Updated: Oct 23, 2019
Turmeric is found in most kitchens today, not just because it brings beautiful flavour and colour to our food but also due to the fact that it has various medical health benefits, proving to be of great value today.
Research has time and again concluded that TURMERIC, referred to most as the Golden spice has multiple health benefits. It has been used for generations in Ayurvedic medicines as the healing spice to improve various health conditions.
Grandmothers would prescribe Haldi (Turmeric) in various preparations as a medicine to ease headaches, stomach ache, colds, you name it and yes, according to her, Turmeric will help. Our grandmothers through experience considered Turmeric as a healing spice, but today science has backed the medicinal properties of turmeric.
Today Turmeric is available as a OTC (over the counter) dietary supplement. It has been marketed so well that you can buy turmeric lattes and smoothies just about everywhere. Curcumin is the main active ingredient in turmeric. It is a strong antioxidant and has powerful anti-inflammatory effects.
Turmeric on its own is not well absorbed by the body
Consuming turmeric by itself does not lead to the associated health benefits because of its poor bioavailability, which is due to its poor absorption, rapid metabolism, and rapid elimination.
There are several other active components that can increase the absorption of turmeric from the diet. And one of it is piperine which is the major active component of black pepper. Piperine when combined in a complex with Turmeric, has been shown to increase bioavailability by 2000%. So…Turmeric with pepper is a great combination for better health effects.
HEALTH EFFECTS OF TURMERIC:
Curcumin can help in the management of
Ageing and many other diseases like diabetes, heart disease and even High BP is believed to be caused by oxidative damage involving free radicals. Curcumin which is an antioxidant is so beneficial that it neutralizes these free radicals thus protecting our body.
Acute short term inflammation is not bad for our bodies. It is a protective response towards infection. Pain, redness, swelling and heat are usually felt in acute inflammation.
Chronic Inflammation on the other hand is not often felt by the person. It may occur deep in the body’s tissues or blood vessels. Chronic inflammation has been associated with Alzheimer’s disease (AD), Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, cardiovascular disease, cancer, allergy, asthma, bronchitis, colitis, arthritis, renal ischemia, psoriasis, diabetes, obesity, depression, fatigue, and even AIDS …just to name a few
Curcumin is a powerful anti-inflammatory and matches the effectiveness of some anti-inflammatory drugs, without the side effects.
Curcumin fights inflammation at the molecular level thus causing relief and even delaying and stopping the onset of chronic conditions brought about as a result of cell inflammation.
Curcumin helps fight cancer through its ability to kill off cancer cells, and it prevent cells from growing and spreading. Research in this area typically uses higher doses of curcumin.
People with health conditions that require taking strong prescription drugs for long term use are at risk of liver damage. Curcumin is a strong antioxidant and may stop your liver from being damaged by toxins.
Several studies have shown the anti-arthritic effects of curcumin in humans with Osteo arthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA)
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune condition, where the body's immune system mistakenly attacks healthy joint tissue. This causes inflammation leading to bone and joint damage in the affected areas.
The natural anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of turmeric may benefit people with RA.
Anxiety / Depression / Alzheimer's disease
There is evidence that curcumin can boost the brain neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine (happy chemicals).
Curcumin boosts levels of the brain hormone BDNF, which increases the growth of new neurons and fights various degenerative processes like Alzheimer's disease in your brain.
Curcumin also help in the management of exercise-induced inflammation and muscle soreness, enhancing recovery and performance in active people.
SIDE EFFECTS :
Turmeric usually does not cause any serious side effects. But some people can experience stomach upset, nausea, dizziness, or diarrhoea if taken in excess.
CURCUMIN – DRUG INTERACTIONS :
If you are currently being treated with any of the following medications, you should not use turmeric or curcumin in medicinal forms without first talking to your health care provider.
Turmeric may make the effects of these drugs stronger, raising the risk of bleeding. Blood-thinners include warfarin (Coumadin), clopidogrel (Plavix), and aspirin, among others.
Drugs that reduce stomach acid (acidity) :
Turmeric may interfere with the action of these drugs, increasing the production of stomach acid:
• Cimetidine (Tagamet)
• Famotidine (Pepcid)
• Ranitidine (Zantac)
• Esomeprazole (Nexium)
Drugs for diabetes (that lower blood sugar):
Turmeric may make the effects of these drugs stronger, increasing the risk of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).
(Information based on research papers and Clinical trials)
Curcumin: A Review of Its’ Effects on Human Health
Foods. 2017 Oct; 6(10): 92.
Published online 2017 Oct 22.
Therapeutic Roles of Curcumin: Lessons Learned from Clinical Trials
Subash C. Gupta, Sridevi Patchva, and Bharat B. Aggarwal
AAPS J. 2013 Jan; 15(1): 195–218.
Published online 2012 Nov 10.
Turmeric: potential adverse effects and interactions
Prepared by UK Medicines Information (UKMi) pharmacists for NHS healthcare professionals
Date prepared: 7th November 2018