Turmeric and Neurogenesis
To say that the brain is an incredibly complex organ, is an understatement. It houses much of what makes a person who they are — the central hub which processes and holds our dreams, learning, memories, emotions, and much more.
Even with all of today’s research and technological advances, it’s still not perfectly understood — more so when trying to employ “therapy” on the brain. As researchers look for new methods to improve cognitive function, sometimes positive aid comes from places we don’t expect.
Turmeric is one such example.
The Indian and Chinese cultures have used this ancient spice medicinally for thousands of years. Not only does it add flavor to curry and other foods, but it also has anti-inflammatory properties which make it useful in treating all types of pain.
Medical science continues to unravel the benefits of turmeric, and some of those properties appear to benefit the brain.
According to a recent German study, turmeric encourages nerve growth. In lab rats, for example, neural stem cells were washed with extract of turmeric. Neural stem cells, NSCs, can change into any type of brain cell. What this means is that, following a severe injury or disease, it may be possible that particular supplements of turmeric can stimulate growth of nerve cells in the human brain.
The initial findings certainly encourage and warrant additional research.
What leads them to this conclusion?
According to the studies conducted on rats, turmeric injections increased activity in the hippocampus and subventricular zone. The hope is that, with similar or specialized turmeric injections, the same results will take place in humans.