Turmeric’s Golden Goodness
Spice up your health with the golden goodness of turmeric!
At first glance, turmeric (a close cousin to ginger) may seem rather inconsequential—simply a golden, warming, flavorful curry spice used in cooking—but it’s time to take a closer look.
For over 4,000 years, Ayurvedic herbalists have looked to turmeric for its many health-supporting properties, including supporting healthy joints, soothing digestion, boosting energy and promoting healthy skin.† In fact, some accounts suggest that turmeric’s usage goes back thousands of years in India, while others say that the ancient Polynesians carried turmeric with them on their voyage across the Pacific Ocean to Hawaii, where today, Hawaiians liberally use turmeric, known to them as olena.
Marco Polo, while in China in 1280 A.D., recorded this in his diary about turmeric: “There is also a vegetable which has all the properties of true saffron, as well as the smell and color, and yet it is not really saffron.” Turmeric has since been used as a substitute for saffron, an Olde World spice, in Europe for over 700 years.
Overall, turmeric has long been revered by Ayurvedic and Chinese herbalists alike to purify the body and to promote a thriving system. Presently, the disciplines of naturopathy and Ayurveda often recommend using turmeric to support a healthy response to inflammation, healthy immune system function and to support healthy aging.†
But how is it possible that turmeric can offer such “whole body” benefits?
One reason is curcumin.
In the 1970s, scientists found that the bright orange color in turmeric is due to its powerful pigments otherwise known as antioxidants within turmeric called curcuminoid compounds, of which curcumin (which has been the subject of more than 2,000 published studies and articles in the past few years alone) is believed to be the most potent.
In short, the yellow or orange pigment of turmeric, called curcumin, is considered the primary driver of the health benefits of turmeric because of its ability to neutralize free radicals, which are believed to be the culprits underlying health system and organ challenges, including joints, heart, cells and immune system as well as skin aging.
Here’s a closer look at those benefits:
Healthy Joints and Joint Comfort†: Curcumin’s role in supporting a healthy response to inflammation, joint comfort and flexibility can be significant. Curcumin was found to work very well to support healthy joints without unwanted side effects.†
Healthy Heart†: The antioxidant power of turmeric with key components including curcumin may help maintain healthy cholesterol levels and support a healthy heart.†
Healthy Cells†: Scientists believe that curcumin and other beneficial compounds in turmeric can help cells behave as they were created and positively influence cells in three ways: helping to neutralize substances causing cellular stress, maintaining cell integrity when threatened by occasional environmental stressors, and providing antioxidants needed to help support cells against excess free radicals or oxidation.†
Healthy Immune System†: Researchers at Oregon State University’s Linus Pauling Institute highlight that curcumin can cause a “modest but measurable” increase in cathelicidin antimicrobial peptide, or CAMP, a protein that helps the immune system fight off various invaders.†
Healthy Skin†: Free radicals and oxidation can wreak havoc on the skin, leading to wrinkles, age spots and saggy skin. (Of course, lack of collagen can adversely affect skin, too.) Curcumin, with its antioxidant levels and ability to support a healthy response to inflammation, can also help support skin health. In a similar fashion, curcumin can help support healthy connective tissue, thereby supporting skin health.
Additional benefits of turmeric include:
Supporting gallbladder health †
Supporting a healthy weight†
Skeletal health and connective tissue health support†
Supporting respiratory health, liver health, sinus health and more†
Supporting healthy triglyceride levels already in the normal range †
Supporting brain health †
Supporting gastrointestinal and digestive health†
Supporting a healthy response to stress†
The truth is that a growing multitude of studies and published articles are now uncovering the intrinsic, multiple health benefits found in turmeric, including the high antioxidant capacity which delivers “golden goodness” for health.
†These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.