Natural Health Benefits of Turmeric/Curcumin

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WHAT IS TURMERIC?

Turmeric is the spice that gives curry its yellow color and has been used in India for thousands of years as a spice and medicinal herb. There are compounds that make up the turmeric called curcuminoids, the most important of which is curcumin.

Curcumin is the main active ingredient in turmeric. It has powerful anti-inflammatory effects and is a very strong antioxidant.

HOW MUCH TURMERIC SHOULD YOU TAKE?

If you want anti-inflammatory effects you need to get 500 to 1,000 milligrams of curcuminoids per day. When using the spice on its own, the common rule of thumb is that there are 200 milligrams of curcumin in one teaspoon of fresh or ground turmeric (though it varies a bit depending on the source and origins)


1. WEIGHT LOSS AID

The primary antioxidant present in turmeric is curcumin. Although having huge quantities of turmeric is surely not a way to lose weight it is shown to reduce the inflammation associated with obesity. As a result, it can aid in your weight loss journey.

2. ANTI-INFLAMMATORY AID

Turmeric/curcumin has shown significant benefits in reducing pain, inflammation and stiffness related to rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and osteoarthritis (OA); treats bursitis. Known as a cleansing agent, turmeric often is used as a digestive aid in India. Several studies support this claim and show that turmeric/curcumin has anti-inflammatory properties and modifies immune system responses. 

3. SKIN CARE AID

You want to give it a shot for your next face mask to help reduce acne and any resulting scars. The anti-inflammatory qualities allows for pore shrinkage and sooth/heal the skin. It it also known to reduce scarring. This combination of uses may help your face clear up from acne breakouts.

Give this home remedy a try!

  • Mix turmeric, lemon juice, and milk to form a paste. Turmeric has antioxidants that, when used with other ingredients like lemon and milk, can lighten dark spots and blemishes on your skin which help in removal of pigmented cells to further lighten your dark spots.

4. MENTAL HEALTH AID

Curcumin has shown some promise in treating depression.

In a controlled trial, 60 people with depression were randomized into three groups (45). One group took Prozac, another group one gram of curcumin and the third group both Prozac and curcumin.

After 6 weeks, curcumin had led to improvements that were similar to Prozac. The group that took both Prozac and curcumin fared best (45).

One of the main drivers of this process is brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which is a type of growth hormone that functions in your brain (20).

Many common brain disorders have been linked to decreased levels of this hormone, including depression and Alzheimer's disease (2122).

Interestingly, curcumin can increase brain levels of BDNF and could be an added benefit to slow the progression of dementia and alzheimers.

5. DIABETES AID

Turmeric moderates insulin levels and increases the effect of medications used to treat diabetes. Research also suggests that taking turmeric could treat and prevent diabetes. Other studies suggest that turmeric extract could help stabilize blood sugar levels and make diabetes more manageable.

SOMETHING TO BE AWARE OF……..

High doses of turmeric can act as a blood thinner and cause stomach upset. Avoid turmeric/curcumin if you take blood thinners such as warfarin (Coumadin) or are about to have surgery, are pregnant or have gallbladder disease.

High doses of turmeric can lower blood sugar or blood pressure, which means people taking diabetes or blood-pressure medication should use caution while taking turmeric supplements.