Last updated on June 1st, 2023 at 06:54 pm
Turmeric contains Curcumin. It is a yellow-colored chemical commonly used as a food coloring and in cosmetics. Turmeric is a primary spice in Asian curry dishes. It flavors and colors curry powders, mustards, butter, and cheese. It also has a warm and bitter taste as a spice. However, it has recently been advanced as a dietary health supplement. Naturopathic doctors, herbalists, and alternative medical masters have long praised Turmeric for its health benefits and effectiveness.
One recent study stated, “Modern medicine has begun to recognize its importance, as shown by the over 3000 publications dealing with Turmeric that came out within the last 25 years. This review first discusses in vitro studies with Turmeric, followed by animal studies, and finally, studies carried out on humans; the safety and benefits of Turmeric are further managed.”
Curcumin is the primary element of Turmeric. The effects of Turmeric are often attributed to curcuminoids (Curcumin and closely related substances). The yellow color is from Curcumin. On the other hand, Curcuminoids are said to be the active elements found in Turmeric. While Curcumin is considered the primary curcuminoid in Turmeric, Turmeric dietary supplements are mainly made from the dried rhizome. Which also usually contains a mixture of curcuminoids. Turmeric treats certain skin conditions. And these were some of the turmeric health benefits.
Health Benefits Of Turmeric
Research suggests that Curcumin can help in the management of many inflammatory conditions. It may also help manage muscle bruises and inflammation secondary to exercise, thus having shorter recovery and added performance for inactive people. Turmeric also aids in situations such as arthritis, allergies, anxiety, digestive disorders, respiratory infections, liver disease, and many others. Here are the health benefits of Turmeric;
Curcumin in Turmeric blocks certain enzymes and cytokines that lead to inflammation.
2. Anxiety And Depression
People taking antidepressants have shown reduced symptoms when taking Curcumin found in Turmeric.
Curcumin contains antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that can help with hypersensitivity reactions.
4. Burns, Skin Infections, And Abrasions
Turmeric’s anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties make it an excellent option for various skin conditions.
5. Digestive Disorders
Turmeric is an alternative therapy for heartburn, inflammation, and stomach ulcers.
6. Hay Fever
Curcumin reduces hay fever symptoms such as sneezing, itching, runny nose, and congestion.
7. High Cholesterol
Studies on individuals with metabolic syndrome have shown that taking Curcumin (found in Turmeric) for 2-3 months can lessen low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL), or a type of “bad” cholesterol.
Taking Turmeric by mouth thrice daily for eight weeks reduced itching in people with long-term kidney disease.
9. Liver Conditions
In those with liver disease not caused by alcohol, there was a cutting in the markers of liver injury. It helped prevent the growth of more fat in the liver in people with this condition.
10. Respiratory Infections
Curcumin attenuates lung injury and fibrosis caused by radiation, chemotherapeutic drugs, and toxicants. The growing amount of data from pharmacological and animal studies also supports the notion that Curcumin plays a covering role in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, acute lung injury, acute respiratory distress syndrome, and allergic asthma, its therapeutic action being on the control of inflammation and oxidative stress. These findings confirm the possibility of testing Curcumin in patients with lung diseases.
Medical research and studies backed up turmeric health benefits claims.
Turmeric As A Supplement
Turmeric has long been recognized for its uniqueness and medicinal properties. Curcumin has a wide variety of turmeric benefits. Curcumin is the key active element in Turmeric. As mentioned above, Turmeric has many health benefits, so you might want to consider taking Turmeric as a dietary supplement. It would help if you always talked to your doctor before taking any supplements, as they can link with other medications.
Precautions And Interactions
Anticoagulant/ Antiplatelet Drugs. Taking Turmeric may slow down blood clotting. With that being said, you should be careful about taking Turmeric if you are already taking medications such as aspirin, clopidogrel (Plavix), diclofenac (Voltaren, Cataflam, others), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others), naproxen (Anaprox, Naprosyn, others), dalteparin (Fragmin), enoxaparin (Lovenox), heparin, warfarin (Coumadin), and others. These medications slow down blood clotting, and when taken with Turmeric, they can increase the likelihood of injury and bleeding.
Gallstones/ Gallbladder Problems
Turmeric may increase bile oozing. Thus, it is not recommended for those with gallstones, bile duct block, and cholangitis.
Turmeric is also significant for the lack of iron anemia. It is also consistent with the binding of available iron in the gut and avoids engagement. With this, take caution in taking Turmeric if you lack iron.
Turmeric might slow blood clotting and cause extra bleeding during and after surgery. Stop using Turmeric at least two weeks before an arranged surgery.
Foods With Curcumin
The natural source of Curcumin.
2. Curry Powder
Curry powder blends use Turmeric, which makes curry powder a good source of Curcumin. You can always make homemade curry powder and include an extra dose of Turmeric for added health benefits.
3. Mango Ginger
Also known as Curcuma Amada.
Turmeric products are available in capsules, teas, powders, and extracts. It is important to take caution when deciding whether or not Turmeric will benefit you personally. As with any alternative therapy, consult your doctor before using Turmeric to treat any health condition.
Many companies have gone to great lengths to develop curcumin products by adding their bioavailability. According to MSD Manual, Bioavailability refers to the extent and rate at which the active moiety (drug or metabolite) enters systemic circulation, thereby accessing the site of action. The elements of the dosage form determine the bioavailability of a drug which depends partly on its design and manufacture.
The bloodstream absorbs turmeric curcumin. This means that you may be unable to boost the health benefits Curcumin can provide quickly. However, adding black pepper can help. Research supports that adding the piperine in black pepper with the Curcumin in Turmeric improves curcumin absorption by up to 2,000%. Piperine improves the bioavailability of Curcumin.
Not only that, but it also helps fight inflammation and reduce pain. Thus, by adding Curcumin and piperine, they become a powerful inflammation-fighting team.
Turmeric is still not safe to consume in amounts higher than those found in food. Make sure to consult your doctor or health care to decide whether Turmeric suits you. Do note; Turmeric may be unsafe for use during pregnancy or while breastfeeding.
Are you looking for the ultimate guide to healthy, anti-inflammatory nutrition? Click here to learn more!
Rick Kaselj MS, is a leading kinesiologist and injury specialist as well as co-creator of the best-selling Unlock Your Hip Flexors program. Rick creates exercise programs that help people heal injuries and eliminate pain, so they can go back to living a full, active, healthy life.