Once upon a time, turmeric was a cheap – and less than satisfying – substitute for the far pricier saffron. Its bright marigold color and powerful effect as a dye, does suggest a link between the two, but that is where the resemblance ends. The health benefits of turmeric have been touted as warding of both dementia and cancer. Certainly, there is evidence to suggest that turmeric is a natural anti-inflammatory, it inhibits the growth of new blood vessels in tumors and is a powerful antioxidant.
Turmeric is the ground root of the Curcuma longa plant and has a tough brown skin, not disimilar to ginger (although I must say that young, fresh, ginger sold in Asia has a very delicate pink skin which toughens as it ages) and a that distinctive orange/yellow core. It is the pigment in this core, known as Curcumin, that constitutes the powerful anti-flamatory componant.
” In numerous studies, curcumin’s anti-inflammatory effects have been shown to be comparable to the potent drugs hydrocortisone and phenylbutazone as well as over-the-counter anti-inflammatory agents such as Motrin.” – The World’s Healthiest Foods
I am not a nutritionist and rely on others for my reading. The World’s Healthiest Foods (whfoods.com) is a great resource and you can find extensive reading on turmeric there. These are simply paragraph headings.
A Potent, Yet Safe Anti-Inflammatory
An Effective Treatment for Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Relief for Rheumatoid Arthritis
Help for Cystic Fibrosis Sufferers
Inhibits Cancer Cell Growth and Metastases
Turmeric and Onions May Help Prevent Colon Cancer
Turmeric Teams Up with Cauliflower to Halt Prostate Cancer
Reduce Risk of Childhood Leukemia
Improved Liver Function
Turmeric Lowers Cholesterol
Protection against Alzheimer’s Disease
Curcumin Crosses Blood-Brain Barrier, May Help Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease
Turmeric Boosts Amyloid Plaque Clearance in Human Alzheimer’s Patients