After helping people combat cancer and even lose weight, turmeric has now been proven to boost people's memory by nearly 30 percent and even ease depression, as per new research.
All this happens because of a compound called curcumin that is found in the Indian spice. It causes significantly less protein build-up in the regions of the brain that is primarily associated with memory and emotion, a US study has found.
Also read: Woman beats cancer using TURMERIC
The onset of Alzheimer's disease has been previously linked to the accumulation of protein plaques in the brain. But curcumin – the compound responsible for the yellow colour of turmeric – is responsible for improving memory and boosting mental health due to its anti-inflammatory properties. This inflammation has been previously linked to both dementia and severe depression.
Dr Gary Small from the University of California, LA, the study author, was quoted by Daily Mail Online as saying: "These results suggest that taking this relatively safe form of curcumin could provide meaningful cognitive benefits over the years."
Curcumin has also been used as a herbal remedy for cancer and heart disease.
For the study, researchers analysed 40 people between the ages of 50 and 90 consuming either 90mg of curcumin twice a day or a placebo for 18 months. These participants had complained of slight memory loss but were otherwise completely healthy, and took curcumin via the easily-absorbed supplement Theracurmin.
Assessing the participants' heart rhythms, thyroid function and overall wellbeing every three months, it was revealed that taking curcumin for 18 months boosts people's memories by 28 percent, also improving their concentration.
Also read: Turmeric helps weight loss
Small also said: "These results suggest that taking this relatively safe form of curcumin could provide meaningful cognitive benefits over the years."
The findings were published in the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry.
It was revealed in a study last year that turmeric can also prevent osteoporosis. It helps repair bone mass in older people, as per a study by Genoa University, which says it improves bone density by up to 7 percent over six months.
It was also discovered that curcumin can balance out cells that remove ageing parts of the bone before they are replaced.