10 Life Changing Benefits Of Turmeric

Turmeric

Written by David Andrew on 10.4.2021
Medically reviewed by Dr.K on 18.10.2021

10 Life Changing Benefits Of Turmeric

Turmeric and its origins

Turmeric is a spice that comes from the thickened part of the stem below the ground (rhizome) of a perennial herb having a short stem with large simple oblong leaves. It is one of the main spice condiments in Indian curry powder mixtures. Turmeric and especially its active ingredient, curcumin, has many scientifically proven healing remedies.

The use of turmeric can be traced back to nearly 4000 years to the Ayurveda medicine in India, where it also was used as a spice in cooking, as a textile dye, and had religious ceremonial significance. It reached China, East Africa, West Africa, and Jamaica with the increased spice trade. Marco Polo described turmeric, marveling at a vegetable that exhibited similar qualities to that of saffron which was found in Greece on his journey en route to China via Silk road and around the coastal subcontinent of India and South East Asia.

India accounts for more than 90% of the total output of the world’s turmeric production. It is a vivid yellow-orange tuber that became a popular spice in Indian, South East Asian, Middle Eastern, and North African cuisine. The matured tuber has protective skin around it and is boiled for about an hour to cure it. This was done to kill some of the microbes but it loses some of the fresh spicy fragrance but creates a more even color by gelatinizing the starch. After it is cured, it is sun-dried or dried in air dryers. Subsequently, the dried tuber is polished smooth in a rotating drum to remove the skin for quality.

If destined to be powdered turmeric, the dried, polished tuber is passed through milling or grinding machine. Commercially it is also available as bulk turmeric powder or packaged. It is also manufactured and sold in capsules or tablet form, sold in most pharmacies worldwide. It has a warm, bitter taste and is frequently used to flavor or color curry mixtures, mustards, butter, and cheeses.

The health benefits of turmeric are numerous and are still being researched for more promising benefits. The potential to prevent heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and cancer are gaining ground. It has potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and may also help improve symptoms of depression and arthritis.

Health Benefits of Turmeric

  1. Turmeric has bioactive compounds with medicinal remedies

The natural absorption of curcumin into the bloodstream is poor. The rate of absorption is hugely enhanced when administered with black pepper which contains the natural substance called piperine. Turmeric is typically sold in capsules by pharmacies as Curcumin or Curcumin with piperine, that supports joint arthritis immune health. 

  1. Curcumin as an Anti-Inflammatory 

Curcumin is a strongly anti-inflammatory active ingredient that contains a compound called curcuminoids. Short-term inflammation is beneficial, but it can develop to be a major problem when it reaches a chronic level that the body’s immune system inappropriately attacks its own body’s tissue. It is believed that the low-level inflammation brought about by Curcumin plays a major role in triggering the immune system to respond naturally to foreign disease or injury. This includes joint pain relief and reduces swelling in arthritis, heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s, and various other diseases including autoimmune rheumatoid arthritis. It's so potent, in particular, that it's comparable to the efficacy of certain anti-inflammatory medications without the negative side effects.

  1. Turmeric Increases the Antioxidant 

Antioxidants are very beneficial as they shield our bodies from free radicals. Curcumin is a natural antioxidant that can neutralize free radicals due to its chemical structure. It blocks them directly, then stimulates your body’s own enzymes to establish antioxidant defenses.

  1. Curcumin lowers Risk of Brain Diseases

One of the main drivers of this process is the growth of hormones that function in your brain. Many common brain disorders have been linked to decreased levels of this hormone which affects cognitive function, learning, and memory and also causes degenerative disorders including depression and Alzheimer’s disease. Curcumin can increase brain levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factors. 

  1. Curcumin Lower the Risk of Heart Disease

Curcumin may aid in the reversal of a series of stages in the heart disease process. Curcumin's greatest advantage in terms of heart disease is that it improves the functioning of the endothelium, which lines the blood vessels. It is well known that endothelial dysfunction (poor function of constricting and dilating of blood vessels) is a major driver of heart disease and involves an inability of your endothelium to regulate blood pressure, blood clotting, and various other functions. Curcumin seems to increase endothelial activity, according to some reports. One study found that it’s as effective as exercise while another shows that it works as well as the drug Atorvastatin but without the side effects.

  1. Turmeric Can Help with skin problems (Acne & Eczema) 

Curcumin has been studied for its beneficial antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that can help skin conditions such as Acne and Eczema. Another good home remedy for (Acne) pimples and blackheads is a combination of coriander juice and a pinch of turmeric powder. Its anti-bacterial and wound-healing properties have been used in ancient practices for centuries.

  1. Turmeric relieves bronchial asthma

Turmeric is also considered to be a good treatment for bronchial asthma. Researchers found initial indications that the supplement helped reduce inflammation and airway obstruction and could be a helpful complementary treatment for asthma. 

  1. Turmeric and its antiseptic properties

Turmeric is an excellent treatment for colds and throat irritations due to its antiseptic effects. In case of a running cold, smoke from the burning turmeric could be inhaled. It will increase the discharge from the nose and will bring quick relief.

  1. Turmeric as relief for IBS

Turmeric has recently attracted attention for its potential to reduce IBS (Irritable bowel syndrome) symptoms. IBS is a common disorder of the digestive system that causes stomach cramps, diarrhea, and constipation. Turmeric causes side effects like diarrhea if taken in heavy doses. At the right dose, it has proved to be a remedy if fresh turmeric rhizome juice is taken as a gastric stimulant and a tonic. 

  1. Turmeric as a remedy for influenza complications

It is proven to prevent complications arising from influenza and also activate the liver which becomes sluggish during the attack. If taken in combination with ginger, lemon, honey, and cinnamon help boost the immune system.

Turmeric, and more specifically Curcumin, seem to be generally well tolerated if dosages are as recommended. The most common side effects observed in clinical studies are mild gastrointestinal symptoms including constipation, dyspepsia, diarrhea, distension, gastroesophageal reflux, nausea, vomiting, yellow stool, and stomach ache. 

The benefits of using turmeric significantly outweigh the side effects which are mild in comparison to even some prescription drugs. More research is required on the right dosage for various uses and the extraction of concentrated curcuminoids in capsules or otherwise where higher potencies are required. 

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