The bright yellow spice commonly found in curries and Middle Eastern dishes, turmeric is one of many foods used for centuries for it’s medicinal properties. Unlike many “superfoods”, researchers have been doing their due diligence when it comes to turmeric, largely because the active component, curcumin, credited with many of its benefits is known and can be isolated. Curcumin has been at the center of numerous health studies and these studies are helping to catapult the spice into mainstream popularity.
Recently, an extensive review published in the International Journal of Biochemistry & Cell Biology compiled the ‘best research’ on turmeric and outlined the proven benefits of this ancient spice.
In the abstract, the researchers write:
“For centuries it has been known that turmeric exhibits anti-inflammatory activity, but extensive research performed within the past two decades has shown that this activity of turmeric is due to curcumin, a diferuloylmethane. This agent has been shown to regulate numerous transcription factors, cytokines, protein kinases, adhesion molecules, redox status and enzymes that have been linked to inflammation. “
It’s this anti-inflammatory power of curcumin that is credited with the many benefits of turmeric. Because inflammation plays a role in everything from migraines to cancer and heart disease, the list of potential uses for a powerful and natural anti-inflammatory is almost endless.
“Most chronic illnesses,” the researchers write, “are caused by dysregulated inflammation.” It’s the ability of curcumin to suppress inflammation through multiple pathways that makes it such a powerful healer.
According to the review, cucumin has been shown to “exhibit therapeutic potential” in a long list of diseases, including:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Parkinson’s disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- Kidney disease
- And even brain injuries.
In fact, you could search NaturalSociety.com and read up on the numerous benefits of turmeric, as well as links to real studies, for hours.
The review is like none other in its extensive collection of research citations, providing a wealth of information for anyone seeking to learn more about how turmeric works to heal the body through its anti-inflammatory powers. And if the research is too academic, the proof is in the pudding:
“The wisdom and scientific credentials of curcumin in the Ayurvedic and Chinese systems of medicine have been corroborated by numerous studies conducted over the past 30 years. These observations are also supported by epidemiological data suggesting lower incidence of chronic diseases in people from countries where curcumin is consumed.”
In other words, to experience the full benefits of turmeric and its active constituent curcumin, you don’t need to do the research, you simply need to add it to your diet.