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The secrets of Turmeric

Last updated date: 25-Feb-2022

CloudHospital

14 mins read

What is turmeric?

Turmeric is a spice coming from the root of Curcuma longa and is a member of the ginger family. Turmeric is known not only for its unique taste and color, but also for its medical properties that could help, prevent and combat health conditions.

Turmeric has been utilized in Ayurveda and other traditional Indian medical systems, as well as Eastern Asian medical systems like Traditional Chinese Medicine, for centuries. It was traditionally used in India for skin, upper respiratory tract, joints, and digestive system diseases.

 

Benefits of turmeric

Besides giving an extraordinary taste to food, turmeric is known for its various health benefits.

There are many arguments and explanations needed in order to find the answer to the question “why turmeric is good for you?”. 

So here are some answers about what is turmeric good for and what are turmeric’s benefits: 

  • Turmeric as an anti-inflammatory treatment

When suffering from several health conditions, you might find yourself asking: is turmeric anti-inflammatory?

Various chronic conditions that could affect tissues of our bodies could be treated with turmeric, as we can use turmeric for any inflammation.

The secret lies in its active ingredient, curcumin. Having this in mind, we can state that turmeric with curcumin’s antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties is beneficial and may help prolong remission. 

Turmeric supplements include larger doses of the spice than the spice itself. Because of its anti-inflammatory effects, it's a standard treatment for various ailments, including Arthritis, Joint Pain, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Heartburn, Kidney Problems, Colitis.

Turmeric has been shown in recent research to help prevent and lessen joint inflammation. So, it could relieve arthritis-related pain, stiffness, and inflammation.

Its anti-inflammatory and antioxidants properties are used in many different ways.


  • You can use turmeric to lose weight

Losing weight consists of a combination of healthy foods and an active lifestyle. 

Because of its propriety of reducing inflammation, one of the factors that cause obesity, curcumin, can stop the inflammatory condition in fat, muscle cells, and pancreas. 

Safe consumption of turmeric can help one increase their health. So, it is recommended to use turmeric for weight loss, but only in limited doses.

Curcumin acts in several other ways in helping reduce weight, but the most important ones are that it can regulate sugar levels and prevent insulin resistance. 

Furthermore, animal studies suggest that this compound may help you lose weight, reduce fat tissue growth, prevent weight gain, and improve your insulin sensitivity.

Moreover, a 30-day study in 44 patients who had previously been unable to lose weight discovered that taking 800 mg of curcumin along with 8 mg of piperine twice a day results in significant decreases in body weight, waist, and hip circumference and BMI.

The consumption was also connected to lower weight, BMI, and waist circumference in an analysis of 21 trials, including over 1,600 persons. Adiponectin, a hormone that helps regulate metabolism, was also found to be higher.


  • Turmeric and blood pressure thinning

Because of its active ingredient - curcumin, turmeric is a natural blood thinner that may help people prevent blood clots.


  • Turmeric lowers the risk of heart disease

Because of its ability to reduce oxidation and inflammation, turmeric has the property to reduce the risk of heart disease.


  • Turmeric and blood flow

The fact that it helps increasing blood flow is one of turmeric’s benefits for men. This is why men are recommended to consume turmeric:

  1. It helps in preventing the development of prostate cancer. 
  2. It is increasing the blood flow, which could also stimulate virility and sexual drive.

  • Turmeric for skin

Except for the above-mentioned usages of it, you can also apply turmeric to the skin. 

Turmeric properties can help in obtaining and maintaining healthy skin. Studies show that it is a better alternative to use turmeric to lighten the skin, luster it, and give it back its natural glow than to use the less natural products found in stores. It can also help in combating several skin conditions such as psoriasis, scabies, or other dermatological conditions, by using it as a face mask. You can also use turmeric for acne problems in order to combat them.

Turmeric's benefits for skin go beyond the above-mentioned and can also help psoriasis by taking it as a supplement or by using it as a spice in food.


  • Turmeric for hay fever

Hay fever, or allergic rhinitis, is known for its cold-like signs and symptoms. Turmeric helps in reducing symptoms such as sneezing, runny nose, congestion, and itching.


  • Depression could be treated with turmeric

Turmeric helps fight depression by lowering the levels of blood fats – triglycerides. This is why many people choose to use it as an antidepressant. The active ingredient of turmeric, curcumin, is also known to increase the level of dopamine and serotonin.


  • Turmeric joint pain - Osteoarthritis

Turmeric extracts alone or combined with other herbal ingredients could help in reducing pain while also improving the function of those who suffer from knee osteoarthritis. 

 

How to use turmeric?

Turmeric uses are vast as it is a perfect ingredient to live a healthy life. Because of its active ingredient, curcumin, turmeric spice, or turmeric drink, becomes a must-have in our daily life.

As we have already mentioned, too much turmeric might not be a good idea. So, how much turmeric to be used per day?

There is no specific recommended daily turmeric dosage and consumption or how much turmeric should you take a day. It is recommended to take doses of 500-2,000 mg of turmeric per day. In medical conditions cases, it mainly depends on the type of medical condition treated.

You can make yourself a turmeric tea: add a dash of turmeric into a one-two cup of boiled water. Stir well and drink it when it is warm. You can also add a dash of cinnamon to the tea as it also helps in reducing weight. It is also safe to drink turmeric and ginger tea, as it is known that turmeric with ginger make a powerful combination as both have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. 

Drinking turmeric tea is one of the popular ways of consuming it because of its flavor. Except for its delicious taste, the turmeric tea benefits are:

  • It also helps in reducing pain; 
  • Combating several medical conditions such as arthritis, prevention of Alzheimer's disease, prevention of cancer, immune system booster, lowers cholesterol, treatment of uveitis.

Turmeric with milk, also known as turmeric latte or turmeric golden milk, consists of milk that is heated for about 6 to 7 minutes, and the turmeric powder is added right after.

Turmeric coffee, also known as Curcumin Coffee, turmeric can also be used in coffee, and it's a perfect ingredient for a spicy morning kick. The recipe for this type of coffee is easy. You only need to mix up in a cup of turmeric, cinnamon, black pepper, ginger and add them to your favorite coffee. 

Turmeric paste is the combination of turmeric powder with neutral oils (such as coconut) heated and melted so that, after mixing, it turns into a paste ready to use for turmeric milk, curries, or smoothies. Orally consumed, turmeric paste can help in several medical conditions while strengthening your system. It can be used as a painkiller, antimicrobial, booster of brain health, ease stress, and improve mood.

The benefits of turmeric shots are, besides being a perfect morning booster and tonic, it helps digestion and strengthens immunity. It is recommended to be taken in the morning on an empty stomach. Another famous shot is the turmeric ginger shot.

Turmeric Juice also referred to as Turmeric Golden Juice, is a powerful and fresh juice that is considered to be a true elixir of health for the whole body. The potential of prevention against Alzheimer's and cancer and of improvement of heart health are other benefits of turmeric juice.

Used as a spice represents another way of taking advantage of turmeric. This method consists of adding it as a spice in your dishes (add turmeric in rice, desserts, and other delicacies of your choice).

Turmeric Soap is known for its ability to treat skin disorders, as turmeric can be used as a natural soap alternative when dealing with problematic skin. Some of the turmeric soap benefits are associated with the removal of dark spots, healing of the scars while giving the skin a radiant look. It is also known for its property of whitening the skin.

The turmeric body scrub is based on curcumin's scar removal and anti-inflammatory properties, and the turmeric body scrub helps clarify the dull and dry skin while leaving it bright and healthy.

Turmeric gummies are great for chewing, as the organic gummies can help in the process of fortification your immunity while alleviating any inflammation, boosting the functions of the brain, and improving your joint health.

You can also use turmeric to whiten teeth. Turmeric is a better alternative to teeth whitening than those less natural and commercial teeth whiteners. Bearing in mind that one use per day is the recommended usage, making a homemade turmeric toothpaste is very easy: you only need to combine ¼ teaspoon of turmeric powder with 1/8 teaspoon coconut oil. Besides the property of whitening teeth, this mix is also believed to help in reducing the risk of gum pain and inflammation and reducing the risk of gum disease.

What about a turmeric face wash? If you want to give your face a gentler yet solid and healthy wash, you may wish to introduce turmeric in your face care routine. Whether you wish to go look for and buy a premade cleansing gel with turmeric as the main ingredient, or you wish to prepare your own cleanser, turmeric is a perfect solution that can eliminate multiple skin problems and give your skin a healthy and radiant look. If you decide to prepare your own cleanser, here are some of the most popular combinations that work perfectly together: turmeric and milk, turmeric and orange peel, turmeric and yogurt, turmeric and aloe vera. 

Also, turmeric can be used as a face mask: Our faces and skins are one of our most important assets. Therefore, it is best to take outstanding care of them and spoil them with natural and healthy ingredients only. This is why one of the most popular and loved treatments of the upper part of the body is the treatment with turmeric for the face and skin.

 

Turmeric and honey have numerous health benefits, including anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antibacterial qualities. Both foods have been utilized as natural treatments for a range of diseases for centuries.

The turmeric oil benefits consist of being rich in antioxidants. It has anti-allergic, antibacterial, antimicrobial, and antifungal properties, making it a wonder for your skin and hair.

Turmeric leaves are known to have antiseptic characteristics that can help with colds, jaundice, and even intestinal worms, according to Ayurvedic medicine. Turmeric leaves are also said to aid digestion and avoid bloating and discomfort in the abdomen.

Turmeric flowers contain curcumin, a substance found in Turmeric roots that has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Turmeric blossoms are also high in essential oils, which have been shown to help in reducing microbiological contamination and food rancidity.

Incredibly, besides all the other benefits for which turmeric can be used, turmeric can also be used for hair removal. Although this is property is continuously disputed, turmeric is believed to help in getting rid of hair from the intimate area. Turmeric's natural compounds aid in inhibiting or reducing hair growth. Using a turmeric mask or scrub weakens the hair roots and helps in pulling the hair out of the skin easily.

 

Turmeric Boosters

Curcumin is poorly absorbed into the bloodstream, research shows, so it is worth taking into consideration to mix it with enhancers that fastens its absorption rate.

Turmeric with black pepper is a powerful and healthy combination, on account of the properties pepper and black pepper have. Piperine, which is a bioactive compound of pepper, is known for its help in easing nauseousness, headaches, and poor digestion, while also having anti-inflammatory properties. 

Turmeric with Bioperine is a combination that comes in the form of a tablet, and consuming it can conclude in dramatic increases of turmeric absorption levels by even 2000%.

 

Turmeric vs. ginger

The structure of turmeric contains a chemical called zingiberene, which is also present in ginger.

Turmeric, like ginger, has anti-inflammatory qualities and is used to treat inflammatory disorders, including osteoarthritis.

Although both turmeric and ginger lower the incidence and severity of rheumatoid arthritis flare-ups, turmeric has much more significant anti-inflammatory and antioxidant potential than ginger, according to one animal study.

Turmeric and ginger are named the medicinal ingredients in the kitchen that anyone must-have. Some of the turmeric and ginger benefits are related to relieving:

  • Pain caused by a muscle pull;
  • Joint pain;
  • Back pain;
  • Arthritis pain;
  • Reduction of nausea and morning sickness;
  • Both turmeric and ginger can also boost your immunity.

 

Turmeric vs. cumin

Turmeric's curcumin and cumin have different characteristics and provide different advantages, despite their similar names. Curcumin, a polyphenol, is the active element in turmeric, a rhizome from the ginger family.

Cumin, on the other hand, is a parsley family member that can be found in supermarkets as little brown seeds or ground powder.

Cumin may also be beneficial to one's health. Cuminaldehyde, the primary component, has antibacterial and antifungal effects.

Cumin's ability to relieve gastrointestinal disorders was demonstrated in one study.

Cumin, like turmeric, has a high iron content. A tablespoon of cumin seeds provides 22% of the daily value for this mineral.

 

Turmeric vs. curcumin

Turmeric is considered one of the most important nutritional supplements. An essential active ingredient of turmeric is curcumin, a compound with high medical properties for both the brain and the body. 

Turmeric and curcumin are a powerful combination that helps in battling diverse medical conditions while supporting some vital organs such as the brain, heart, liver, and immune system.

 

Turmeric drug interactions

Turmeric is known to interact with the following types of medications:

  • Blood-thinning medications

As we already clarified, turmeric is a blood thinner itself. So, it is only natural that it must not be taken in combination with other blood thinners. One of the most dangerous risks it may occur is internal bleeding. 

Some examples of blood-thinning medications are Aspirin, Blood sugar-lowering medication, Plavix, and Coumadin.

  • Drugs for diabetes

As turmeric also lowers sugar levels in the blood, it must be avoided when taking drugs for diabetes, as they also lower blood sugar. The risk that the person is exposed to if both turmeric and diabetes drugs are combined is hypoglycemia, having side effects such as anxiety, shakiness, blurred vision, and reduced cognitive function.

  • Antacids

Turmeric has the property of normalizing the stomach acid, so it is best not to be used in the presence of medication that does the same thing, such as Tagamet, Pepcid, Ranitidine, and Omeprazole. 

Taken into combination with one of the above-mentioned drugs, turmeric will increase the body's production of stomach acid, causing bloating and stomach pain, nausea, and damaging the esophagus.

Patients with the following conditions may also need to limit the usage of turmeric in their diet:

  • People with an increased risk of kidney stones or who suffer from gallstones;
  • People who have iron deficiency or are prone to one – turmeric can block iron absorption;
  • The patient is pregnant or breastfeeding.

Turmeric has only a few minor adverse effects that are pretty infrequent. Daily supplementation will be free of harmful consequences for the vast majority of consumers. While there are some medicine interactions and safety measures to be aware of, most people will find that the benefits of turmeric far outweigh any minor health hazards.

Please contact a licensed medical practitioner before taking a curcumin supplement or any other nutraceutical to see if it can help you.

 

Turmeric Side Effects

The side effects that are associated with turmeric are moderate and also infrequent, but may occur due to overdoses. Oral curcumin supplements have numerous advantages, but there are a few potential health dangers to consider.

  • Bleeding and Clotting Problems - For certain people, curcumin may increase the risk of bleeding or bruising, as turmeric itself is a blood thinner. Curcumin can also make you bleed more after surgery. Turmeric should be avoided for at least two weeks before a scheduled surgery.

  • Diabetes & Blood Sugar - While turmeric can help people with diabetes lower and maintain their blood sugar, there is a danger that it can cause blood sugar to drop too low.

  • Digestive Issues - If dosages exceed 1,000 mg of curcumin per day, turmeric can cause constipation bloating, acid reflux flatulence, and diarrhea.

  • Gallbladder Problems - Turmeric has been linked to gallbladder issues such as bile duct obstruction and gallstones. If you have either of these disorders, avoid using turmeric.

  • Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) - Is turmeric good for acid reflux? Turmeric might aggravate stomach disorders like GERD and cause stomach distress in certain people.

  • Headache and Nausea - Curcumin doses greater than 450 mg per day have been linked to an increased risk of headaches and nausea in a small number of people.

  • Hormone-Sensitive Conditions - Curcumin may mimic the estrogen hormone in the body. Turmeric has the potential to cause significant hormone-sensitive illnesses such as breast cancer, ovarian cancer, uterine cancer, endometriosis, and uterine fibroids. Turmeric, on the other hand, has been shown to inhibit the effects of estrogen in cancer cells in studies. If you have a condition that could be aggravated by hormone exposure, use it with caution.

  • Infertility in Men - In men, oral curcumin intake may diminish testosterone levels and sperm motility. As a result, turmeric may reduce fertility, but further research is needed to corroborate these findings.

  • Iron Deficiency - Turmeric in high doses may prevent the body from absorbing iron. Curcumin should be used with caution if you have an iron shortage.

  • Kidney Stones - Turmeric may raise oxalate levels in the urine, increasing the risk of kidney stone formation.

  • Skin Rash - A skin rash might occur in rare cases when taking 8,000 mg or more of curcumin per day.

 

Conclusion

Turmeric is not only a spice that makes food more fragrant but also has a great effect on your health. It has a variety of curative effects. Therefore, it is often said that "turmeric is the poor people's medicine". It has been used for thousands of years in its native country India, where many people rub it directly on their skin or add it to their food to cure aches and sores. Currently, turmeric is also used in the west for medical purposes. But not everyone knows about its uses and proper dosage.

So, as healthy as turmeric can get you, the worse it is for your health when over-consuming it. Overdosing turmeric could lead to some mild to moderate health complications.

Also, you should not consume turmeric when you are following some specific treatments, as it might interfere with the medicines.

Finally, turmeric is perhaps one of the healthiest ingredients one can consume, and its incredible taste is a bonus.

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