A little pot of gold in the kitchen

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By now you would have noticed curcumin popping up in your supplement stores and chemist’s. It’s by no means a new food, but its beneficial properties have been gaining momentum of late — think turmeric lattes but with more gusto.

Curcumin is a bright yellow chemical produced by curcuma longa plants. Turmeric contains many plant substances, but one group — curcuminoids — has the greatest health-promoting effects. Three notable curcuminoids are curcumin, desmethoxycurcumin and bisdemethoxycurcumin. Of these, curcumin is the most active and most beneficial to health, and as the principal active curcuminoid of turmeric — a member of the ginger family zingiberaceae — curcumin is growing in popularity. It also represents about 2-8 per cent of most turmeric preparations and gives turmeric its distinctive colour and flavour. Turmeric is often found in food colouring, food flavouring, cosmetics, and as a herbal supplement.

The anti-rheumatic and anti-arthritic effects of curcumin may help provide temporary relief from the pain and inflammation associated with arthritic conditions. Curcumin supplementation may reduce pain, joint stiffness, mobility support, and decrease swelling. It’s traditionally used in Western herbal medicine to relieve digestive discomfort and it’s one of nature’s best-known herbs against inflammation. Curcumin may help support normal healthy brain physiology and function, and may even support a healthy cardiovascular system by encouraging the normal oxidation of lipoproteins. It’s also said to possibly have effects on wound-healing due to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activities.

As with any supplement and new medication, it’s best to check with your doctor first.

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