Turmeric is a member of the ginger family and is most commonly used for cooking. Native to Middle Eastern and Southeast Asian, these countries have been cooking with this spice for thousands of years. In addition, Ayurvedic and Chinese medicines have sworn by the benefits of turmeric for the body.
The active ingredient of turmeric is curcumin, which is responsible for turmeric’s bright orange color as well as its health benefits.
Traditional Asian medicine used turmeric for its ability to detoxify the body. The Asian culture also uses turmeric to this day to purify the blood, stimulate bile production in the liver, disinfect wounds, treat diarrhea, heal stomach ailments and eradicate ringworm and fungal infections.
Because of its rich history turmeric is now being researched extensively for pharmaceutical purposes. The National Institute of Health is conducting clinical trials on turmeric and the American Academy of Pain Management discusses the health benefits of turmeric in a recent publication.
Dr. Randy J. Horwitz, the medical director of the Arizona Centre for Integrative Medicine says that “Turmeric is one of the most potent natural anti-inflammatories available.” and his studies have shown that curcumin in turmeric is a powerful antioxidant that has the ability to neutralize free radicals which cause inflammation and damage to joints arthritic joints.
Heart disease is a concern pet parents have as their pets age because dogs are also susceptible to blood clots and heart problems. Turmeric has been found to lower LDL (bad cholesterol) levels and reduce the risk of deadly clots by thinning the blood.
Turmeric is also a powerful detoxing agent that can aid in liver health and proper liver function. The liver’s main role is removing toxins from the body and it plays a part in nearly every biochemical process required to run the body. It is believed that curcumin stimulates bile production necessary for the digestion of fat in the liver. Active dogs need up to 20% fat in their diet, so bile production is critical for good health.
In addition to these benefits listed above, turmeric is also being studied as an all-natural agent that can prevent and even fight cancer. This powerful antioxidant may very well play a significant role in preventative medicine.
A study done at UCLA found that curcumin seemed to block the cancer promoting enzyme that stimulates the growth of cancer. Studies done by the Department of Small Animal Clinical Scientists showed that curcumin can inhibit tumor growth and possibly even shrink existing tumors.
Yes, even cancer isn’t a match for this powerful spice. Turmeric has been proving itself for thousands of years and it seems as though it’s not done wowing us.