Geldwurz: This is what science says about the curative power of turmeric
Many studies point to the extremely healing and health-promoting effects of the Indian spice turmeric. The tuber tastes slightly spicy to earthy. Powdery spice mixtures for curry or lassi are to be used. We show the advantages of the spice and what science says about it.
Turmeric, as turmeric is also called, can be used to set new accents in many dishes. The aroma and the warming effect are due to the essential oils. Compared to ginger, turmeric is less intense in taste, but works well with other spices. The powder is mostly used even in India. It is best to wear gloves if you are processing the fresh bulb. Curcumin can also leave stubborn stains on clothing and in the kitchen.
The "yellow ginger" is also used in the traditional Indian art of Ayurveda. With turmeric, heavy dishes become more digestible because the ingredients stimulate bile production and fat digestion. They also increase appetite and are said to have anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects. A lot of research is currently being done in this area.
Turmeric belongs to the same botanical family as ginger and galangal and is grown in the tropical regions of India and large parts of Southeast Asia. The perennial with the scientific nameCurcuma longa has long, lanceolate leaves and yellow flowers. The storage organs with a yellow-brown bark are located underground. They look like roots, but are thickened shoots (rhizomes). Compared to ginger and galangal, they are longer, rounder and bright orange on the inside.
Turmeric powder is available in many supermarkets and spice stores, which is ideally kept well closed in a cool, dark place. Fresh produce is rarer to find and should have firm, smooth skin and a fresh break.
Healing spice for numerous ailments
Turmeric is a healing spice that is known for its antioxidant and highly anti-inflammatory effects.
The plant is therefore used among other things for arthritis.
But the yellow ginger can do even more: According to scientists from the University of California, Los Angeles in the journal "American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry", the spice thanks to the ingredient curcumin also strengthens the memory and mood of people with mild, age-related memory impairments.
"It is not certain how curcumin will work, but it may be due to its properties in reducing brain inflammation associated with both Alzheimer's disease and severe depression," said author Dr. Gary Small in a press release.
Positive effects on the brain
But that's not all: As scientists at Monash University in Australia reported, just one gram of turmeric is enough to optimize his working memory for several hours.
There are also indications that the spice, which is often used for curries, has a positive effect on the brain because it prevents the accumulation of certain protein complexes in the brain that promote Alzheimer's.
Furthermore, studies have shown that turmeric can be used to treat liver problems and that the spice works for bowel diseases. The yellow tuber is said to have anti-cancer properties.
As effective as an hour of exercise
But that's not all: In a study by the University of Tsukuba in Japan, researchers found that curcumin is just as effective for our vascular health as an hour of aerobic exercise.
This substance, which is also responsible for the yellowish coloring of turmeric, apparently caused positive cardiovascular changes and reduced cell death in the test subjects.
Regular intake of turmeric could reduce the risk of arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). This also reduces the risk of a heart attack.
According to the study, the special effect was found in women who had just gone through the menopause.
The whole thing becomes even more effective if the consumption of turmeric is combined with regular training.
However, the scientists pointed out that the exact effects of turmeric on vascular health have not been sufficiently researched. So you shouldn't do without sports. (sb, ad)