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Turmeric Benefits & Side Effects

All About the Curcumin Root

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Turmeric is a yellow spice that’s mainly used in Asian cuisines. Due to its rich color, it’s also used to color cheese, butter and curry powders. The turmeric root has curative properties and is therefore used to make traditional medicines.

Studies suggest that curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, is better than prescription medicine in treating certain illnesses. Adding turmeric powder to your meals can help treat diseases such as arthritis, stomach pain, hemorrhage, bloating, jaundice and ulcers, just to mention a few. There have been more than 6000 studies highlighting the benefits of curcumin.

Turmeric Health Benefits

1. Anti-Inflammatory

One of the most powerful properties of turmeric is its ability to ease inflammation in the body. Studies done by Oncogene, a health journal, found that curcumin was more effective in controlling inflammation than ibuprofen and aspirin. Curcumin contains potent anti-inflammatory compounds that help prevent certain diseases from being triggered.

According to scientists, most diseases can be traced back to some type of inflammation within the body. These include arthritis, cancer and high cholesterol. Therefore, turmeric powder could help keep such diseases at bay.

2. Regulating Cholesterol

Lifestyle diseases have become the norm in many developed countries and as a result, heart complications have been on the rise. More people are developing high blood sugar (or pre-diabetes), a condition that leads to oxidative stress and blood vessel damage. As arteries rapture, cholesterol builds up and binds the damaged spots. This leads to an excessive buildup of LDL cholesterol that’s harmful to the body.

Luckily, the curcumin compound found in turmeric helps to reduce oxidative stress and treats high cholesterol issues. Doctors even recommend it over statin drugs. You can try taking turmeric supplements but only after getting a go-ahead from your physician.

3. Anti-Depressant

Several studies that were carried out on lab animals ascertained that turmeric could effectively treat depression symptoms. Due to these promising results, a study involving 60 volunteers was carried out to determine whether the anti-depressant compounds in turmeric could work on humans.

Curcumin was found to be just as effective as Prozac, a popular depression medicine, in managing and treating depression. Curcumin is therefore a safe, natural therapy for mild depression. Patients can also tolerate it better than ordinary medicine.

4. Managing Arthritis

Curcumin is known to have strong anti-inflammatory properties. One study was done to compare the effectiveness of curcumin in turmeric to a popular arthritis medicine in the treatment of arthritis. According to this study, curcumin showed significantly higher improvement scores compared to diclofenac sodium in the treatment of arthritis.

In addition, curcumin did not have the adverse side effects that were caused by diclofenac sodium. These side effects include heart complications and leaky gut development.
Although more research continues to be done, physicians around the world recommend turmeric supplement to their patients suffering from arthritis.

5. Treatment of Cancer

Scientists have been keenly researching the role of curcumin in treating a myriad of diseases. They’ve especially made significant strides in the management and treatment of cancer using curcumin. Of all the turmeric health benefits, the ability to treat certain types of cancer could prove to be the most revolutionary. Curcumin can effectively eradicate cancerous cells and prevent more of these cells from growing.

The anticancer effects of turmeric can work best to prevent stomach cancer, breast cancer and skin cancer, among others. Various lab studies showed that curcumin inhibits several stages of cancer including its growth, development and spread. It also blocks the formation of cancer-bringing enzymes within mice.

How to Take Turmeric

The turmeric root contains potent compounds that can help your body fight off diseases and boost your immunity. You can simmer it in water to create a tea. Another alternative could be to incorporate turmeric powder in your meals. This spicy herb makes your food look and taste incredible. It also gives you all the key nutrients you need to maintain good health.

The beauty of turmeric is that it contains no side effects when taken in appropriate proportions. However, high doses of turmeric (or curcumin) could lead to nausea, hypotension, diarrhea, aggravated menstrual flow and heightened risk of bleeding.

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