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What is Turmeric?


Turmeric is a spice commonly used in curries and grown in China, India, and South Asia. It has long been known for its medicinal properties, which range from simple pain relief to preventing heart disease and certain cancers. Most turmeric benefits come from its active ingredient, curcumin. Curcumin contains antioxidants that help fight free radicals, which cause cell damage and impair the immune system.

Turmeric may simply be added to food or taken as an herbal supplement. Supplements may come in tablets, capsules, or liquid extracts, each one offers different turmeric benefits. Other turmeric benefits include the following:

1. Anti-inflammatory:
Turmeric has been proven to reduce pain and inflammation associated with arthritis. For best results, mix in about one teaspoon of turmeric into a cup of warm milk three times daily. This also works with other inflammatory conditions, such as psoriasis and infected wounds.

2. Anti-cancer:
Perhaps one of the most popular turmeric benefits is its ability to prevent certain types of cancer. Studies have shown that frequent use of turmeric can lower the risk of bowel cancer. When taken with broccoli, cabbage, kale, and turnips, it can also prevent prostate cancer. It is also being investigated for possible efects against breast cancer and skin cancer.

3. Heart disease prevention:
Turmeric can help reduce bad cholesterol in the blood, which are the primary cause of artery blockage and heart attacks. Studies are also being conducted to determine its efficiency against multiple sclerosis, a serious nervous disorder.

4. Digestive aid:
Turmeric also helps release digestive enzymes that process fats and carbohydrates. Turmeric tea is ideal for people with frequent stomach upsets.

5. Benefits for smokers:
There are also several turmeric benefits for smokers. A 1992 study showed that taking only 1.5 grams of turmeric every day for a month can lower the amount of mutagens, a cancer-causing substance, in the body. The same study also compared the urine or smokers and non-smokers, and found that smokers who took regular doses of turmeric had even lower mutagen levels than non-smokers.

Additional Benefits:
Tumeric has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for the treatment of inflammation and has very effective antioxidants as well.

Doctors are now using turmeric for inflammatory conditions:
arthritis, osteoarthritis, acute infections.

Also for health conditions caused by free radical damage:
cardiovascular problems, arterial damage, heart disease, and others. Tumeric is also used in the treatment of certain cancers.


Research:
Many studies have shown the antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer powers of curcuminoids in the herb tumeric. In a double-blind test, people with rheumatoid arthritis who received tumeric benefited equally to people who took the drug phyenylbutazone (popular prescription drug which can have side effects).

In another study, 10 people received 500 mg of tumeric every day for a week had a measurable lowering of free radicals in their body. Still other medical studies have shown that curcumin with its curcuminoids can block the growth of cancer cells. Tumeric has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries.

Precaution:
People who should avoid taking tumeric:
people with childbearing / fertility problems people with blood clotting problems people taking anti-coagulant medication

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