What is Tumeric?
Probably the most popular use for turmeric is in curries. It adds brilliant flavour, colour, and fragrance to make that curry dish delight your senses and palate. With peppery, warm, bitter notes and a mild fragrance, turmeric has a bright yellow colour and comes from the root of the curcuma longa plant, which has a tough brown skin and deep orange flesh.
So, we know that it’s delicious and beautiful—but what makes it so healthy? It’s been long used in Chinese and Indian medicine, and it’s time to learn why.
- Reduces Inflammation
Perhaps one of the best-known benefits of turmeric is its anti-inflammatory properties. The pigment in turmeric comes from curcumin, and curcumin is a powerful anti-inflammatory comparable even to prescribed pain medications or NSAIDs. Whereas most medical anti-inflammatories will work to reduce a couple inflammatory mediators (i.e., the compounds causing the pain), curcumin is effective against a dozen of these compounds—meaning it’s attacking way more of the pain-causing agents than other pain medications. It works in all kinds of outward inflammatory conditions from sprained ankles, arthritis, and bursitis to internal inflammatory conditions like neurological disorders.
- Improves Cognitive Health
Perhaps one of the most important and interesting uses of turmeric is for cognitive health. Conditions of the brain can be rooted in inflammation. The increase in these inflammatory mediators can cause damage to the brain cells or inhibit their function, and this can contribute to cognitive decline, memory loss, and other conditions. Dementia and Alzheimer’s can both be classified as inflammatory conditions. Dementia is an umbrella term referring to any deterioration of cognitive function, and Alzheimer’s is the most prevalent form of age-related decline.
- Can Help with Heart Disease and Cholesterol
Again, the curcumin in turmeric is the thing that does the work here. Curcumin works in several different ways to help with heart disease, as well. It helps with LDL cholesterol in two ways: one, it works as an antioxidant to prevent the oxidation of LDL cholesterol, keeping it beneficial instead of harmful; two, it increases LDL receptors to give LDL cholesterol more places to go and do its job, preventing it from spending too long in our bloodstream and oxidizing. Both are excellent steps to take in the direction of healthy cholesterol levels and cardiovascular health! Curcumin is also helpful for endothelial function. We have this lining of all our blood vessels called the endothelial and its job is to keep blood vessels healthy. When that’s not working, it’s a failure of, or disease of, or lack of action in this endothelial spot. Curcumin helps the endothelial work better, helping the vessels use their own safety mechanisms to keep themselves healthy.
- Can Improve Liver Functions
The liver performs 500 different functions in the body—and can therefore easily become overwhelmed. Fatty liver disease can occur through excessive alcohol consumption or, more commonly nowadays, through sugar consumption. It is becoming very common. The good news is that by fixing up the diet to avoid refined sugars and things that break down easily into sugar, you can take a big step towards avoiding fatty liver. Curcumin can also help! It has been shown to lower liver enzymes which are the markers that are used to measure liver function.
- Can Improve Thyroid Functions
Turmeric is a rich source of many vitamins and minerals, including Manganese. In fact, just 2 teaspoons provide 17% of your daily recommended intake of this vital mineral. What does manganese do for you? For one, it helps maintain proper thyroid function. It has been estimated that 200 million people in the world have some form of thyroid disease. In Canada, 30% of the population suffer from a thyroid condition. The thyroid gland plays a crucial role in our overall health. If it is not operating at peak performance, it can produce life-altering symptoms that impact your health and happiness. What are some signs that your thyroid might be a bit sluggish? Dry or gritty eyes, thinning hair, weight gain, numbness or tingling in any area of the body, constipation, tinnitus, heart palpitations, dry skin, fatigue, feeling cold. You can see why it’s important to have your thyroid in proper working condition, and turmeric provides the manganese you need that could help do that.
- A Good Source of Pigment Rich Vitamins
Finally, turmeric is a good source of other vitamins and minerals, such as iron, fiber, vitamin B6, copper, and potassium. In just 2 teaspoons, it has 10% of your recommended iron intake. We know that iron is mainly an aid in our energy, since it helps metabolize proteins and plays a role in the production of hemoglobin and red blood cells. But it’s important to not just get iron from red meat, as this can cause a burden on the body. Turmeric is a great meat-free source of iron! And what about vitamin B6? 2 teaspoons contain 5% of your daily B6 intake, which helps to stimulate co-enzyme activities, protect the immune system, and produce positive effects on things like metabolism, PMS, hormones, skin conditions, etc.
Organa products containing tumeric:
Organa Chamomile Bath Salts
Organa Heat Salve – COMING SOON!