Curcuma longa, the scientific name for the Turmeric plant which contains immense health benefits and is used as a staple spice in many Asian cuisines, a significant part of holistic medicine and even in religious ceremonies.
Also known as the “golden spice” and “Indian saffron”—particularly due to its bright yellow colored root—the Turmeric has provided countless preventive and healing abilities. It contains more than 100 amazing chemical compounds that contribute to its innate ability to treat all sort of medical conditions.
However, the most important ingredient of Turmeric is curcumin, a polyphenol. Curcumin has been shown in various studies to be effective in treating several diseases including Alzheimer’s, Cancer, Cardiovascular, Central Nervous System, Neurology, Oncology, and inflammation.
Here are the top 5 health benefits of the turmeric based on available evidence.
1. It can lower the risk of heart disease
The world’s number one cause of death is heart disease, and for many years, researchers have studied it intensely to discover the cause of the disease. But, the condition is highly complicated and is caused by numerous factors.
However, several studies have shown that curcumin leads to improvements in endothelial function—the lining of the blood vessels. This helps in drastically reversing the process that leads to the development of heart disease.
Additionally, curcumin also reduces inflammation and oxidation which play a huge role in heart disease.
2. It can aid in the prevention and treatment of cancer
Cancer is currently one the world’s deadliest diseases, and cancerous cells are known for their ability to grow without any form of control. But while there are several types of cancer, some of them have been proven to be affected by curcumin supplements.
Various studies have proven that curcumin can contribute to the death of cancerous cells and drastically reduce angiogenesis—the growth of new blood vessels in tumors—and metastasis—the rapid spread of cancer.
Additionally, while the ability for high-dose curcumin to effectively treat cancer in humans has yet to be studied properly, the evidence does suggest that it may prevent cancer from occurring in the first place, especially cancers of the digestive system like colorectal cancer.
3. It is quite useful in preventing and treating Alzheimer’s disease
The most common neurodegenerative disease and the leading cause of dementia in the world is Alzheimer’s disease. While there is no ‘perfect’ treatment available yet, taking preventive measures is of utmost importance.
Curcumin has been shown to impact Alzheimer’s positively by crossing the blood-brain barrier and has been proven to cause various improvements in the pathological process of the disease.
4. It has immense benefits against depression
In a study of 60 people living with depression, one group took Prozac, and another group took one gram of curcumin, while the third group took both Prozac and curcumin.
After six weeks, curcumin was shown to cause as many improvements in the subjects as Prozac—while the group that took both Prozac and curcumin had the best recovery.
The study showed that curcumin boosts brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BNDF) levels and there’s also some evidence that curcumin can equally boost the brain neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine level.
5. It can aid delay aging and fight age-related chronic diseases
Considering the above-listed benefits, once curcumin can really help prevent heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s and depression, it becomes quite obvious that it leads to longevity of life.
Therefore, because of its numerous health benefits, curcumin has become a popular anti-aging supplement.