Did you know there is a spice that can reduce inflammation, heal burns, improve your skin, and much more? Yep, turmeric is that substance and it has amazing properties of healing. In India, it has been used for both food and medicine for more than a thousand years. The active ingredient in turmeric that does all this is called curcumin. Turmeric sold in grocery stores only contains a very small amount of curcumin (3%) so, it’s best to buy a supplement. Let’s look at all the ways turmeric can help the human body.

It Fights Inflammation

Inflammation is more than just a problem that causes arthritis. It has been shown to be the culprit in many diseases, including heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s. Turmeric reduces inflammation and fights the cell damage involved. It rivals anti-inflammatory medications for effectiveness by blocking a molecule called NF-kB that causes many diseases.

It’s a Big Antioxidant Boost

Free radicals in the human body can wreak all sorts of havoc. Colds, flu – all kinds of health issues are caused by free radicals. Antioxidants fight free radicals and greatly reduce your chance of getting sick. Turmeric neutralizes free radicals so they can’t cause harm. It also causes your body to defend itself with more antioxidant production.

Apply It to the Skin for Various Uses

Turmeric in powder form has been shown to be effective in soothing burns (mix some with aloe vera gel and apply to the area) and treating facial flaws. Make a paste with honey and apply it to the face, leaving on 15 minutes, for beautiful skin. In India, it’s also used to remove hair – mixed with flour and water into a paste and remove hair with small circular motions.

It Improves Memory

Indians use turmeric much more than westerners and there is a much lower rate of Alzheimer’s in India. Studies have been done which indicate that taking turmeric every day can improve memory significantly. Although more studies are needed, some research indicates that the curcumin in turmeric increases BDNF (brain-derived neurotropic factor) and BDNF boosts brain health overall and increases memory.

It Reduces Heart Disease

Inflammation plays a role in heart disease and turmeric reduces that, as we’ve said. It also has been shown to improve the health of the endothelium (blood vessel lining) as much as exercise. Studies are still being conducted to figure out how turmeric helps prevent heart disease but all the results so far are very promising.