Life is Way Better with Turmeric

College of DuPage Nursing Student Aaliyah Jackson wrote for Healthy Lombard that herbal medications have many great benefits such as being affordable and accessible which also caters to certain cultures. According to NCIB (2014) herbal remedies date back to the Paleolithic age, over 5,000 years ago. With each passing year, scientist improves their knowledge of plants and the many benefits of herbal remedies. Turmeric, an herbal remedy with anti-inflammatory properties, has become popular due to the antioxidants it contains which increase the level of brain-derived neurotrophic factors.  The body fights against injury or infection through a process of inflammation, however, occasionally things go awry and the body becomes inflamed and attacks itself. Turmeric contains a compound called curcumin that helps to prevent chronic inflammation by neutralizing these free radicals, unstable molecules that are highly reactive. (Gunnars, 2021). To stabilize the free radicals, antioxidants, such as curcumin, must bind with them (Gunnars, 2021). Chronic low levels of inflammation are problematic because they potentially increase the risk of heart disease, cancer, metabolic syndrome, Alzheimer disease, and other degenerative conditions.

According to NCIB (2017) osteoarthritis is another inflammatory disease that currently affects approximately 250 million individuals worldwide. Osteoarthritis involves inflamed joints which make simple daily tasks like walking up and down the stairs, bending down, or heavy lifting seems like strenuous activities. Pharmaceutical treatment may be costly, but herbal remedies such as turmeric are more affordable yet just as effective oftentimes. Studies have demonstrated the benefits of curcumin in alleviating symptoms with mild-to-moderate degrees of osteoarthris (NCBI, 2017).

Turmeric may be able to protect the brain against Alzheimer’s Disease and treat depression, both of which have been linked to low levels of brain-deprived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) (Everyday Health, 2021). BDNF is a protein found in the brain and spinal cord that plays a big role in keeping nerve cells healthy as well as communication between them (Everyday Health,2021). More studies in mice indicate turmeric may delay or reverse brain degeneration by increasing BDNF (Everyday Health,2021).

Because of their many health benefits, herbal remedies date back thousands of years. Turmeric is one herbal remedy that may stabilize free radicals in the body and improve BDNF levels in the brain, thereby preventing many unnecessary symptoms experienced by those who are living with the symptoms of chronic inflammation.

 

Photo by Chinh Le Duc and  Prachi Palwe on Unsplash

 

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