Benefits Of Curcumin: The Active Ingredient Of Turmeric
Research has been going on to understand the various benefits of haldi milk. Let us take a look at the ones which are somewhat established and known.
Scientifically turmeric with its inherent active ingredient Curcumin has been known to have health benefits for a long time now. A popular ingredient in traditional medicine, turmeric is a flavoured spice obtained from the rhizomes or roots of a flowering plant. It is the presence of curcumin which lends it its vibrant yellow colour. It is also curcumin which gives turmeric its well-known health benefits like:
- Anti-inflammatory properties: According to past studies, curcumin, present in turmeric when taken in the right quantity can be quite effective in controlling inflammation. Its work as an anti-inflammatory agent is comparable to the common anti-inflammatory medicines normally available at the pharmacies. Turmeric or Haldi, as it is known in Hindi, is generally taken with a glass of warm milk. The anti-inflammatory benefits of haldi milk also help in the prevention of chronic bowel disease, arthritis, pancreatic etc.
- Cardiovascular disease prevention: The heart is one of the most important organs in the human body. It is also the most vulnerable thereby resulting in hypertension in most people. Hypertension or high blood pressure is a result of the dysfunction of the endothelial function of the heart. The endothelium is the thin membrane present inside the heart and is responsible for regulating the blood pressure. The lower endothelium membrane has an association with age-related heart diseases. Intake of turmeric daily lowers these heart diseases from developing.
- Aids cancer treatment: Inflammation is commonly related to the growth of tumour; a common symptom of cancer. Thus the anti-inflammatory properties attributed to turmeric have a role to play in cancer prevention and treatment and there is ongoing research being conducted. Curcumin is thought to play a key role in the control and cure of certain cancers related to the breast, prostate, colorectal, pancreas, gastrointestinal tract etc.
- Easing osteoarthritis pains: The benefits of haldi have also been seen in people suffering from chronic osteoarthritis. Studies have shown that people who take a daily dose of curcumin experienced significant improvement in stiffness of limbs. They were also able to do physical functions with greater ease. While research is still going on in this regard, long term use of turmeric does seem to slow the progression of osteoarthritis considerably.
- Helps treat diabetic nephropathy: Diabetes, over a period of time, tends to cause significant damage to the kidneys. This damage is known as diabetic nephropathy and people afflicted with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes are generally known to show symptoms of the same. Haldi or turmeric is said to have a positive influence on the treatment of Diabetes. It is thought to lower blood sugar while at the same time bring about an increase in plasma insulin. Antioxidants present in curcumin, a naturally occurring chemical present in turmeric, are said to aid in the treatment of diabetes and its related disorders.
- Positive affect in neurodegenerative diseases: Such diseases as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s cause significant degeneration of the brain. This results in low levels of BDNF or “brain-derived neurotrophic factor”, a protein found in the spinal cord and the brain. This protein plays a significant role in maintaining the health of nerve cells and regulating communication between them. Curcumin helps to increase the levels of this protein thereby delaying or even reversing the effect of brain degeneration.
- Presence of anti-oxidants: Free radicals, when present in the body, can cause a good amount of harm. Turmeric is an anti-oxidant rich spice and its regular intake helps to neutralise these free radicals by scavenging on them and protecting the body in the process.
There are several other benefits of turmeric milk. From opening up a choked larynx to reducing aches and pains, a regular intake of this milk does help to maintain the general health of the body.