Once side-lined as little more than an essential curry ingredient, turmeric today is finding its feet and promoting its many therapeutic properties.
Turmeric (curcuma longa) is extensively cultivated in the tropics and the root is widely used in cooking. Turmeric has a deep, golden-orange colour and looks uncannily like ginger.
As several metabolic diseases and age-related degenerative disorders are closely associated with oxidative processes in the body, the use of herbs and spices as a source of antioxidants to combat oxidation warrants has gathered significant momentum in recent years.
Turmeric is also well-known for its anti-inflammatory benefits, so is deployed in the treatment of various inflammatory conditions. Clinical trials have found it to be more effective than a placebo for relieving pain and swelling in people with osteo and rheumatoid arthritis.
There is still a lot for us to learn about this fascinating spice, but early research has also delved into the potential effect of curcumin on a range of conditions from pre-menstrual tension to Alzheimer’s disease.
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