Turmeric is a yellow-colored powder ground from the turmeric plant. The yellow pigment in turmeric is called curcumin. The turmeric plant grows in India and Indonesia and is related to the ginger family. Turmeric is most commonly used as a colorant, spice, or preservative, but could have more profound applications.
Turmeric has been used in foods and as medicine for at least 4,000 years. It is believed to be indigenous to India and spread to Southeast Asia, and gradually East Asia, particularly China. Turmeric has been used in Chinese and Indian Ayurvedic medicine to treat arthritis. It was first used in India and other parts of Asia, and later in Africa and the Caribbean.
Turmeric has a bitter taste and is frequently used to flavor or color curry powder, mustards, butters, and cheeses. It can also be used in a range of foods such as chickens, stuffed eggplants, tofu, casseroles, pilaf, soups, and many more dishes.
Curcumin, the active component of turmeric has numerous health benefits. It has a wide range of antioxidant, antiviral, antibacterial, anti-fungal, anti-carcinogenic, anti-mutagenic, and anti-inflammatory properties. When used regularly, curcumin helps treat diseases such as arthritis-both rheumatoid and osteoarthritis, in which free radicals are responsible for joint inflammation and damage to the joints. The anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric help destroy these free radicals in the body that damage body cells.
Research has shown that turmeric can protect against cancer, specifically prostate cancer. This spice can stop the growth of existing prostate cancer and even destroy cancer cells. Additionally, it has a preventive effect on against tumor cells such as T-cell leukemia, colon carcinomas, and breast carcinomas. Turmeric is also used as an antiseptic and antibacterial agent in wound healing, which can be beneficial for diabetic individuals. Furthermore, it aids in the treatment of diabetes by helping to moderate insulin levels, improving glucose control, reducing insulin resistance, and increasing the effect of medications used to treat diabetes.
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