Tumeric – an Ancient Spice
Turmeric, also known as Curcuma longa, is a spice that has been used for centuries in traditional medicine, cooking, and religious ceremonies. Its roots can be traced back to ancient India, where it was considered a sacred herb and a symbol of prosperity and good fortune.
The earliest recorded use of turmeric dates back to around 4000 years ago in Vedic culture, where it was used for medicinal purposes. In Ayurvedic medicine, turmeric was used to treat a variety of ailments, including digestive problems, skin diseases, and joint pain. It was also believed to have healing properties and was used in religious ceremonies.
During the medieval period, turmeric became an important trading commodity and was exported to Europe through the Arab world. It was particularly popular in medieval Venice, where it was used to flavor and color food, and in England, where it was used as a dye for clothing.
Turmeric contains compounds called curcuminoids. The compound that has most benefits is curcumin.Turmeric’s popularity continued to grow during the colonial period, and it was used in the West to treat a variety of conditions, including arthritis, digestive problems, and skin diseases.
In the 20th century, research into the health benefits of turmeric continued.Turmeric, with its active ingredient curcumin, has gained popularity in recent years as a key player in functional medicine. Functional medicine is an approach to healthcare that focuses on treating the root cause of disease rather than just the symptoms. It emphasizes the importance of nutrition, lifestyle, and the body’s natural healing abilities in preventing and treating chronic diseases.
Tumeric Health Benefits
Turmerics numerous health benefits that make it a valuable tool in functional medicine. Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-cancer properties. It has been shown to reduce inflammation and pain in conditions such as arthritis, and may even be as effective as some anti-inflammatory drugs.
Curcumin has also been found to improve brain function and reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and depression. It can increase levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a hormone that promotes the growth and survival of brain cells..Animal studies have found that curcumin may increase brain levels of BDNF.
Tumeric and Heart Health
In addition, curcumin has been found to have a positive effect on heart health. It can improve the function of the endothelium, the lining of blood vessels, which can reduce the risk of heart disease. It also has a cholesterol-lowering effect and can reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.
A recent study in post -menopausal women found that Curcumin is as effective as exercise .A different study done on men saw a 40 % reduction of lesions on their colons.
Turmeric’s role in functional medicine extends beyond its health benefits as a supplement. It can also be used as a natural food coloring and flavoring agent, making it a healthy alternative to artificial additives. It can be added to smoothies, curries, and other dishes to provide a nutritional boost .
Curcumin has many health benefits and also can help you live longer.