Turmeric...you hear about it all the time but what is it? Turmeric is a perennial plant of the ginger family, and it is commonly sold in powder form to use in cooking, or it is also sold in supplement form. What's really responsible for turmerics amazing healing abilities is a property called curcumin. Curcumin makes turmeric have all these amazing benefits:
The most well-known benefit of curcumin is that it contains powerful anti-inflammatory properties. One major study found that aspirin and ibuprofen, two of the most common anti-inflammatory drugs are least effective, while curcumin is among the most effective anti-inflammatory compounds in the world. (1) Inflammation is the root cause of nearly every disease - diabetes, high cholesterol, cancers, chronic pain, to name a few.
2. Improves Arthritis Symptoms
Because of the anti-inflammatory and pain reducing abilities, turmeric is often advised to take for managing arthritis pain. While arthritis cannot be cured, it seems that a supplemented dose of curcumin can be just as, if not more, effective than common medications prescribed for arthritis.
3. Reduces Depression
Turmeric seems to interfere with neurotransmitters in our brain as well, contributing to improved mood. Supplementing with turmeric has shown to be as effective as anti-depressant medications in those diagnosed with depression (2). What's even better? No side effects! Aside from directly influencing mood and brain activity, turmeric also helps you physically feel better. When you physically feel better, your mental health improves as well.
4. Boosts Skin Health
Turmeric's inflammation-controlling benefits can benefit a number of skin conditions, especially those associated with redness such as acne, scars and wounds, and psoriasis flare ups. If you struggle with any kind of skin conditions, turmeric can especially help with pain and redness.
5. Helps Manage Diabetes
Curcumin in turmeric is LITERALLY 400 times more potent than metformin (commonly used diabetes drug) in activating an enzyme called AMP-activated protein kinase. This enzyme plays a key role in reversing insulin resistance and diabetes. A compound produced by fermentation of curcumin in turmeric called tetrahydrocurcumin (say that 10x fast) activated AMPK up to 100,000 times more than metformin in certain cells! (3) And yet again, the anti-inflammatory properties play a role here in managing the inflammatory responses that are hallmark to diabetes.
6. Natural Pain Reliever
Wounds, cramping, arthritis pain, post-surgery pain, Sciatica, you name it. All kinds of pain have been found to be benefitted at least partially by using turmeric. Before you reach for some Advil, try nature's version first!
7. Helps Regulate Cholesterol
Again, here we have a condition that is associated with inflammation. High cholesterol, caused by excessive oxidative stress, is caused by..you guessed it..inflammation. Many doctors are becoming aware of the dangerous and potentially deadly side effects of statin drugs and are prescribing natural alternatives like curcumin (turmeric) and fish oil which both combat inflammation.
8. Natural Detoxifier
Turmeric and its active compound, curcumin, can help the liver detox the body and alleviate some effects of carcinogens. Every day, you are exposed to tons of toxins, both from your diet and your environment. The active compound in turmeric can help your body naturally rid itself of daily toxins, reducing oxidative stress and cancer risk.
What's the take-home message? There are too many benefits to NOT add turmeric to your daily supplement routine. You can also buy it in the spice aisle and use it to season meat, vegetables, and flavor soups, sauces, and homemade dressings. Whenever cooking with turmeric, remember to add some black pepper in order to activate it.
You can purchase our turmeric supplement HERE and reap all these benefits!