As the saying goes, when you’ve struck gold, you’re instantly rich. So it’s no wonder that you’ve literally struck gold when you have and use the spice turmeric. Because of its rich nutrients and how they literally heal the body, you’ll be rich in health if you have turmeric around. Here are 3 reasons why:
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1. Pain Reliever
Turmeric’s pain-relieving abilities are linked in large part to its anti-inflammatory properties; in reducing inflammation, particularly in chronic cases, pain is reduced as well.
Turmeric has been proven to be a very effective pain reliever even in the most drastic of cases, like one 2009 case observed by Dr. Scott Haig, where a patient with severe hip problems necessitating hip replacement surgery eschewed traditional pain relievers entirely and managed his pain with turmeric.
Perhaps the best part: turmeric has none of the nasty side effects of other pain relievers.
“Turmeric has been shown to be as effective as ibuprofen in reducing joint pain caused by arthritis, and does not carry the potential to harm the liver,” says Lori Kenyon Farley, the co-author of The Juice Cleanse Reset Diet Book and cofounder of Project Juice. “In fact, its enzymes have been shown to help detoxify the liver, enhancing blood circulation.”
Turmeric can thus be used for a variety of pain-relieving needs, from menstrual cramps to joint pain to arthritis. One 2012 study showed that patients with active rheumatoid arthritis showed a high percentage of improvement when taking curcumin supplements.
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2. Stomach Problem Solver
Turmeric is particularly soothing when it comes to stomach problems, ranging from mere digestive discomfort to more serious conditions.
Thanks to curcumin’s ability to stimulate the gallbladder to produce bile and its natural ability to suppress stomach acid, it can be used to treat a number of problems including indigestion, bloating, gas, and even ulcerative colitis. This chronic disease’s symptoms tend to come and go, but turmeric manages to keep them at bay in many cases, as one double-blind placebo-controlled study showed: those who took curcumin for 6 months had a significantly lower relapse rate than those taking the placebo.
The same is true for some cases of Crohn’s disease. However, those suffering from stomach ulcers will not see improvement and may even see their symptoms get worse when supplementing with turmeric.
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3. Cancer Fighter
Supplementing with turmeric has proven to have anti-cancer properties; in fact, cancer is one of the conditions with the most evidence for the benefits of the spice, according to Smekens.
Some evidence of turmeric’s anti-cancer properties includes a 2008 study, showing that curcumin could interfere with cell cycle, apoptosis, angiogenesis, metastasis, and inflammation, all of which could delay or impede a wide variety of cancers from developing, including leukemia, lymphoma, gastrointestinal cancers, breast cancer, ovarian cancer, lung cancer, and melanoma.
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A 2009 study showed how curcumin could selectively kill tumor cells without having any adverse effects on normal cells, and several studies, including a 2011 study from the University of Illinois at Chicago, showed that curcumin could have positive effects specifically in the prevention and early treatment of colon cancer.