Turmeric, “the golden spice”, is a staple in India and surrounding regions. As of late, it’s becoming increasingly popular in western countries due to its versatility and healing benefits. It’s actually the star spice in curry powder. Cousin to the ginger root, turmeric can help relieve gas, kill worms, improve digestion, regulate menstruation, dissolve gallstones, and relieve arthritis. It can also be used to treat problem skin and disinfect cuts, burns, and bruises (1). Here are 5 other incredible benefits of this powerful spice.
6 Main Uses for Turmeric
Who knew this spice could do so much?
1. Liver Detoxifier
Curcumin, the most well-known compound in turmeric has many liver-healing and hepatoprotective abilities. In on study, researchers found that fermented turmeric could treat mild to moderately elevated alanine aminotransferase (ALT) levels, which can signify liver damage and/or dysfunction (2).
According to the scientific journal Liver International “The curcumin ability to inhibit several factors like nuclear factor-kappaB, which modulates several proinflammatory and profibrotic cytokines as well as its anti-oxidant properties, provide a rational molecular basis to use it in hepatic disorders. Curcumin attenuates liver injury induced by ethanol, thioacetamide, iron overdose, cholestasis and acute, subchronic and chronic carbon tetrachloride (CCl(4)) intoxication; moreover, it reverses CCl(4) cirrhosis to some extent.” (3)
The spice is also beneficial in the treatment of jaundice and other liver problems (4).
2. Fights Fat
Your body contains two types of fat: brown fat and white fat. White fat stores energy while brown fat burns energy to produce heat. While brown fat improves health, white fat increases the risk of disease and is a sign of living an unhealthy lifestyle. Curcumin enhances the expression of brown fat specific genes to support weight loss and improve brown fat/white fat ratio.
It also stimulates the production of new mitochondria by increases fatty acid oxidation, increasing protein levels of hormone-sensitive lipase and p-acyl-CoA carboxylase and increases the activity AMP-activated protein kinase. These activities break down existing fat, suppress the production of new fat, and improves metabolism. As such, turmeric is a safe and effective weight loss booster (5).