Spice up your life

The lowdown on turmeric and curcumin.

We all know about the flavourful wonders that turmeric adds to Indian, Indonesian and Middle Eastern cuisine, but did you know the super spice is packed with health benefits as well? These have been hailed for centuries by cultures all around the world, so it was only a matter of time before we celebrated the ancient root as well.

A little history

Turmeric comes from the root of the Curcuma longa plant and is native to Indonesia and Southern India, where it has been harvested for more than 5,000 years. It was first used as a condiment and a natural food dye due to its beautiful bright colour before it became recognised for its superstar health benefits. Used in traditional Chinese and Indian practice, turmeric owes its healing power to the naturally occurring chemical compound, curcumin, which has been linked to all manner of healing properties.

An antioxidant superstar

The key element of turmeric is curcumin, which has been shown to support joint mobility as well as digestive issues.

As well as being a powerful antioxidant, it can support the immune defences within the body. Some research suggests that taking turmeric daily for several months may support healthy kidney function.

The power of an antioxidant

Curcumin has powerful antioxidant effects that have been found to neutralise free radicals. Free radicals are chemicals that can travel through the body and cause great amounts of damage to healthy cells. This antioxidant effect can be really beneficial for joint mobility, where free radicals cause joint damage. Turmeric also supports liver function – curcumin is an amazing natural liver detoxifier, supporting healthy digestion by toning the stomach and supporting the function of the gallbladder.

Supporting your brain health

Last but by no means least, growing evidence suggests that turmeric may help support healthy brain function. If you’re interested in trying a turmeric supplement, have a chat to your local Unichem Pharmacist.