Turmeric – Treasure from the Root

Turmeric, with the scientific name of Curcuma longa L., also known as yellow ginger in in China.  Like ginger, its root is primarily used as spice and as a traditional medicine is many countries especially in Asia.

Fully grown turmeric is between 1 to 1.5 meters tall.  Its root is very well-developed and comes with a strong but nice aroma sense. Also, the root is dark yellow or orange in color, compare to ginger with is more of very light yellow in color. It has 5 to 7 leaves per plant, leaves are in oblong or oval in shape and about 30-45 cm long, 15-18 cm wide.

Turmeric prefers a warm and humid weather, sunny but with abundant rainfall.  It will not be able to grow in cold and frosty climate, muddy and soaking wet soil.

It is mainly cultivated in provinces of Taiwan, Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Yunnan and Tibet of China and also East Asia and Southeast Asia.

Turmeric is considered as one of the most effective natural nutrition and health care products. Many mainstream studies have proven that it is good for the body and brain. Here are 10 scientific evidence for the health benefits of turmeric.

1) Turmeric contains biologically active compounds with great medicinal value

Turmeric is the one of the main components of spice in all types curry foods. It has been used in the cooking and medicinal history in India for thousands of years. New research finds that this herb actually contains compounds that have health benefits. These substances are called turmeric compounds, among which curcumin is the most important.

Curcumin is the main active ingredient of turmeric, which has anti-inflammatory effect and is a powerful antioxidant. However, the proportion of curcumin in turmeric is not high, only about 3%.  Most of the studies based on this herb use the turmeric extract, which contains the most curcumin, and is usually administered at 1 grams per day. However, the amount of turmeric flavor in the food is difficult to reach this level. For effective treatment, one should take the extract containing enough curcumin.

It should be noted that curcumin is difficult to be absorbed into the bloodstream. However, black pepper can help increases the absorption rate of curcumin by 2000 fold. In addition, curcumin is fat soluble, so it is better to eat with high fat foods.

2) Curcumin is a natural anti-inflammatory compound

Many chronic diseases are associated with chronic low levels of inflammation, such as heart disease, cancer, metabolic syndrome, Alzheimer’s disease, and various degenerative diseases. Therefore, anything that can help fight chronic inflammation is good for prevention, and even for the treatment of these diseases. Because curcumin has a very good anti-inflammatory effect, so it is as effective as some anti-inflammatory drugs.

3) Turmeric significantly improve the antioxidant capacity of the human body

Oxidative damage is considered to be one of the main causes of aging and many diseases. It involves free radicals, which are highly reactive molecules that are unpaired electrons. Free radicals have the tendency to react with fatty acids, proteins, or DNA and other important organs. Antioxidants are beneficial because they protect the body from free radical damage. Curcumin is a powerful antioxidant that counteracts the harm of free radicals. In addition, curcumin also promotes the activity of antioxidant enzymes in the body.

Other benefits from curcumin includes

4) improves brain derived neurotrophic factor

5) reduces heart disease risk

6) has the effect of preventing cancer

7) can be used in the prevention and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease

8) beneficial to patients with rheumatoid arthritis

9) good for fighting depression

10)can slow down the aging process and resist the chronic diseases related to aging.