According to a report in the journal Stem Cell Research, turmeric can encourage the growth of nerve cells thought to help aid brain self-repair.
The research is based on findings in animal trials and scientists say the results may pave the way for future treatments of strokes and Alzheimer’s.
Rats were injected with the aromatic-tumerone, a compound found naturally in turmeric.
Their brains were then scanned and revealed increased activity in nerve cell growth after the tumerone infusion.
Another part of the study involved researchers bathing rodent neutral stem cells (NCS’s) in different concentrations of the tumerone extract.
NCS’s are able to transform into any type brain cells and scientists believe they could have a role in repairing the brain after damage or disease.
Tumerone was shown to nurture the proliferation of NCS’s and help them specialise into certain types of brain cells more rapidly too.
“It is interesting that it might be possible to boost the effectiveness of the stem cells with aromatic-turmerone,” said Dr Maria Adele Rueger, who was part of the research team.
“It is possible this in turn can help boost repair in the brain.”
The research team is now considering whether human trials may be feasible.
Either way it seems like a great excuse for us to indulge in some turmeric-laced curries.