Turmeric is a spice native to India and is famous for giving curry that fabulous yellow colour. It is a relative of the ginger plant and the dried spice tastes earthy, slightly bitter, and almost medicinal if overused. It is commonly used as a dye for fabric and can even be found in certain cosmeceuticals. 

The main active ingredient in turmeric is curcumin which many fitness fanatics are now incorporating into their supplement list because of it’s natural anti-inflammatory properties.

Here is a list from healthdiaries.com outlining the 20 health benefits of curcumin:
1. It is a natural antiseptic and antibacterial agent, useful in disinfecting cuts and burns.

2. When combined with cauliflower, it has shown to prevent prostate cancer and stop the growth of existing prostate cancer.

3. Prevented breast cancer from spreading to the lungs in mice.

4. May prevent melanoma and cause existing melanoma cells to commit suicide.

5. Reduces the risk of childhood leukemia.

6. Is a natural liver detoxifier.

7. May prevent and slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease by removing amyloyd plaque buildup in the brain.

8. May prevent metastases from occurring in many different forms of cancer.

9. It is a potent natural anti-inflammatory that works as well as many anti-inflammatory drugs but without the side effects.

10. Has shown promise in slowing the progression of multiple sclerosis in mice.

11. Is a natural painkiller and cox-2 inhibitor.

12. May aid in fat metabolism and help in weight management.

13. Has long been used in Chinese medicine as a treatment for depression.

14. Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, it is a natural treatment for arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

15. Boosts the effects of chemo drug paclitaxel and reduces its side effects.

16. Promising studies are underway on the effects of turmeric on pancreatic cancer.

17. Studies are ongoing in the positive effects of turmeric on multiple myeloma.

18. Has been shown to stop the growth of new blood vessels in tumors.

19. Speeds up wound healing and assists in remodelling of damaged skin.

20. May help in the treatment of psoriasis and other inflammatory skin conditions.

Turmeric can easily be added to many dishes such as steamed cauliflower, soups and stews, curries, rice dishes, stir-fry and countless others. You can also buy turmeric or curcumin extract at your local health store to reap the benefits on a daily basis.

Turmeric isn’t only good for people. Recently there have been studies done on the benefits of turmeric in dogs with arthritis. Some people swear by sprinkling small amounts in their dog’s wet food twice per day to not only alleviate arthritis but also help with overall circulation and liver function. You could also buy the capsules if your dog will take them. Every dog is different though so it’s important to know how much to give your pet and consult your vet before starting any new regimen. 

Well there you go. Not only will turmeric make your food a lovely yellowish colour but it can also provide countless other health benefits. Now go to the grocery store and buy some!

Spice # 1 – Turmeric
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