Turmeric can be used as a cooking spice, a medicine, and a dietary supplement. While long used in ancient medical practices in southeast Asia, turmeric has recently gained popularity in Western cultures as a food supplement. Claims abound that it improves digestive health, decreases inflammation, and treats arthritis. Taken in pill form or brewed into bedtime teas, turmeric is part of the craze to treat medical problems naturally. But recently it has come to light that turmeric may also have serious side effects, including liver damage. These are the facts you need to know when considering using turmeric as a medical supplement.
6. What Is Turmeric?
Turmeric is a bright golden-yellow powder harvested from the plant Zingiberaceae, a member of the ginger family. The rhizome, or underground stem of the plant, is boiled, dried out, and then pounded into the deep golden-colored powder you may be familiar with. Asian dishes and curries frequently utilize the pungent, earthy flavor of this spice in cooking. Turmeric supplements claiming to treat inflammation, arthritis, skin problems, stomach ailments, and other problems are available. They come in pill form, teas, extracts, and topical pastes.
5. Potential Benefits of Turmeric
The active ingredient in turmeric is called curcumin. This substance seems to promote health through two mechanisms. The antioxidant properties of curcumin results in fewer free radicals present in your bloodstream. This decreases oxidative stress on your body. Curcumin also has anti-inflammatory properties. Curcumin’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects make it a good candidate for treating arthritis, metabolic syndrome, anxiety, and high cholesterol. It can help with muscle soreness and inflammation caused by exercise. Researchers are studying the ability of turmeric to prevent heart disease, certain types of cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease.