Ah, good ol’ yellow fingers (and bench top and the knife you use) turmeric.
Turmeric certainly is a beloved herb from the herbalists of old and complementary practitioners of today.
The ancient healers and medicine people strongly regarded the benefits of turmeric, and in Ayurvedic medicine (ancient Indian) there is a 5000 year documented history of using this plant.
Most of us who’ve heard about turmeric know it as having quite strong anti-inflammatory properties and a great herb to be used for conditions like arthritis to help lessen the pain and swelling, but are there any other uses?
We'll let you know now.
So, will it help?
Interestingly enough, turmeric can be quite useful for the immune system and your immune response.
We mentioned that it is a strong anti-inflammatory and believe it or not, this is one way it helps the immune system.
Though known by medical practitioners and not so much by the general public, the immune system and inflammation are strongly interrelated.
In fact, inflammation is controlled by the immune system and is one of the ways we fight off microbes like bacteria and viruses that we don’t want to be there.
Unfortunately, when inflammation gets out of hand like in people with arthritis or chronic fatigue syndrome, our immune system is using a lot of its resources to deal with the inflammation.
This means it has less overall resources for defending against pathogenic bacteria.
A fact that is not so well known is that turmeric has research indicating to be effective in helping our body handle many types of bacteria and viruses.
These include staphylococcus, klebseilla, streptococcus, salmonella, herpes viruses and influenza to name just a few.
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A healthy gut is a healthy immune system
Our gut can have a huge impact on our overall immune function.
It makes sense that anything that improves the gut will also improve the immune system then.
Turmeric contains a compound curcumin, It's thought to be its main active ingredient responsible for a great deal of its potential beneficial effects.
And on top of being a powerful anti-inflammatory, curcumin is a polyphenol that has a beneficial effect on gut bacteria.
Stress can be helpful or it can be harmful for you.
It can all depend on the type of stress we’re under and how long we’re subjected to it.
Many of us know that the effects of chronic stress don’t do us any favours in regards to overall health.
So stress has the potential to lead to muscle loss, fat gain, trouble sleeping and an even having an elevated heart rate.
What doesn't often get spoken about is how terrible stress is for people's immune system.
This is because historically, stress meant that our ancestors were running from something that had the potential to seriously harm them.
In this case, there wasn’t much use devoting any energy and resources towards the immune system until we got away from the major threat in front of us.
Thankfully, turmeric is a great way to reduce stress on the body as it helps to lower levels of our stress hormone cortisol, making it a great part of an immune helping stack.
Looking to get even more from your turmeric?
The ancient Ayurvedic practitioners used to give turmeric combined with black pepper and/or a healthy source of fat.
Thankfully, turmeric isn’t just relegated to curries these days and you can add it to many different foods and meals if you want to.
The turmeric powder is available to buy in most supermarkets or health food stores, then you just need to hunt for recipes that include it.
Or how about trying out the latest trend of turmeric lattes?