This vibrant yellowish-orange root is a natural wonder. Used in Asia for thousands of years both as a dye and for medicinal purposes, turmeric has also been and still is a cooking staple (its hue makes curry and mustard, yellow). Originating from the same family as ginger, the most active element in turmeric is curcumin, and is where most of this golden spice gets its long list of healing properties. To get more details about the impressive health benefits of this spice, we turned to Joy McCarthy, certified holistic nutritionist and founder of Joyous Health to get the scoop.
“Turmeric’s biggest claim to fame is that it’s super anti-inflammatory,” explains McCarthy. Chronic inflammation has been shown to cause diseases including cancer, arthritis, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and more. One study done on curcumin found it had significant anti-inflammatory properties, powerful enough to match the effectiveness of some anti-inflammatory drugs.