Characterized by a peppery, warm, and bitter flavor, turmeric is more than just a versatile spice. Originating from the root of the curcuma longa plant, turmeric also has a growing list of health benefits that have been known to some extent since ancient times. Whether it’s possibly delaying diabetes or helping to cure heartburn, there are many reasons why turmeric is being hailed as a new wonder drug and is a popular choice among patients seeking non-surgical pain relief options.

What Gives Turmeric Its Punch?

Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric responsible for its golden color, and other compounds give turmeric its health benefits, including a possible reduced risk of heart disease and some forms of cancer. There’s also ongoing research concerning turmeric’s role in helping Alzheimer’s patients with cognitive functioning. One of the reasons why turmeric may have so many health benefits is because of its high concentration of vitamins and minerals, many of which have strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Essential nutrients found in turmeric, either in supplement form or raw form, include:

  • Magnesium
  • Iron
  • Vitamin B6
  • Fiber
  • Copper
  • Potassium

A Natural Inflammation Fighter

The volatile oil in turmeric combined with the curcumin produce strong anti-inflammatory benefits similar to what’s offered by some over-the-counter NSAIDs like Motrin and Aleve. It’s believed that ingredients in turmeric block the production of a protein that makes blood vessels swell. Turmeric also has an advantage over such drugs since curcumin doesn’t produce the side effects sometimes associated with certain anti-inflammatory medications, including intestinal bleeding and a risk of developing ulcers.

Offering Cell Protection

Clinical studies confirm the strong antioxidant properties of turmeric. This benefits patients dealing with inflammation affecting joints and muscles. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals, or irregular molecules, and prevent damage to healthy cells.

Turmeric can be conveniently consumed in supplement form. There are also many ways it can be incorporated into daily cooking and eating habits in just about anything from soups and salads to mashed potatoes and yogurt. It can even be used as a substitute for salt for people who need to monitor sodium intake.

Interested in learning more about spinal treatment options? Call (310) 828-7757 and schedule an in-person consultation at renowned Los Angeles spine surgery center, The Spine Institute. Our dedicated diagnosticians and experienced spine surgeons can provide you with all your options and help you understand the impact each one will have on both your pain and your lifestyle.