Suffering from inflammation? Why not try some Indian food?
A turmeric supplement might be even easier. Predominantly grown in Southeast Asia and harvested mainly in Tamil Nadu, India, the turmeric plant (curcuma longa) is the ingredient in curry that gives it its yellow color and distinctive taste.
Outside of the kitchen, turmeric is utilized for its laundry list of medical benefits and lack of side-effects. The key advantage of this easy-to-find spice is its anti-inflammatory properties, making it a natural and safe alternative to conventional medications which can be expensive and lead to unwanted side-effects.
Inflammation can cause serious issues such as:
In a study(1) for inflammation treatment, it was concluded that the often-prescribed medications aspirin and ibuprofen actually tested among the least effective methods for inflammation relief while the curcumin in turmeric rated among the best.
The List Goes On...
Keeping inflammation at bay is just the tip of the iceberg. Research has shown turmeric to have a positive effect on a variety of conditions.
2. May Help Fight Cancer
Trillions of cells are generated and disposed of in the human body everyday. In a process known as apoptosis, cells essentially allow themselves to die in order to make room for freshly generated cells. Tumorous cells tend to multiply at an accelerated rate and without undergoing this process of replacing the old cells - interrupting the body’s internal balance at a cellular level.
Not only have studies(2) shown that turmeric promotes the apoptosis process in cells, but it also helps regulate unwanted and dangerous multiplication of cells.
3. Promotes Gastrointestinal Health
Prescription medicines have you worried about unpredictable side-effects? Typical medications for Inflammatory Bowel Diseases can sometimes harm your stomach even more.
IBS, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease and other inflammatory bowel diseases can be alleviated with turmeric without the risk of side-effects. In some cases, patients have even been able to ditch their prescribed medicines(3) in favor of this safer, natural alternative.
4. Cholesterol Control
What are known as reactive oxidative species help the body regulate its cells. An unbalanced level of these reactive oxidative species can be dangerous and leads to oxidative stress. Diabetics and those with high blood sugar suffer from oxidative stress, which can lead to damaged arteries. Buildups of cholesterol will patch up these damaged areas but leads to unhealthy cholesterol levels. Drugs like Lipitor(4) lowers cholesterol, but can harm the liver, and does not affect the root of the problem - inflammation and high blood sugar caused by oxidative stress.
Curcumin in turmeric, however, has been shown to regulate oxidative stress(5).
5. May Help Regulate Obesity
Curcumin is also an effective agent against weight-loss. Obesity is a metabolic inflammation that can helped(6) with the anti-inflammatory and pro-antioxidant agents in turmeric. Not only can turmeric help to manage obesity, but can also ease the health issues that obesity causes.
- Nutritional Content -
Looking to implement turmeric into your diet for the purpose of weight loss? It may be a good idea to know the nutritional facts. Below is a chart of the nutritional content(7) found in a 100g sample of turmeric.
6. May Prevent Blood Clotting!
Patients who suffer from vascular thrombosis and blood clotting are, again, often prescribed aspirin and ibuprofen. As an anticoagulant, turmeric beats these two common household items once again. Research(8) has shown turmeric to be an effective anticoagulant with none of the dangerous side-effects that popping pills may incur.
7. May Help Balance Mood
In a study(9) of 60 patients diagnosed with major depressive disorder (MDD), the effectiveness of curcumin was weighed against prozac for these conditions. It was determined that curcumin proved equally effective as prozac - and none of the patients had a negative reaction.
8. Beauty Benefits and Skin Care
Want healthy, “glowing” skin? Curcumin in turmeric has also been found to contain an array of dermatological benefits as well.
It may sound like science fiction, but by regulating oxidation and inflammation, curcumin has also been shown to improve and quicken the body’s ability to repair skin and heal wounds(12).
Used in excess, curcumin may lead to a small list of side-effects(13). As curcumin is an effective anticoagulant, it may cause the lowering of your blood pressure to dangerous levels (hypotension), and an increased chance of bleeding. Other side-effects may be nausea, diarrhea, hyperactive gallbladder contractions, an increase in menstrual flow, and uterine contractions in pregnant women.
Allergic reactions could also occur - usually in the form of a mild rash. Apply a small test patch to your skin and wait to see how the substance reacts with your body.
It may be a good idea to check with your doctor before using turmeric to supplement the effects of your prescription meds - curcumin could affect the anticoagulants, anti-inflammatories, and other drugs already in your system.
If you’re interested in the benefits of Turmeric, it might be something worth trying. Ask your healthcare professional before making any changes to your daily health regimen.
***This article is intended to provide information and general education only - please don’t use this information to diagnose, treat, or cure any illness or medical condition, or as a substitute for medical advice.***
That’ll do it for now.
To your health,
-Chris Ford - Director of Health Research
Turmeric Facial Mask Photo
Gastrointestinal Health Photo