Turmeric benefits are popular all around the world. But, what is turmeric? Turmeric is actually the rootstalk of a tropical plant, which is a part of the ginger family. Curcumin is one of the key components of this spice that has potentially medicinal properties.
You can find fresh turmeric in Indian and Chinese supermarkets. It is widely available in a dried powder form in all supermarkets. It is also available in supplements at health food shops and chemists. This spice is used in numerous Asian dishes, pickles, and mustards. However, nowadays many people around the world are using turmeric due to its potentially curative properties.
Turmeric has been used for centuries in Indian Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine for many health conditions including stomach bloating, depression, colds, heartburn, fibromyalgia, and diarrhea. Followers of Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine also occasionally apply turmeric to the skin for infected wounds and ringworm as it is thought to have anti-bacterial properties 1 .
Recently, there have been some studies dedicated to the properties of curcumin. But, too few clinical trials have been provided so far, so there is little reliable data to support the usage of turmeric for health conditions 2 .
While this spice has a long history of health giving possessions and these have been numerous studies into its properties on a wide variety of health conditions it cannot be regarded as a magical cure.
It is worth bearing in mind that many of these are initial researches that were performed in a laboratory and not in people. Much more studies are required into the possible benefits. So it is still early to claim whether or not turmeric has certain health benefits. And what do the scientists find? Here are the currently proven turmeric benefits:
- Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease
There are many studies into the effects of curcumin on dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. An Indian research in 2008 found that curcumin can block the formation of the beta-amyloid plaques which get in the way of brain function in Alzheimer’s disease 3 . More studies are required before these possible health benefits are translated into a scientific setting.
- Liver damage
Scientists in the USA and Austria in 2010 submitted that curcumin could help in the combat against liver damage. It may delay the onset of cirrhosis. The researchers say their work builds on some previous studies which have indicated that it has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that may be helpful in fighting disease 4 .
A research in 2009 in Ireland showed that curcumin can destroy oesophageal cancer cells in the test center. The experts found that this compound started to kill the cancer cells within 24 hours and the cells also started to digest themselves. 5 6
- Arthritis and Tendonitis
Scientists in Munich and Nottingham in 2011 revealed that curcumin may be beneficial l in treating sore inflammatory conditions, such as arthritis and tendonitis. 7
The researchers show that this potent compound can be used to destroy biological mechanisms that cause tendon and inflammation.
The experts said it is not a cure – but it might provide scientists in the future a significant new lead in the treatment of the health conditions.
A small research in Thailand in 2012 showed it could help lower of type 2 diabetes. The study found that over nine months a daily intake of curcumin supplement seemed to prevent cases of type 2 diabetes in certain people at risk. Though, more research is required. 8
Are There Risks to Using Turmeric?
In high doses or after long-term use it can sometimes cause diarrhea and nausea. It may also pose a risk of ulcers in very high dose. It can cause skin irritation – so do not use it as a topical treatment. Caution is advised when this spice is taken by individuals known to suffer from gallstones.
Consult with your health professional before taking turmeric in a supplement form if you have some medical conditions, like immunity problems, diabetes, bleeding disorders, kidney disease, or gallbladder.
Moreover, talk with your doctor before taking turmeric supplements if you take drugs regularly that can interact with time, for instance, statins, blood thinners, blood pressure medications, painkillers, aspirin, and diabetes medications.
Pregnant or breastfeeding women should not use turmeric supplements without the recommendation of their doctor.
One of the best recipes for including turmeric benefits into your well-balanced diet is “liquid gold” – turmeric tea.
Turmeric Tea “Liquid Gold” Recipe
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon ghee
- 1 teaspoon turmeric (grated root or powder)
- Pour water and coconut milk into the pot and warm for two minutes.
- Add in turmeric powder, raw honey, and butter for additional two minutes.
- Stir and serve.
Also, eating turmeric eggs for breakfast is a great way to get more turmeric into your diet.
In consort with adding turmeric into your healthy diet, you might also consider taking it or curcumin in supplement form. The recommended daily dose is 800-1000 mg, according to Dr. Axe. I personally recommend taking a CO2 extracted form of turmeric.
Moreover, according to a research, reported in Planta Medica, consuming turmeric with black pepper (that contains piperine) increases the turmeric absorbability through the entire body. The researchers combined 2000 mg Turmeric and 20 mg of piperine, and it improved the bioavailability of Turmeric 154%! 9
There is certainly a growing body of scientific evidence that points to the prospective health benefits of turmeric. Anecdotal evidence and thousands of years of Eastern medicine put forward many turmeric benefits.
You can take turmeric as a tea, supplement, or use it in cooking. Your Health Tubers suggest a chicken tikka massala – it may not cure your ailments but it could be a step in the right direction.
If you liked this article, please like our Facebook page:
You can also follow us on Google+: