(NaturalNews) Turmeric is one of the main ingredients in many curries. In India, it has been used for centuries to help treat various health conditions while, at the same time, it is also widely used in Chinese Medicine. In a recent study conducted at Michigan University, it was found that curcumin, the bright yellow pigment present in turmeric, can help boost cell health by improving the behavior of their membranes.
Findings of Study
Curcumin is the known active compound in turmeric. In the said study, the researchers had found that curcumin helped improve the "orderliness" of cell membranes, which in turn made the cells more resistant to infection and malignancy.
"The membrane goes from being crazy and floppy to being more disciplined and ordered, so that information flow through it can be controlled," wrote study leader Professor Ayyalusamy Ramamoorthy in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.
Health Benefits of Turmeric
Turmeric has long been lauded for its healthful properties. Useful nutrients contained within the herb are carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins and minerals. More specifically, it is a good source of vitamin C and potassium.
Turmeric is said to help boost appetite, lower blood pressure, improve bile secretion and reduce pain; it has anti-inflammatory effects, too.
Under the Ayurvedic system of healing, turmeric has been prescribed to treat a variety of ailments, including digestive issues, menstrual problems, arthritis, infections, jaundice, coughs and rheumatic pains. It is also used to cleanse the body. In Chinese medicine, turmeric is used to deal with liver and gallbladder issues.
More recently, the positive effects of turmeric against cancer have been proven using modern scientific protocols. In one specific study which was conducted on smokers, it was found that turmeric supplements helped to significantly lower the excretion of certain possible cancer indicators. In another study conducted on skin cancer patients who could not be helped by the conventional cancer protocols of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation, turmeric supplements or ointments helped to markedly lower the severity of their symptoms; this included factors such as itching, pain levels and even the size of skin growths.
Health Benefits of Curcumin
Zooming in, curcumin, too, has a number of known beneficial effects. It is an anti-inflammatory compound which also helps to protect against stomach ulcers. Further, curcumin is a strong antioxidant which helps to protect cell DNA from damage. In addition, it has immune boosting effects.
Significantly, curcumin has strong inhibitive effects on cancer cells, preventing or slowing the onset as well as growth of tumors. In fact, laboratory studies conducted on animals have shown curcumin to be poisonous to tumor cells.
Antioxidant properties, healthier cells, detoxification, reduction of pain, anti-inflammatory effects, and even protection against cancer, among others -- with such a long list of important health benefits, you may want to consider making turmeric a regular part of your health-promoting diet.