Turmeric is a bright yellow-orange spice commonly used in curries and sauces. It comes from the turmeric root. The spice has been used for its medicinal, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties for thousands of years.
1. Eases arthritis symptoms
Turmeric has strong anti-inflammatory properties that can help ease inflammation and swelling in people with arthritis. This reduces painful symptoms. One study trusted Source found that an active compound in turmeric, called curcumin, was effective in reducing pain in patients with osteoarthritis.
2. Helps prevent Alzheimer’s disease
While research is still searching for what exactly causes Alzheimer’s disease, it seems as though the curcumin found in turmeric may help prevent it. Turmeric’s antioxidants prevent damage that can lead to Alzheimer’s. Even more importantly, some research shows that turmeric can reduce synaptic marker loss and the accumulation of amyloids linked to Alzheimer’s development.
3. Helps prevent cancer
Turmeric has many medicinal properties, including antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which could contribute to cancer prevention. The National Cancer Institute has recognized curcumin as an effective anticarcinogen, or substance that helps prevent cancer.
4. Boosts the immune system
The medicinal properties in turmeric may be able to boost the immune system, even in people with immune disorders. One study trusted Source theorized that turmeric can moderate the immune system.
5. Lowers cholesterol
Lowering LDL (or “bad”) cholesterol can help reduce your risk of developing some serious conditions, including heart disease and stroke. There is evidence that turmeric is effective at doing just that. For example, a 2008 study trusted Source that found that a low dose of curcumin was associated with reduced LDL and total cholesterol levels.
6. Can help treat uveitis
Uveitis is an inflammation of the iris. Some early research has indicated that curcumin found in turmeric may actually be as effective of treatment as corticosteroids, but without the side effects.