Turmeric is one of the most successful and beneficial health supplements on the market today. Turmeric, also known as Curcuma longa, is part of the ginger family and is generally imported from India.
This seasoning has been an essential ingredient in the culinary traditions of Indian, Asian, and Middle Eastern cultures for centuries.
In addition to its use as a spice similar to saffron, turmeric has also been used for its deep orange-yellow color as a textile and food dye as far back as the Middle Ages.
However, it is only recently that western medicine has begun research into turmeric’s valuable healing properties. The extraordinary effectiveness of turmeric has proven beneficial for treating a wide spectrum of diseases, as it acts as a powerful anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antiseptic. 
Turmeric’s noteworthy healing properties stems from its active ingredient, curcumin. Thousands of medical research studies have been conducted into the applications and extensiveness of curcumin’s ability to treat and ward off diseases naturally.
As research continues, the full range of turmeric’s incredible applications will become more widely known. The following is only a sampling of the types of ailments turmeric can help to remedy. 
Recent studies at UCLA have found that curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, seems to effectively block an enzyme that assists the growth of both head and neck cancers. In an independent evaluation of the UCLA study, researchers found that curcumin actively prevented the spread of cancer cells.
Additionally, studies have found that curcumin aids in the fight against colon, skin, pancreatic, and prostate cancers by restraining cancer cells from spreading and limiting the access of tumors to new blood vessels, thus effectively hindering their growth. 
Frequent use of turmeric has been shown to not only reduce the rate of occurrence of various cancers, such as colon, lung, breast, or prostate cancers, but also can reduce the risk of childhood leukemia.
A diet rich in turmeric works to lower this risk by lessening the negative effects of such environmental factors as secondhand smoke, chromosomal damage caused by radiation, and the harmful compounds produced by eating unhealthy foods. 
Furthermore, research has shown when curcumin is used in junction with popular chemotherapy drugs such as cisplatin, it not only helped to impede tumor growth, but also greatly diminished the side effects of the chemotherapy.
This addition of turmeric to a medical treatment plan may even allow treatment providers to decrease the dosage of certain chemotherapy drugs. 
Diabetes and Weight Loss
Turmeric also has been shown to help with weight management and prevention of diabetes. Some early studies state that a daily dose of turmeric can keep pre-diabetes from progressing into diabetes. 
Curcumin, turmeric’s active ingredient, impedes blood vessel growth which is required to spread fat tissue. One study found that overweight mice that had been fed a steady diet of curcumin had a significant reduction in overall body weight as well as body fat. 
In another study published in the Journal of Endocrinology, researchers examined the effects of turmeric on pancreatic B-cells which produce insulin and described a host of improvements.
Yet another study from researchers at Auburn University found that curcumin is actually far more capable of lowering glucose levels than the conventional pharmaceutical diabetes drug, Metformin.  
Turmeric and its active component, curcumin, also work as a powerful anti-inflammatory. In addition to being used to treat common colds, chest congestion, and coughs, it also has proven very effective in the treatment of the inflammation of the airway that is commonly found with asthma.
Multiple studies have shown that curcumin is every bit as effective as common anti-inflammatory drugs like hydrocortisone, Motrin, and steroids used to treat asthma.
Additionally, for sufferers of rheumatoid arthritis, turmeric has been proven to be more helpful in relieving painful symptoms such as swelling of the joints. Those study participants with rheumatoid arthritis who used only turmeric and no other treatment felt the most ease of their agonizing symptoms. 
Similarly, multiple research studies have shown turmeric to be a potent adversary to other forms of inflammation. One study reported that a diet rich in turmeric improved the functioning of kidneys for sufferers of kidney inflammation.
Another reported that people with osteoarthritis found curcumin helped ease pain as well as ibuprofen. While turmeric works as well at treating inflammation for chronic inflammation, studies have also shown that in addition to often surpassing the effectiveness of its pharmaceutical counterparts, turmeric also prevents relatively no unwanted side effects. 
Alzheimer’s and Depression
Turmeric has proven itself as a worthy ally in the fight against Alzheimer’s, depression, and other mental illness. The curcumin found in turmeric has been demonstrated in multiple research studies to block the formation of plaque that slows the brain function of Alzheimer’s patients.
Research also suggests that curcumin helps to enhance the immune system of Alzheimer’s patients, effectively aiding patients in overcoming the progression of the disease.
Furthermore, early studies conducted with mice also show that curcumin may be an effective form of treatment for multiple sclerosis, though further research is necessary to indicate the exact role of curcumin in preventing the advancement of this degenerative condition.  
Turmeric has also been recently applauded as a worthwhile aid in the management of major depressive disorder, as shown in the results of a study conducted by India’s Government Medical College.
Researchers in that study concluded that not only was turmeric as beneficial in depression treatment as such common medications like Prozac, but also participants reported far fewer negative side effects than from turmeric’s pharmaceutical counterparts. 
Indigestion and Irritable Bowel Syndrome
One of the reasons many people believe that turmeric has been used for centuries in Eastern cuisines is not only for its flavor, but also because of its natural ability to ease indigestion. Turmeric naturally enhances digestion processes and reduces the discomfort from both bloating and gas.
It has been shown to make significant improvements for people suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome, diarrhea, Crohn’s disease, and colitis. It has been shown to diminish inflammation from anal fissures and hemorrhoids, and in one study, was found to prevent stomach ulcers by up to 85%. German physicians even prescribe turmeric as a treatment for digestive issues.