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    5 reasons turmeric is good for your health. Credit: Getty Images

    5 reasons turmeric is good for your health. Credit: Getty Images

    5 Health Benefits of Turmeric (And How It Can Change Your Life)

    by Zheelana Cottam



     

    When we say turmeric many of you will think of that little pot of orange powder sitting in your mum's spice rack. You’ve probably seen her add it to curry since you were a child. It’s what gives it that rich yellow colour. In fact, you may even have your own pot of turmeric that’s sitting in the back of your kitchen cupboard right now. Well, if you’re looking for a sign to break it out and put it to use, this is it. 

     

    So, what is turmeric?

    Turmeric is part of the ginger family that originated from India and has been used as a spice and a medicinal herb for thousands of years. It can be referred to as Indian Saffron or Golden Spice. It is made up of numerous unique compounds and active ingredients with medicinal properties that give you loads of health benefits. One of these active ingredients being curcumin which is a potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant.

    These days 80% of people are looking for traditional and natural solutions for health problems but without the plethora of side effects that sometimes come when taking modern medicine. That’s why they are turning to turmeric. 

    It is hard to gain the health benefits of turmeric just by ingesting it alone since it has poor bioavailability. So, to stop you from missing out on those turmeric healing properties it’s best to add an enhancer such as piperine - a main active ingredient in black pepper - which will increase its absorption by 2000%

    Medical professionals do suggest taking turmeric in supplement form so you can get a high enough dose for it to be effective. 

     

    5 health benefits of turmeric:  

     5 reasons turmeric will benefit your health

    Credit: Getty Images

     

    1. Turmeric can work wonders for your skin

    Turmeric contains antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties as we mentioned above. This can help give your skin a natural glow and provide lustre to your complexion. It can also help with skin conditions that are brought on by inflammation such as acne, scarring, rashes and even psoriasis. The qualities of turmeric can help control flares, redness and reduce swelling of the affected area. For surface acne it is best to use turmeric face masks but for poor immune system related issues like psoriasis we suggest taking supplements to get the best benefits. 

    If you're taking medication to help with any of your skin problems we suggest talking with your doctor before changing anything in your routine.  

     

    2. It helps lower the risk of diseases caused by chronic inflammation 

    Inflammation can be beneficial to your body. But ONLY when it happens short term. That’s because inflammation is used to fight off harmful agents attacking your body and help it repair damage. Chronic inflammation is a different story. It increases the effects of a process called oxidation which is linked to diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s. In a 2015 study it was found that, in high doses, the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric can play a key role in the prevention of these diseases. 

     

    3. Turmeric can fight against depression and improve your mental health

    Taking doses of curcumin, the main active ingredient in turmeric, has shown to help in the treatment of depression. In a controlled study by PTR a group of 60 people were split into groups. The groups were either given fluoxetine (a prescribed antidepressant), curcumin, or a mixture of both. Over the period of 6 weeks, they found that curcumin had similar antidepressant-like effects as fluoxetine but the group that took both benefited the most. It proved that curcumin is just as effective as antidepressants.

    If you are on medication for your depression we do suggest talking with your GP before adding anything into your routine. 

     

    4. It could help ease your arthritis and other body aches 

    Arthritis is a common problem in the UK and according to the NHS more than 10 million people suffer from it. Arthritis is caused by an inflammation in the joints which affects movement and causes incredible pain and stiffness. A study showed treatment of rheumatoid arthritis patients with curcumin proved even more effective than their prescribed anti-inflammatory medication. Often people with arthritis are told to take ibuprofen to help with pain and control inflammation. However, it has been proven by two separate studies that turmeric is far more effective than ibuprofen for post surgical pain, muscle soreness and swelling. This alternative choice is extremely good news for anyone that has problems with taking ibuprofen. It is also great for less serious problems such as relieving pain after an intense workout or if you have done yourself a gym injury. 

     

    5. Turmeric can aid cognitive function and be useful for the prevention of Alzheimer’s   

    There is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease but treatments that help to prevent it in the first place are so important. Different studies show that the active ingredients in turmeric, like curcumin and turmerone, are potentially useful when it comes to combating this disease. They trigger cell repair and support the recovery of brain function. There is also a promising study that suggested curcumin can break down the build up of protein plaques in the brain – a key feature of Alzheimer’s disease.

     

    Some homemade turmeric remedies for you to whip up: 

     

    Golden Milk: *Turmeric milk*

     

    5 health benefits of turmeric - golden milk health drink recipe

    Credit: iStock Images

     

    This drink is easy to whip up and extremely good for your health in the long run. It is a simple and delicious way to add turmeric into your diet. It is great for autoimmune conditions. To create this drink you will needs the following ingredients: 

     

    • 3 cups of coconut milk
    • 1 teaspoon of turmeric
    • ½ teaspoon of cinnamon 
    • ⅛ of black pepper 
    • Honey or maple syrup (optional - to add some sweetness) 

     

    First, you need to boil the milk on the stove on a medium heat. Add the turmeric, black pepper and cinnamon and stir well. Then add your sweetener (honey or maple syrup). Bring it to a simmer for 10 minutes and let the flavours combine together. Your kitchen should smell AMAZING. 

     

    Turmeric Face Mask: 

     

    Top 5 health benefits of turmeric - turmeric anti aging face mask DIY
    Credit: Getty Images

     

    Are you looking to help your skin and give it that instant boost? Well if you are looking for something that will help your complexion... face masks are the way to go. Face masks have numerous benefits such as refining your pores, drawing out impurities from the skin, and increasing hydration - just  to name a few.

    So, we have put together a few recipes for different types of face masks depending on what you need. Remember to combine all of the ingredients little by little and mix extremely well until the product turns into a paste. If it's too watery it will just drip off your skin. You want to keep these homemade masks on for 10-15 minutes. Then scrub them off with wash cloth and some warm water for the best results. (Psst! Don't forget to put some natural moisturizer on once you're finished!)

     

    Acne and antibacterial: 

    • 1 teaspoon of turmeric 
    • Warm water 
    • Honey 

     

    Hyperpigmentation and wrinkles: 

    • 1 teaspoon of turmeric 
    • Natural yogurt 
    • Lemon juice 

     

    Irritation and redness:

    • 1 teaspoon of turmeric  
    • Aloe Vera gel 

     




    Zheelana Cottam
    Zheelana Cottam

    Author

    Zheelana is a writer based in Cardiff. She has a BA Honours in English and Creative Writing and is a certified TESOL teacher. When she isn’t out hiking in the lush Welsh countryside, she fills her days with reading, journaling, and going out for food.



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