We are all familiar with the home remedies suggested by all-too-eager mothers and grandmothers. Whether you’re stricken with a cough or a flu, they are always ready to make short work of your ailments.
Research into home remedies suggests that there may be some merit to them. One such remedy is turmeric – a spice used in traditional Indian, Pakistani and Sri Lankan cuisine.
Curcumin – Turmeric’s hidden secret
An active ingredient of turmeric is the chemical compound curcumin. Curcumin has been found to have powerful anti-inflammatory properties, which explains it’s efficacy in treating symptoms of the flu. Some research has gone so far as to say that the anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin could be of use in mitigating heart disease, metabolic syndromes and even some neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimers.
Turmeric is also immensely rich in antioxidant compounds. These compounds act to prevent damage to DNA, fatty acids and proteins within the body, which in turn minimises tissue damage. This minimisation of tissue damage can have anti-aging properties for some individuals. In fact, in many parts of India people apply turmeric daily to their skin for the purpose of maintaining a clear and healthy complexion.
Turmeric may also stimulate the growth of neurons in the brain. This growth may help repair certain centres of the brain and has been found to be useful for treating neurological disorders – including even garden variety depression. Similarly, the regular intake of turmeric has been shown to boost memory retention and cognitive function.
Lowers risk of heart disease
With the assistance of curcumin, turmeric also provides ample assistance in combating heart disease. Turmeric has been shown to assist in the growth and repair of endothelium, the interior surface of blood vessels. The maintenance of healthy endothelium is essential to everyday vascular function, and in particular, blood clotting, the control of blood pressure and the repair of diseased or damaged organs.
Endothelial dysfunction, or a loss of proper endothelial function, is widely regarded as an early indicator of a number of cardiovascular diseases. By maintaining healthy endothelial function, turmeric offers itself up as an excellent pre-emptive strike against heart disease.
Mother knows best
As with turmeric, home remedies are quickly catching the attention of dieticians and medical professionals alike. Do your heart and skin a favour, and get cooking!
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