.
Devendra Barange is an active member of the Altveda team and is responsible for content writing as well as content management. When not writing or working, he takes pleasure in reading classic novels.
LinkedIn: Devendra Barange's Profile