Turmeric, a spice from the ginger family, has been used for centuries for both medicinal and culinary purposes. Famed for its unmistakable deep golden colour, it was once considered magical in Europe. In India, it is used extensively for its healing qualities, which are now being proven by modern scientific research.
One area currently under the spotlight is turmericís possible benefits for Alzheimerís patients. Results suggest that it could actually prevent the progression of the disease, which could be excellent news for those just diagnosed with the disease. Studies show that turmeric contains a number of natural agents that block the formation of beta-amyloid, which is responsible for the plaques that increasingly obstruct the cerebral function in Alzheimerís patients over time.
Professor James A Duke conducted one of the most extensive studies, incorporating summaries of the major turmeric studies to date, and found that after considering over 700 papers, turmeric appeared to outperform many pharmaceuticals within a number of chronic diseases without side effects. This is a bold claim, but with a 2,500-year history of medicinal use, even the most conservative would have to appreciate its healing properties.
If you are still undecided, here are a few more reasons why you should be eating turmeric: it is a natural anti-inflammatory, antibiotic and antiseptic. Turmeric speeds up wound healing and purifies the blood. Studies show that it can reduce the side effects of chemotherapy, provide relief for people with arthritis due to its anti-inflammatory properties and slow the progression of multiple sclerosis.
Moreover, it is great for clearing spotty skin if applied directly as a mask mixed with some honey. It can also improve skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema.
And just in case you needed a little more convincing, reports suggest it can help lower cholesterol, relieve gas and bloating and encourage fat metabolism, which makes it an excellent aid for weight management.
Laura Holland is a well-being consultant and nutritional therapist. For more information, go to www.BeUtifulYou.co.uk