Turmeric is an amazing spice, full of flavour with a very distinctive colour and lots of health benefits. It is frequently used in Indian cooking but also has a long history of being used in Ayurvedic medicine in India to support blood, liver, joints, immunity and digestion. It has been thought that the compound curcumin provides all of the benefits, however, scientific research has discovered that there are other compounds within Turmeric which contribute to its beneficial properties.

The main reason Turmeric is so good for us, is that it is both anti-inflammatory and an antioxidant, both of which help a wide range of health conditions. Here are some snapshots of how Turmeric may help:

Digestion – Turmeric stimulates the secretion of bile which aids digestion and has a beneficial effect on the good bacteria in the gut. It has been shown that Turmeric may help with IBS symptoms and soothe the gut in conditions like ulcerative colitis.

Immune system – Since 70% of the immune system is in the gut, by strengthening the gut, Turmeric also supports the immune system.

Diabetes – Research shows that Turmeric has demonstrated that it influences healthy blood glucose levels, improves pancreatic function and insulin secretion, preventing insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.

Cardiovascular system – Turmeric is anti-inflammatory which means it may help to improve and protect cholesterol levels.

Joints – By reducing inflammation, Turmeric can help with joint pain in rheumatoid arthritis. By modifying the immune response it may also improve movement and pain in osteoarthritis.

Brain – By reducing damage to nerve cells caused by oxidation and inflammation, Turmeric may help to protect against the development of conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease and to improve cognitive function.

Skin – Dermatologists have shown that Turmeric may help with skin conditions such as acne and psoriasis.

With so many health benefits, you would be mad not to add a teaspoon or so of Turmeric to your curry. Or, why not try a Turmeric Chai Latte for a warming winter drink with a healthy glow!

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Valerie Salt is an Acupuncturist and Naturopath specialising in male and female fertility and hormone health.  She is based in Henleaze, Bristol.  She has completed advanced training in Fertility and is proud to be a Fertility Support Trained Acupuncturist.