Turmeric Can Regenerate Brain Cells

Fresh Turmeric

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Several new studies show that an ancient but still popular Indian spice, turmeric, could help repair the brain and possibly even be used one day to treat degenerative brain diseases.

Turmeric offers us many health benefits, including the ability to treat, and even cure, many diseases with no side effects. Multiple research studies show that turmeric can replace many of the toxic medications used to treat chronic illnesses today such as pain or inflammation medications, some diabetes drugs, antidepressants, and cholesterol lowering medications.

As incredible as it might sound, it’s exciting to find out that turmeric could help repair brain damage after devastating events such as head trauma or strokes.

In one study, scientists wanted to see what effect turmeric would have on brain cells. They first covered endogenous neural stem cells (which are found in adult brains) in a turmeric extract. Researchers say that they saw up to 80 percent more stem cell growth than the control group, which received no turmeric extract.

These scientists then injected a different chemical extract from turmeric (aromatic ar-turmerone) into one part of the brain of a rat and watched the same type of increased growth and the proliferation of stem cells into neurons. Using PET imaging, researchers found that the hippocampus in the rats that received turmeric had expanded.


SEE ALSO: 8 Spices that Reduce the Risk of Cancer


To some extent, the brain had that capability to repair itself. This is done by neural stem cells which transform into neurons and two other kinds of neural cells upon stimulation, which helps the brain to restore itself.

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There have been previous studies that show that boosting the number of neural stem cells can contribute to better regeneration after , for example, a stroke, in studies done with animals. Microglia cells in the brain contribute to inflammation of the brain and researchers say that it appears that turmeric stops microglia cells from becoming activated.

Up until this study, however, scientist had no idea that a turmeric extract could help the brain repair itself. This new study has scientists suggesting that turmeric could be used to treat degenerative brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s.

This turmeric extract has other benefits as well including being antifungal and antimicrobial. It can keep your liver healthy, and can be used as an anti-venom.

This study, published in the journal Stem Cell Research and Therapy, used only rats so it’s not clear if it would work the same way in humans, but scientists have conducted studies on curcumin, another extract from turmeric, and it is well-known for its powerful antioxidant abilities that reduce inflammation and fight free radicals in the body, which are known to cause the progression of diseases and contribute to the aging process.

Curcumin can also help improve the function of the brain, lower the risk of brain diseases, and actually encourage the growth of the hormone that helps prevent depression and Alzheimer’s. This hormone, Brain Derived Neurotropic Factor (BDNF), is responsible for brain function and is greatly increased by curcumin. Researchers believe that increasing the levels of BDNF can actually delay, or even reverse brain diseases, improve the memory, and might just make us smarter.

Every new study involving turmeric only proves that it has powerful and widely varied health benefits than we can imagine. It’s very probable that research will advance towards fully understanding the incredible healing power of turmeric.