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10 Incredible Health Benefits of Turmeric

If you're using turmeric only for the occasional curry, you're missing out. This wonder spice, made from the root of a plant in the ginger family, has amazing health benefits. These turmeric benefits will have you adding the spice to every dish you can.

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Decrease Inflammation

The main reason people are so obsessed with turmeric is because of its proven anti-inflammatory properties. Turmeric contains curcumin, which is an organic chemical that assists in reducing inflammation. There’s evidence that turmeric could play a role in easing pain from arthritis, as well as stiffness and swelling in your joints and muscles.

Fight inflammation the tasty way with these delicious recipes incorporating turmeric.

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Improve Skin Health

Turmeric’s anti-inflammatory properties, coupled with its use as a natural antiseptic, make it an awesome addition to your favorite homemade mask or cleanser. Turmeric reduces inflammation around acne, as well as keeps your skin clean. It can also help with psoriasis and atopic dermatitis by inhibiting the inflammatory enzymes linked to the condition.

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Fresh and dried turmeric roots in a wooden bowl. Grey textile background.Anna_Pustynnikova/Shutterstock

Promote Brain Health

Turmeric may play a role in your overall mental health, from reducing your risk of Alzheimer’s to managing depression. The curcumin found in turmeric has been linked to boosting a protein found in the brain called BDNF. The lower amounts of BDNF you have, the higher your risk of Alzheimer’s and depression.

Cooking with turmeric shouldn’t be boring—check out these unexpected ways to use turmeric.

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Lessen Effects of Damaged Skin

Turmeric is also an antioxidant, which means it can fight off free radicals and oxidative damage, brightening your skin and lightening age spots. Since it reduces inflammation, it can also help soothe wrinkles, and turmeric may also help reduce the loss of skin elasticity that comes from UV exposure. These properties could also help heal and reduce stretch marks and scars.

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Improve Digestive System

Much like its sister plant ginger, turmeric’s anti-inflammatory properties aid in the health of the digestive system, and may help reduce symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome and Crohn’s disease. Curcumin reduces gut inflammation and bloating, as well as stimulating your gall bladder to produce bile, which helps your body break down food.

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Nourish Your Scalp

Not only does the curcumin in turmeric reduce inflammation from an itchy scalp, it can also make sure you keep your luscious locks. Curcumin is linked to reducing DHT, a hormone that produces hair loss in men and restricts the hair follicles in women. Since turmeric is a natural anti-septic, it’s also great for combating dandruff.

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Reduce Dark Circles

Slept for four days straight and still have puffy eyes and dark circles? So called “bags” develop when the skin under your eyes gets thin, more readily showing the veins underneath. Turmeric reduces inflammation in skin, lessening the puffiness of eyes from allergies or long nights. It also promotes blood circulation and has lightening properties to combat your dark circles.

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Regulate Stress Hormones

Curcumin is also called an adaptogen in herbal medicine, which means it can help regulate the amounts of stress hormones in your body. Stress hormones don’t just affect your mood—they also play a role in memory, blood sugar levels and weight. Regulating your stress not only makes you feel better and more energized, it could also help combat diabetes, high cholesterol and heart disease.

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Turmeric drink, latte, tea, milk with cinnamon in a glass mug with fresh and dried turmeric on a textile grey background.Anna_Pustynnikova/Shutterstock

Ease Menstrual Cramps

When your menstrual cramps are at their worst, there’s nothing better than a hot pack and a cup of turmeric tea. The ginger works to fight nausea, and the turmeric will reduce swelling and cramping as well as combat bloating from water retention.

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Soothe Burns

Got a little too excited about getting those cookies out of the oven? Put a little turmeric on that burn! Turmeric will reduce the inflammation of the burn, as well as keep the area clean as a natural antiseptic. Since turmeric is also a natural astringent and full of antioxidants, it will help the burn heal with less scarring.

These spices have great health benefits—go ahead, spice things up.

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