The Power of Turmeric
Turmeric root is the spice that gives Asian food its beautiful distinctive golden yellow colour and apart from its culinary use, it’s been used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years. We love it here in the Western world too. It is now one of the most researched plants due to its remarkable biochemistry, and the health benefits are endless offering a wide array of natural support to our many organs and body systems.
Turmeric is perhaps most famous for its anti-inflammatory properties that help to ‘fan the flames’ of unwanted or prolonged inflammation. This makes it useful in supporting injury, arthritis, managing histamine levels, and skin conditions such as eczema or psoriasis. Because it can work to ‘modulate’ the immune system, it may be supportive in conditions where the immune system has become ‘overactive’ such as in endometriosis, Hashimoto's thyroiditis and metabolic syndrome. Which is why turmeric could be beneficial for women's health.
Joints and Mobility
Research has shown that when turmeric is used in therapeutic doses, it may reduce joint pain and tenderness, cartilage degeneration and joint inflammation. This can be of benefit at any age and not just in senior years since turmeric is an excellent herb to use for anyone who is very physically active or sporty.
Detoxification and cleansing
A traditional liver herb, turmeric supports the liver by turning toxins or unwanted substances produced by the body - such as old hormones - into a less harmful compounds that can be safely eliminated by the body. At the same time, turmeric’s high antioxidant capacity (its golden yellow colour denotes this) works to protect the liver and the rest of the body from the potentially damaging effects of modern, especially urban, living.
As a warming spice, turmeric can be used to optimise ‘sluggish’ digestion by promoting blood flow and supporting the lining of the gut. Turmeric also increases bile flow. Bile is a fluid that is made and released by the liver and stored in the gallbladder. Bile helps with digestion and helps to break down fats you don’t want, but also helps to absorb the healthy fats you do!
Research has shown that turmeric contains excellent anti-viral and anti-microbial properties. Turmeric has always traditionally been used as a seasonal remedy in the winter months for cold and flu, but also all year around for other infections such as digestive upset or a stomach bug. It can be taken long term and may be especially helpful for those more at risk such as teachers, health workers or frequent travellers.
Research shows us that depression occurs more frequently in those experiencing compromised immune function. Researchers have identified that consistently raised levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines (a type of immune protein) in the body will cause lack of energy, sleep disturbances, and changes in mood. This type of depression is not just a reaction to the illness but is caused by cytokines provoking an immune system that has lost its ability to return to a state of equilibrium. Research has shown turmeric is able to modulate inflammatory cytokine activity, helping the body return to a better state of balance which may help mood.