|Turmeric is a flowering plant, Curcuma longa of the ginger family, Zingiberaceae, the roots of which are used in cooking [photo by net]|
Turmeric or Curcuma longa is widely grown in India and Southeast Asian countries. Turmeric contains a yellow active compound namely curcumin, which is commonly used as food coloring and seasoning in cooking.
Apart from being a spice in cooking, curcumin makes turmeric as a spice that has many benefits. The health benefits of turmeric have long been used by ancestors as a treatment.
Not surprisingly, turmeric is widely used as a raw material for herbal medicine or traditional medicine for various diseases.
The active content of curcumin is a natural antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent that helps increase cell resistance to damage, infection, inflammation; slow down the aging process; even prevent some degenerative diseases.
The following benefits of turmeric for health and cure various diseases, summarized from various sources.
1. Cure arthritis or joint pain
One of the claims of turmeric healing is its anti-inflammatory properties. In the right dosage, curcumin can be more effective than inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen and aspirin.
Chronic inflammatory diseases that can be treated with turmeric include intestinal inflammation and arthritis such as osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Osteoarthritis sufferers who consume curcumin at a dose of 1,000 mg per day will improve faster and reduce stiffness. The same thing is felt by people with chronic rheumatoid arthritis.
This disease attacks the joints but can spread to other areas such as the eyes, lungs, skin, heart, and blood vessels.
By consuming 500 mg of curcumin and 50 mg of sodium diclofenac for 8 weeks an improvement in joint condition is felt, which is more flexible and reduced swelling.
2. Prevent heart disease
Studies show that curcumin can improve endothelial function or the health of the membrane lining in the heart and blood vessels. This thin membrane acts to regulate blood pressure. Decreased endothelial function is associated with an increased risk of heart disease.
Curcumin can protect against decreased organ function due to the aging process so that it can prevent the risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.
But more needed is still needed regarding the effectiveness and safety of consuming turmeric long term as an alternative treatment for sufferers of heart disease.
3. Prevent cancer
Curcumin can prevent and even be considered able to treat various types of cancer such as the large intestine, pancreas, prostate, breast, and stomach. Anti-inflammatory compounds contained in curcumin can suppress tumor growth and cancer.
Curcumin can improve the function of the immune system and protect the body from diseases that damage cells due to free radicals and reduce oxidative stress. Researchers have conducted many experiments on the potential of turmeric as a complementary treatment in cancer patients.
They also found that curcumin can selectively target cancer cells and inhibit tumor appearance and growth. Turmeric also helps reduce inflammation and pain due to chemotherapy.
4. Help control diabetes
Launching everydayhealth, curcumin can reduce glucose levels which are believed to prevent type 1 and 2 diabetes. This is thanks to the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant content that suppresses insulin levels and stabilizes blood sugar and blood fat (hyperlipidemia). Hyperlipidemia correlates with high bad cholesterol or LDL.
In fact, a study shows that curcumin is 400 times stronger than diabetes drugs like metformin, by activating enzymes that inhibit degenerative processes in the body or AMPK enzymes. AMPK activation is what is considered by researchers as a therapeutic treatment for type 2 diabetes.
5. Prevent Alzheimer's
Turmeric can improve brain health by fighting degenerative diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer's. Although until now there has not been found a cure for Alzheimer's, but turmeric can at least help prevent someone from developing the disease.
Impaired brain function such as Alzheimer's is associated with inflammation and oxidative damage that causes plaque buildup in the brain. While curcumin in the right dose can clean plaque.
6. Treat depression
Depression is a medical condition that causes feelings of sadness or loss of interest in certain activities. Of course this condition can interfere with sufferers. Fortunately, depression can be treated. In one study, curcumin in turmeric proved to be as effective as antidepressant drugs such as Prozac.
This is also supported by lab testing which shows that turmeric can affect the balance of neurotransmitters in the brain. Curcumin has antidepressant and anxiolytic effects that are able to modulate serotonin and dopamine levels. To get the antidepressant properties of turmeric, try consuming 1,000 mg of turmeric for at least 6 weeks.
7. Improve skin health
The anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antioxidant content can be a remedy for various skin diseases such as acne, eczema or atopic dermatitis, and psoriasis. Based on Macedonian Journal of Medical Sciences, turmeric is a safe and effective treatment for psoriasis.
The researchers also confirmed that curcumin reduced oxidative stress in problematic skin. Turmeric also increases collagen synthesis and accelerates repair of skin tissue, reduces pores, reduces and prevents acne, and even makes the face more radiant when used as a mask.
But keep in mind that turmeric can cause allergic reactions to the skin. For that, before applying it to the face, do the test by applying a little turmeric to the arm then wait for 24 to 48 hours to see an allergic reaction.
8. Reducing back pain
Inflammation is a condition when the body's immune response to pain or irritation is usually characterized by symptoms of swelling, redness, and pain or ache. Although it is a natural reaction, swelling can lead to serious health problems.
Chronic back pain is a problem of spinal inflammation. Although turmeric is not a direct remedy for treating this condition, turmeric has the potential to relieve upper and lower back pain by targeting inflammation and reducing damage from free radicals.
9. Thins the blood
When the body is normal, platelet blood cells will quickly clot and clog the injured area. But there are certain health conditions that require blood thinners to prevent blockages. Curcumin has the potential to work as an anticoagulant (blood thinner) under certain conditions.
A study in 2012 showed that consuming turmeric for example in the form of supplements, herbs, or processing it into curry food even though it can help prevent blood clots.
Clotting or blood clots can be life threatening because it can clog up the lungs, brain, and so on so as to inhibit blood intake to other vital organs.
10. Reducing the risk of recurrence of allergies and asthma
Allergies occur when the immune system mistakenly identifies a foreign substance as a danger, then the body overreacts. The content of anti-inflammatory turmeric can reduce the possibility of recurrence of asthma because it helps reduce obstruction or blocked airways and can be an alternative treatment for asthma.
In addition, research shows curcumin helps fight many symptoms associated with allergies such as sneezing, nasal congestion, colds, and fever.
11. Detoxifies the liver
Detoxification or detox works to remove toxins from the blood and launch metabolism to ensure the body gets the nutrients it needs. The liver is the body's central filtering system. A healthy heart is very important for optimal physical and mental health.
Several studies have shown the ability of curcumin to limit damage to the liver from harmful substances. Turmeric also stimulates the production of bile and helps eliminate unwanted toxins or harmful substances from the body.
Detoxification removes and removes toxins that are not needed by the body so that we can be protected from diseases and increase endurance.
Detoxification also means cleansing the blood by removing impurities from the blood in the liver, where toxins are processed. Curcumin can help the liver to detoxify the body and reduce some of the effects of dangerous carcinogens.
12. Reducing migraines
Headaches and migraines are often difficult to treat. Extraordinary pain can occur due to many factors including stress, fatigue, lack of sleep, inflammation, poor posture, neck strain, and others.
Migraines are caused by inflammation of blood vessels outside the brain that cause throbbing pain in the head. Therefore, turmeric can reduce pain due to migraines and inhibit oxidative stress in the body thanks to anti-inflammatory properties.
That's the benefits of turmeric for health and cure various diseases. Turmeric, both in the form of fresh and powdered roots, shows its effectiveness in providing significant efficacy. But keep in mind excessive consumption is not good. Note the intake limit per day, especially for pregnant women.
Consuming too much turmeric in the body can have side effects such as reflux, low blood pressure, increase the risk of bleeding, reduce the body's ability to absorb iron, and increase the risk of gallbladder disease.
In addition, if you are undergoing treatment, you should first consult your doctor to ensure that the content of turmeric consumed is not contradictory or contraindicated with the drug being consumed.