There are several natural compounds that people use to improve their health. Many of these compounds have been used for several years.
They are often mentioned in traditional medicine practices. Natural compounds are used to treat everything from pain to cancer.
Turmeric is one of the most common natural remedies used by the general population. This is a plant that is used in food. It is sometimes processed and used for medicinal purposes too.
We take a closer look at turmeric in this post. We consider what turmeric is and what benefits the plant offers. We will also look at potential side-effects that people need to consider. The post also provides details on how people can include turmeric in their diet.
What Is Turmeric?
Turmeric is a plant of the ginger family, native to regions of southern Asia. It is the main spice in curry.
Turmeric is considered a beneficial plant. The plant is used in various ways.
The spice comes from the Turmeric plant, which is sometimes also used as a food colorant. Turmeric is sometimes also called Curcuma aromatica.
The plant has many chemicals, with the most important one being Curcumin. Curcumin is what you should be interested in if you want to learn more about how Turmeric can be useful for purposes outside of the kitchen. This chemical is anti-inflammatory and an antioxidant.
It can bring down inflammation in your body and even help to protect your cells against damage. It has many other health benefits too. Some suggest that it may also protect against alzheimer’s disease and parkinson’s disease.
In some countries, turmeric is even used as a dye. Several dishes use turmeric. The spice adds a ground flavor to the dish. Curries are the most popular dishes that use turmeric as a spice. Other Indian dishes use turmeric too.
The plant has been linked to several health benefits. This is due to the medicinal properties found in the root of the turmeric plant. It is often used as a remedy for pain. In the modern world, turmeric has also become a popular natural product for people with arthritis.
There is a chemical in turmeric known as curcumin. This is the chemical that contributes to most health benefits associated with the plant. The curcumin is linked to several medicinal effects.
Turmeric can be used as a spice. In this case, it is added to food. Some people also choose to use a curcumin supplement instead. These supplements contain concentrated curcumin.
It means the benefits may be more significant. This is because the concentration of curcumin found in turmeric spice is generally lower than what it is in a supplement.
Benefits of Turmeric
Turmeric is one of the most frequently mentioned medicinal herbs, and it has a tremendous ability to treat a wide array of diseases and health conditions as successfully as medications people take daily.
One significant advantage of turmeric is that it fits perfectly into a healthy lifestyle and natural approach towards addressing some medical issues.
There are many health benefits associated with turmeric. The curcumin compound in turmeric is what offers people these health advantages. We will take a closer look at some essential benefits that need to be noted below. It is even sometimes used to help control cholesterol and diabetes.
What are the biggest benefits of using turmeric?
Blood clots stop bleeding, but they can also form in the body when they’re not needed, thus increasing the risk of stroke, heart attack, and heart disease.
Medical intervention for this problem primarily comprises of medications. Unfortunately, this isn’t always ideal due to the fact that some people experience side effects, and it’s not uncommon to overdose on Ibuprofen.
On the other hand, turmeric is considered safe, and the risk of adverse effects exists only when taken in abnormal amounts. A study from the BMB Reports1 found that curcumin, the active compound in turmeric, has antithrombotic properties, and daily intake of turmeric has anticoagulant effects.
Multiple studies have confirmed that curcumin in turmeric is beneficial for symptoms of depression. For example, Phytotherapy Research2 published the results of an innovative study confirming that curcumin can be used as an effective and safe modality for the treatment of patients with major depressive disorder.
One of the most significant benefits of turmeric and its main active compound is its ability to control and decrease inflammation. It is a natural anti-inflammatory compound.
Research whose findings were published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine3 proved that curcumin has a tremendous potential to exert anti-inflammatory properties. It does so by inhibiting a number of different molecules that play a role in inflammation.
It’s important to mention that one research from the Oncogene4 evaluated various anti-inflammatory compounds and rated their effectiveness. The least effective was Ibuprofen and aspirin, while curcumin was one of the strongest compounds. The antioxidant effects of the spice also help to fight against free radicals. This may further help to reduce inflammation.
Turmeric help patients with arthritis too. This is due to the anti-inflammatory effects. Research from the Arthritis and Rheumatism5 revealed that turmeric supplementation inhibits joint inflammation.
Most people don’t know that curcumin also slows down the progression of cancer and helps patients affected by this disease.
Adding turmeric to the diet is one of the best things you can do to manage diabetes. Curcumin could favorably affect multiple aspects of diabetes, including hyperglycemia, insulin resistance, hyperlipidemia, and islet apoptosis and necrosis, according to a study6 published in the Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine.
Some studies suggest that turmeric could be helpful for gastrointestinal problems too. This is due to the anti-inflammatory properties found in curcumin. The antioxidant agents in curcumin may also contribute to improvements in these conditions.
There are a few studies that have shown these benefits. In one study7, participants were asked to take a daily tablet contains turmeric. The study was conducted over a period of eight weeks. The participants were asked to take two tablets each day. There was a significant improvement in abdominal discomfort.
The participants of the study also reported improvements in bowel movements. The researchers concluded that turmeric seems to be effective in helping people with irritable bowel syndrome. No control group was used, however. This is something to be noted.
Millions of people in the United States have heart disease, and one of its major causes is pre-diabetes at an alarming rate. As a result, both diabetics and non-diabetics suffer from oxidative stress, which damages the inside of blood vessels. Due to this damage, cholesterol starts building up. Statin drugs are widely used to address this issue, but they’re associated with multiple side effects. On the other hand, studies show that the administration of low-dose curcumin reduces total and LDL or bad cholesterol.
Pain relief is one of the most well-known benefits of curcumin. Scientists explain that this compound naturally activates the opioid system, which is your body’s inherent pain-relieving response. Besides alleviating pain, curcumin also proves to be effective in addressing conditions treated by corticosteroids such as lupus, psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, chronic pain, scleroderma.
Effectiveness Of Turmeric As A Health Supplement
Several studies have been conducted to help researchers understand how turmeric might be helpful. These studies often focus on determining how effective turmeric is.
Some studies have shown that turmeric is effective for certain conditions. Other studies have limited findings. There are also a few studies that counter specific claims made about this spice.
The antioxidant activity of turmeric is its main advantage. In addition to this, the anti-inflammatory effects also need to be taken into consideration. These are the focus points for most studies.
Researchers have provided evidence that turmeric may be useful for the following disorders:
- May help to reduce the risk of certain mental conditions. This includes Alzheimer’s disease.
- May help to lower the risk of certain brain diseases.
- May assist in reducing the risk of heart disease. This is due to the potent antioxidant capabilities. Dietary supplements with turmeric help to reduce inflammation in the blood circulatory system. It also reduces oxidative damage to the heart.
- Studies also show that gastroesophageal reflux disease may improve with the right dose of turmeric. The general health of the digestive system might also improve.
- There are several studies that show turmeric is useful for arthritis patients. This helps to reduce joint pain.
- Some studies have also shown that turmeric is useful in fighting against depression. This is another proven health benefit of turmeric.
Reviews on other subjects are currently somewhat limited. There are a few studies that show turmeric might hold potential as a cancer treatment. The current evidence is very limited, however.
Thus, turmeric is not yet considered a potent treatment option for cancer patients. Further research is needed to provide more conclusive results on this topic. Clinical trials also need to be done on patients affected by cancer.
Side Effects Of Turmeric Supplements
When turmeric is used, there will generally not be any severe side-effects. Most people are also able to use supplements with curcumin as an ingredient. In fact, a lot of patients prefer turmeric over NSAIDs.
Clinical trials have shown that curcumin may yield similar anti-inflammatory effects. It does not, however, cause as many side-effects. NSAIDs may even lead to problems with the kidneys. It should also be noted that turmeric alone cannot fight cancer and similar disease. It is often needed as a complementary therapy.
Research has shown that turmeric can be safely used as a daily supplement for up to eight months. Safety studies for more extended use when a patient has joint pain or another condition is not available. Thus, it is important to consider safety precautions when using turmeric for inflammation8 over a longer period of time.
The most common side effects that have been linked to turmeric include:
- Stomach upset
A high dose of curcumin may lead to adverse effects. There has been a report of abnormal heart rhythm in a patient.
People with gallbladder problems should avoid turmeric. The supplement should also be avoided by people with blood problems. This is especially important for patients who have a bleeding disorder.
People with gastroesophageal reflux disease also need to be careful. There have been cases where turmeric caused stomach upset. This may lead to adverse effects of this condition. Research regarding turmeric and stomach ulcers is currently limited.
Some reports claim that curcumin may act like estrogen in the body. This means people with hormone-sensitive conditions should also avoid these supplements. This included breast and ovarian cancer, among others.
Best Ways To Add Turmeric To Your Diet
There are a few ways that people can increase their intake of turmeric. Many cancer-fighting ingredients are added to food. Many recipes take turmeric as an ingredient. There are other ways to increase the consumption of the spice too.
Some people add turmeric to rice. It can also be added to green vegetables. There are a few soups that contain turmeric too. Frittatas and scrambles go well with some turmeric added. Some people also toss a small amount of turmeric on roasted vegetables. Fresh ginger is sometimes added with turmeric to health-boosting smoothies.
The main problem with recipes that contain turmeric is the small amount of the spice that is used. Only a teaspoon full is generally used. Turmeric contains a small amount of curcumin. This is the active chemical in turmeric that helps to offer health benefits.
When a person ingests too little curcumin, they will likely not be able to experience the benefits of turmeric. For this reason, finding ways to increase curcumin intake is important. This is why increasing the intake of turmeric through supplements is often a preference.
Supplements generally contain concentrated curcumin. The curcumin is extracted from turmeric plants and then added to dietary pills. The curcumin is sometimes mixed with other ingredients. This may include ground black pepper extract. Compounds in the black pepper extract may enhance the absorption of the curcumin in the body.
When taking a supplement, it is important to carefully follow the dosage instructions. Taking too much can lead to more severe side-effects. Instead, the person should look at the recommended serving size. This will usually include one or two pills each day. They should not exceed the recommended number of tablets to be taken each day.
Turmeric is one of the healthiest compounds on the planet, and it comes as no wonder why scientists constantly work on studies to discover new effects it can offer. One of the easiest ways to include curcumin in the diet is through dietary supplements.