Spices have always been valued for their unique flavors and their healing properties. While most spices have health benefits, turmeric is considered to be the spice whose healing properties are most powerful.
Turmeric is present in the media and it is considered a possible treatment for diseases like Alzheimer’s, psoriasis, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis and cancer. You must be wondering if that is true and if it is how to consume it, how often, should you take it as a supplement?
Read this article and find out everything you want to know.
Turmeric and Its Health Benefits
Curcuma longa is a wonderful flowering plant originating from India and turmeric comes from the root of this flower. Turmeric has been used as a remedy for thousands of years, even going back to India’s natural healing system which is 5,000 years old, known as Ayurveda. There is proof that people in Asia cooked it 4,500 years ago. Curcumin is also used to make curry powder along with other ingredients. Curcumin is usually used dry but its root can be grated when it is fresh.
This spice was used to dissolve gallstones, improve digestion, soothe colds and allergies symptoms and relieve arthritis. Curcumin was also used as a treatment for various skin conditions and wounds. Additionally, another if its uses was as a beauty treatment and creams and soups containing turmeric are very popular nowadays.
Turmeric and Curcumin and Their Relationship
There are hundreds of compounds found in turmeric and each of them has its own properties. However, of all the turmeric’s compounds, curcumin is far and away the most researched and most promising compound. Curcumin can also be found in ginger. According to some health websites, curcumin has proven to be effective for more than 600 ailments.
Corroborated Health Benefits of Turmeric
Most studies have been about curcumin and not turmeric. Some of the health benefits of curcumin are: reduces the heart attack risk, controls diabetes, treats depression, eases the arthritis pain, breaks up the brain plaques of Alzheimer’s, alleviates allergies.
What is turmeric good for?
It has been found so far that turmeric contains 20 compounds which are antibiotic, 14 which prevent cancer, 12 which prevent tumors, 12 which are anti-inflammatory and 10 antioxidants at the minimum. It is considered a powerful anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiviral, antibacterial, and anticancer agent.
Turmeric as a Treatment for Alzheimer’s
One of the most powerful properties of turmeric is that it might stop Alzheimer’s. In fact, elderly villagers from India, who regularly consume turmeric as part of their diet, have the lowest Alzheimer’s rate in the world. However, curcumin is not the single compound of turmeric. Turmerone, is a compound which encourages the brain to restore itself and stimulates the creation of new neurons. This property makes it a possible treatment for a number of degenerative brain disease like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, stroke and traumatic brain injury.
Turmeric as a Treatment for Arthritis
Arthritis and similar inflammatory diseases are very common. Turmeric has proven effective for arthritis for both internal and topical use. It provides long-term improvement when it comes to function and pain of those suffering from osteoarthritis. The suggested dosage is one capsule (400 to 600 mg) three times a day or 0.5 to 1 gram of turmeric in powder three times a day as well.
Turmeric as a Treatment for Cancer
Curcumin is full of promise when it comes to fighting cancer. It kills tumor cells and does not harm healthy cells. It increases the effectiveness of both radiation and chemo. According to Dr. Saraswati Sukumar, curcumin that is prepared in food is more beneficial than taking turmeric or curcumin supplements.
Turmeric for Depression
Turmeric is a powerful antidepressant and it is found that it is even more effective than fluoxetine, Prozac’s generic name. It reduces cortisol, which is the stress hormone and increases serotonin, which is related to happiness.
Increasing Turmeric Naturally
Sadly, curcumin is badly absorbed. If the right steps are not taken, it passes through your body without being used. However, you can increase the absorption by mixing it with black pepper. Piperine, a compound found in black pepper increases the absorption of curcumin by 2,000 percent. Turmeric absorption is also increased when cooked in oil.
To make yourself curcumin tea you need to put ½ teaspoon of powdered turmeric in a cup of water and boil it for 10 minutes. Strain it if necessary and serve. It has a bitter taste and not everyone likes it.
Liquid Gold Turmeric Tea
- 1/2 teaspoon of powdered turmeric
- 1/2 cup of water
- Stevia or honey to taste
- 1/2 cup of coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
The water should boil. Then add the turmeric powder and boil gently for 10 minutes. Add coconut oil and coconut milk and sweeten it with stevia or honey. You can use regular or almond milk instead of coconut milk.
Suggested turmeric doses for adults:
- Tincture (1:2): 15-30 drops, 4 times a day
- Cut root: 1.5-3 grams a day
- Dried, powdered root: 1-3 grams a day
- Fluid extract (1:1): 30-90 drops a day
Side Effects of Turmeric Supplements
Turmeric which is consumed as spice is considered to be safe. The number of side effects of the turmeric is really low apart from the increased risk of kidney stones in those who are susceptible. However, turmeric supplements have a number of warnings, interactions and side effects. Do not consume turmeric if:
- You are expecting a baby.
- You are planning to conceive.
- You suffer from a hormone-sensitive condition.
- You have gallbladder disease or gallstones.
- You are to have surgery in less than two weeks.
- You are on medications which slow clotting like warfarin, naproxen, ibuprofen, diclofenac, clopidogrel, and aspirin.
- You suffer from ulcers, GERD or similar stomach problems.
- You take medications to reduce stomach acid.
- You take diabetes drugs.
- You have an iron insufficiency.