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Turmeric (Curcuma longa)
Turmeric benefits are incredibly vast and very thoroughly researched. Currently, there are over 12,500 peer-reviewed articles published proving turmeric benefits, especially one of its renowned healing compounds, curcumin. In fact, turmeric is even good for dogs.
This puts turmeric on top of the list as one of the most frequently mentioned medicinal herbs in all of science.
1. May Slow or Prevent Blood Clots
One combination lab and animal study conducted in 1986 even suggests curcumin may be a preferable treatment method for people “prone to vascular thrombosis and requiring antiarthritic therapy.” However, this result still needs to be replicated in human trials.
2. Reduces Depression Symptoms
Although few studies have been conducted on humans, dozens of research trials have proven that turmeric benefits include being especially effective in reducing depression symptoms in laboratory animals. These results seem to be connected to the way curcumin impacts neurotransmitter function through the brain-derived neurotrophic factor. The journal Phytotherapy Research published the results of an amazing, innovative study in 2014. The study took 60 volunteers diagnosed with major depressive disorder and split the group to determine how patients treated by turmeric curcumin fared against fluoxetine and a combination of the two. Curcumin was equally effective as fluoxetine in managing depression by the six-week mark.
Since that breakthrough trial, at least two other studies have observed the impact of turmeric’s major compound, curcumin, in patients with depression. The first involved 56 individuals (male and female), and the second involved 108 male participants. Both used a placebo but did not compare curcumin to any antidepressant, and both studies found that curcumin effectively reduced depression symptoms more than placebo.
3. Fights Inflammation
Arguably, the most powerful aspect of curcumin is its ability to control inflammation. The journal Oncogene published the results of a study thatevaluated several anti-inflammatory compounds and found that curcumin is among the most effective anti-inflammatory compounds in the world.
Several animal trials have been completed investigating the relationship of curcumin and Alzheimer’s disease. In mice, it seems that curcumin “reverses existing amyloid pathology and associated neurotoxicity,” a key feature of the progression of this neurological disease related to chronic inflammation.
4. Boosts Skin Health
Turmeric benefits include anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that have proven effective in treating multiple skin conditions. Turmeric benefits for skin include increasing “glow and luster” of the skin, speeding up wound healing, calming the pores to decrease acne and acne scarring, and controlling psoriasis flares. One uncontrolled pilot study involving 814 participants even suggests that turmeric paste could cure 97 percent of scabies cases within three to 15 days.
Try my Turmeric Face Mask for Glowing Skin. Just keep in mind that turmeric can stain the skin, and it may cause an allergic reaction. Do a patch test by applying a dime-size amount to your forearm. Then, wait 24–48 hours to check for any reaction before applying turmeric to your face.
5. May Outperform Common Arthritis Drug
Because curcumin is known for its powerful anti-inflammatory and pain-reducing characteristics, a study was conducted on 45 rheumatoid arthritispatients to compare the benefits of curcumin in turmeric to the arthritis drug diclofenac sodium (an NSAID), which put people at risk of developing leaky gut and heart disease. The study split these volunteers into three groups: curcumin treatment alone, diclofenac sodium alone and a combination of the two. The results of the trial were eye-opening:
The curcumin group showed the highest percentage of improvement in overall [Disease Activity Score] scores and these scores were significantly better than the patients in the diclofenac sodium group. More importantly, curcumin treatment was found to be safe and did not relate with any adverse events. Our study provides the first evidence for the safety and superiority of curcumin treatment in patients with active RA, and highlights the need for future large-scale trials to validate these findings in patients with RA and other arthritic conditions.
A review of available randomized, controlled trials confirmed that, of the eight studies available fitting the criteria, “these [randomized clinical trials] provide scientific evidence that supports the efficacy of turmeric extract (about 1000 mg/day of curcumin) in the treatment of arthritis.”
For educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.