Turmeric and Curcumin
10 Amazing Healing Properties of Turmeric and Curcumin
As medicine and science continue to evolve and discover more and more ways of aiding the human body, so, too, does research into alternative healing and health methods sourcing from an age-old source: Mother Nature.
The irony of life in 2017 is we’re more aware than ever of the way different foods impact our health, and with a wealth of information available via the internet, we’re only ever a quick search away from gaining access to information which can continue to inform our health choices and allow us to make positive decisions around what we consume.
However, because of the additional increased ease of reaching for junky, packaged fast food, making those positive choices does not happen as easily as we’d necessarily hope!
In order for our bodies to operate at their best, we need to be mindful of the food we feed them and the fuel that food turns into.
By understanding the natural health foods and ingredients available to you, you’ll be able to empower yourself to take control of your health and aid your body in those all-integral simple functions that keep your body strong, healthy and operating at its best capacity.
One of these incredible sources of natural nourishment is turmeric.
Turmeric is a spice which comes from the plant of the same name and is most commonly used as a cooking ingredient in Asian food.
It has a distinctive yellow appearance and will be very recognizable to you as the base spice ingredient for many curries.
Not only does it provide delicious flavor and seasoning to a wide variety of dishes from many regions around the world, but turmeric also possesses powerful health and healing benefits which can address a wide range of issues in your body.
If you’ve ever spent any time in an Indian restaurant, you’ll be very familiar with the smell, look, and taste of turmeric, as it’s used in so many of their basic staple recipes.
Turmeric has been used as a natural source of healing for over 4000 years.
Its first recorded use is found in the Vedic culture in India, where it was used both in cooking as a spice and as a spice which held religious importance.
One of the first mentions of its uses dates back to 250 BC in Susruta’s Ayurvedic Compendium, where it was listed as part of an ointment which could be used to treat food poisoning.
Ayurveda is an Indian way of natural healing which is still used in the modern day.
In Ayurvedic medicine, turmeric was referenced throughout early literature by 100 different words.
Its juice was found to aid in the healing of wounds, cuts, and bruises, and when turned into a paste, it was applied to all manner of skin conditions as a healing treatment.
Turmeric has gone on to sustain itself through the ages as a root to be reckoned with, but it’s only been
More and more amazing side effects are being discovered on a regular basis, and turmeric is now positioned as a leading contender against many pharmaceutical over-the-counter medicines when it comes to different health needs.
Although this spice has been around for centuries, it’s recently experienced a rebirth in popularity throughout the health and nutrition world.
This is due to curcumin, which is the healing substance in turmeric which is also the source of its beautiful color.
Curcumin possesses anti-inflammatory properties and can have a similar effect on the human body as over-the-counter ibuprofen.
However, in contrast to its over-the-counter rivals, turmeric does not have a single toxic impact on the body. Instead, it’s able to provide your body with all manner of positive benefits, without the risk of harmful side effects that can arise from pharmaceutical options.
So just how exactly can turmeric be of use to you from a health perspective?
Although some of these uses may seem too good to be true, scientific research and the application of turmeric in a wide range of uses has proven this root’s incredible value to us as a natural healing resource.
Much of this research is still continuing as scientist look to discover the full range of turmeric’s healing abilities and all of its potential.
Turmeric is Anti-inflammatory
Although it’s been known throughout Indian regions for hundreds of years, science is finally catching up in being able to prove turmeric’s anti-inflammatory properties.
Modern medicine has been able to discover that turmeric possesses compounds with medicinal properties, called curcuminoids, the most important being curcumin.
Curcumin is a strong antioxidant and holds wonderful anti-inflammatory properties. As so many diseases are the result of inflammation in the body, anything that can naturally assist in reducing inflammation levels and promoting health is worth paying attention to.
Ironically, short-term inflammation in the body is useful to us, as this inflammation steals pathogens like bacteria, which otherwise could have fatal effects.
However, inflammation becomes a huge issue when it is chronic and happening on a regular basis, as these inflammatory fighting properties become used against the body’s tissue itself.
Many people suffer from inflammation which causes them pain on a daily basis and continues to feed their chronic diseases, so curcumin’s ability to reduce this inflammation is of high interest to the medical and health communities.
Scientists and doctors continue to find that low-level inflammation can be directly linked to almost every chronic disease which occurs in the West – including very serious conditions such as heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s and a long list of degenerative conditions.
With so much time, money and resource being invested into discovering cures for each of these individual chronic diseases, it’s amazing to think that a simple root cause could be linked to so many of them, and a cause which we can control in our daily lives.
Curcumin is one of the most effective anti-inflammatory compounds in the world and has been found to have a more powerful effect than aspirin and ibuprofen in providing anti-inflammatory assistance to the body.
If chronic inflammation is going to create a breeding ground for potentially serious and life-threatening diseases, actively working to reduce your body’s inflammation levels is a great way to proactively take control of your health and aid your body in its natural processes.
Curcumin is so strong anti-inflammatory that its effectiveness can match that of certain anti-inflammatory drugs, with the added benefits of no side effects.
2. Turmeric causes dramatic increases in the body’s antioxidant capacity
Another key suspect in the development of chronic diseases which are so prevalent in Western society is oxidative damage, which is also the mechanism behind aging.
Oxidative damage involves free radicals, which is an atom when, in the body, creates strong chemical reactions with key natural body substances, such as fatty acids, protein, and DNA.
When these substances are inhibited or attacked, the body suffers as a result.
Antioxidants find their strength in their ability to protect the body and its organic substances from the potent effect of attack from free radicals.
Curcumin is one such powerful antioxidant which provides protection by neutralizing free radicals and removing their potential for damage.
As well, when curcumin is present in the body, it boosts the body’s own antioxidant enzyme activity, creating a two-for-one approach when it comes to targeting free radicals and limiting their potential for internal damage.
Not only does curcumin fight and neutralize free radicals, but it’s also been discovered that it can have the potential to prevent the development of free radicals in the first place.
It achieves this by blocking oxidizing capabilities of metal within the body. By ingesting turmeric on a regular basis, you can help your body to fight the growth of free radicals and protect it from cell damage and chronic disease development.
Turmeric also acts as a sort of time machine, in that its antioxidant properties work to reduce aging.
Free radicals speed up the aging process, but when turmeric inhibits their growth, aging is slowed!
3. Turmeric helps to prevent cancer
Many studies have been carried out on this powerful root/spice, and over 30 have discovered that the curcumin which is found in turmeric may possess antitumor effects, with the result of either reducing the number of tumors or size of tumors present in test animals.
More research is needed on humans in order to conclusively prove these results, but studies on humans have already found that curcumin did indeed inhibit the growth of a human colon cancer.
As well, other studies have found that when combined with broccoli and cauliflower, ingesting turmeric can help to treat and even prevent prostate cancer.
Researchers have been paying close attention to curcumin in the constant search for tools to fight cancer, and have found that it can reduce angiogenesis, which is the growth of new blood vessels in tumors and can also positively affect the spread of cancer by limiting its growth.
However, rather than just thinking of curcumin as a potential supplementary treatment post-cancer diagnosis, research continues to prove that regular ingestion could work to prevent cancer from ever occurring.
Since it’s a natural ingredient with no side effects, there is nothing to be lost from incorporating turmeric into your diet on a regular basis, and many potential benefits to be gained in helping your body protect itself from the development of cancerous tumors and growths.
This doesn’t mean turmeric is a one-stop-shop when it comes to fighting cancer’s potential to growth and presence, but enough evidence to date has proven that eating turmeric is a useful supplement to an already healthy diet.
Many people who have been diagnosed with cancer are now turning to alternative and natural solutions to complement the work of medical treatments.
The combination of these two approaches can be highly effective in the treatment of a wide range of tumors and cancer effects.
4. Turmeric can reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes
Heart disease, which is the number one killer in the Western world, has been studied by researchers in order to discover root causes and therefore, manageable ways of treatment and prevention.
Decades of study have proven that this is a complicated disease with many possible contributing factors, therefore making it impossible to diagnose a single cause.
Sadly, heart disease fatality numbers continue to rise, as our society becomes less in control of their own health due to the prevalence of unhealthy food and lifestyle choices available to us in the West.
Some of us are literally ‘conveniencing’ ourselves to death through our food choices, choosing what is easiest and most instantly gratifying over what is going to provide our body with the sustenance and healthy fuel it requires.
Even with these complications, turmeric has been proven as a useful tool in potentially reversing some of the steps in the process of developing heart disease.
As curcumin improves the function of the blood vessel linings, it’s a powerful tool in keeping hearts healthy and strong and minimizing the risk of heart disease developing.
The endothelium, the lining of the blood vessels, can dysfunction, which is a major cause of heart disease.
When the endothelium does not work correctly, the ability for the body to regulate blood pressure and blood clotting is limited and affected in an adverse way.
This is one of the leading causes of developed heart disease.
One study has even found that curcumin can be as effective in improving endothelial function as regular exercise, which is an astounding result.
As well, the previously mentioned ability curcumin has to reduce inflammation and oxidation also assist in minimizing the risk of heart disease developing, as these are also contributing factors.
Turmeric also has a positive effect on cholesterol, which is another contributing factor to heart diseases. Researchers have found curcumin has the ability to lower cholesterol and prevent the build-up of bad cholesterol in blood vessels.
5. Turmeric is a powerful tool in fighting against depression
Further scientific studies have found through the use of controlled trials that curcumin can be an effective antidepressant.
In our Western societies, when the rate of depression is on the rise and is a chronic mental health disease affecting many in silent ways, any natural treatment to alleviate its symptoms and effects is welcome news.
Depression has been linked to reduced levels of a brain-derived neurotrophic factor, which curcumin has been found to boost, therefore giving it the power to reverse these chemical changes in the brain.
As well, evidence has found that curcumin is capable of boosting the brain neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine, which are positive hormones which assist in regulating our moods and our happiness.
In fact, the same study which first discovered curcumin’s antidepressant properties also found that curcumin was as effective as Prozac, which is an incredible breakthrough for those with depression looking for natural treatments without the high level of side effects which can come with anti-depressant pharmaceutical drugs.
Further research will be carried out in order to reiterate and confirm these results, but we may be close to the day when we’ll see curcumin prescribed as an effective and natural treatment for patients suffering from mild depression.
6. Turmeric can be used to manage arthritis
Another common issue in Western countries, arthritis affects many millions of people and leaves them in chronic pain on a day to day basis.
Whilst there are many types of arthritis, the most common types involve inflammation which takes place in the joints.
As discussed, curcumin is a powerful anti-inflammatory tool, possessing strong anti-inflammatory properties and aiding with the body’s inflammation levels.
Studies have looked to discover the effect of curcumin on patients suffering from arthritis and were able to find that in the case of many patients with rheumatoid arthritis, curcumin had more effective results than even anti-inflammatory pharmaceutical drugs.
As well, these arthritis drugs had ugly side effects, increasing the consumer’s risk of developing leaky gut and heart disease.
Curcumin has proven itself as a strong natural alternative when it comes to the treatment of chronic arthritis, and the work it does in reducing inflammation in joints can lead to a direct impact on a number of pain patients with arthritis suffer.
7. Diabetes management can be aided through ingesting turmeric
Diabetes is another chronic illness which affects many people throughout the world, both in Type 1 and Type 2 form.
Diabetes is a disease which impairs the body’s natural ability to produce or respond to insulin, which has a carry-on effect when carbohydrates are metabolized irregularly and elevated levels of glucose are then found in the blood stream.
This is a disease that impacts daily life and can lead to many more serious health issues as a consequence. It’s a serious and difficult condition which requires self-care on a daily basis.
One of the main areas of concern of those suffering from diabetes is the need to control glucose and insulin activity in their bodies.
Turmeric can be a useful tool in doing so, as studies have found that it can cause blood sugar levels to drop.
A 2009 study published by Auburn University has discovered that curcumin is 400 times more effective than Metformin, which is a common diabetes drug when it comes to improving insulin sensitivity (which can lead to the reversal of Type 2 diabetes).
One of the negative effects of diabetes is blindness which is caused by damaged blood vessels.
By supplementing with curcumin, studies have discovered individuals can delay this diabetes complication.
This is due to curcumin’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, which can assist in repairing and preventing damage to blood vessels.
8. Turmeric can even help to treat Alzheimer’s disease
Another chronic disease, Alzheimer’s disease is the most common neurodegenerative disease in the world, and sadly there are no reliable treatments in place to date as far as reversing and staying its impact on the brain.
Scientists and researchers are hard at work looking for cures and preventative tools to stop the spread of this debilitating disease, which is the leading cause of dementia.
Prevention is incredibly important when it comes to a disease which is untreatable.
Thankfully, curcumin has proven its ability to cross the blood-brain barrier.
Since both inflammation and oxidative damage are contributors to Alzheimer’s, curcumin’s proven ability to assist powerfully in both areas positions it as a natural solution to be reckoned with.
One of the key features of Alzheimer’s disease is the buildup of protein tangles which are known as Amyloid plaques.
Curcumin is also effective in clearing these plaques and therefore reducing Alzheimer’s impact and development.
When these plaques are not broken down, they clog blood vessels in the brain, depriving certain areas of oxygen.
However, if the blood vessels are unclogged, oxygen is able to reach certain parts of the brain and feed it in order to keep it in strong working order for longer.
Of course, turmeric is not an ‘overnight’ cure for Alzheimer’s, and in order to see these benefits, it’s best to consume turmeric on a regular basis in order to prevent diagnosis in the first place.
It will be telling to see what scientists discover as more research is conducted in this area over the years to come.
9. Turmeric helps with indigestion and weight loss
Almost everyone could do with some help in these two areas: indigestion, which leads to all kinds of digestive issues and associated problems, and weight loss, which is a heavily discussed topic in a society where more people are overweight than are at their correct weight.
Sadly, one of the most common issues in the Western world is obesity, with rising numbers of obese individuals continuing to climb and damaging health effects multiplying as a result of chronic obesity.
Not only is this a social problem, but it turns into a medical problem, as our medical systems need to deal with the increased strain of the diseases and health problems which arise from the obesity epidemic.
Problems which can occur as the result of carrying too much weight include osteoarthritis, gallstones, liver problems, heart disease, increased blood pressure, diabetes and much more.
Because of obesity’s rising prevalence, natural ingredients which can assist with weight loss are becoming more and more important.
Weight loss is achieved when stored body fat is burnt, and the liver is the organ responsible for this fat burning process.
When the liver is damaged, its ability to detoxify the body and function in the manner it’s designed to be impacted negatively, with flow-on effects through the whole body.
Turmeric is able to detoxify the liver, therefore restoring its ability to burn fat as it is meant to.
As well, turmeric can lower blood cholesterol levels, which helps to benefit weight loss by reducing adipose tissue weight gain.
Turmeric has many properties which position it as a great weight-loss and fat-fighting agent, one of which is its ability to connect to capsaicin receptors and increase thermogenesis rates.
Thermogenesis takes place when the central nervous system burns fat in order to maintain the body’s temperature.
When curcumin fastens to capsaicin receptors, an increased amount of fat burning and weight loss can follow as a result.
Indigestion is experienced on large and small scales by people all over the world on a daily basis.
Whilst not life-threatening, indigestion is painful and uncomfortable and can lead to more debilitating and long-term diseases and reduced bodily functions.
Statistics show that over 60 million Americans suffer from heartburn at least once throughout the month, with 15 million of this total figure suffering from heartburn on a daily basis.
This is due to lifestyle choices and food habits, as our cultures are overrun with foods which come easily packaged and accessed but without the nutritional value of real, unprocessed food.
As curcumin stimulates the gall bladder, bile is produced, which helps to digest fat. This leads to improved digestive functions and also can assist in controlling weight.
Many people also suffer from upper abdominal pain as a result of heartburn.
These pains have been treated in medical studies through the administration of curcumin and turmeric extracts.
These studies found that this upper abdominal pain lessened upon consuming turmeric.
10. Turmeric can fight against many everyday diseases, like flu and colds
Many of us suffer from viral infections when cold and flu season rolls around, and all it can take is one sick individual at work or at school who tries to ‘brave it’ through the symptoms of a cold before the entire office is down with the infection.
Common colds and flu are painful and can cause more serious diseases in certain individuals, such as older people and those already at risk of developing chronic diseases.
We often turn to expensive over-the-counter cold and flu tablets which are made up of a host of pharmaceutical ingredients, but turmeric is an all-natural remedy that is easily accessible and brings with it powerful healing properties.
The most common flu type is influenza, which is a viral infection which affects the respiratory system.
It’s different to the stomach flu which causes vomiting and diarrhea.
The good news is, if the influenza virus is caught within the first 48 hours of its development, the right medication can have dramatic results when it comes to preventing complications and reducing the length of time the flu will hang around for.
Curcumin, as well as being anti-inflammatory and an antioxidant, is also antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial.
Scientific studies have found that curcumin was able to reduce viral replication of 90% of cells infected by the influenza virus.
As well, it also showed an ability to stop the spread of influenza from one cell to another.
As it is able to stop the replication of microbes and viruses, it has proven its abilities as a therapeutic tool in treating the common flu.
As well, better than treating the flu is the ability to strengthen your body before it ever arrives.
One of the leading reasons people catch common viruses is because their immune systems are weakened, leaving them more susceptible to infections.
However, curcumin is able to fight infections through its powerful antioxidant capacities, which allows it to fight free radicals which may otherwise have damaged the immune system.
So how do you ingest turmeric?
There are many options when it comes to ingesting turmeric regularly in order to benefit from the amazing list of abilities explored above.
One of the easiest ways is simply to eat and drink it in its powdered spice form.
It’s a delicious spice which can be eaten in scrambled eggs or frittatas for breakfast, tossed over roasted vegetables as a flavor enhancer, added to rice or blended into soups and smoothies.
There are many ways to incorporate turmeric into your diet in a way that will not only add flavor but will allow you to reap it’s full and continued benefits. Perhaps soon you’ll even begin making your own curries from scratch!
You can also buy turmeric extracts in tablet form, which lets you quickly consume turmeric without adding it into your food, and also lets you control the exact amount you require, upping your dosage as needed.
These tablets can be purchased online or off the shelf at your local chemist or health food store.
However you choose to take it, it’s important to remember that many of these amazing health benefits do not come from an overnight or single dosage of turmeric, but from building a lifestyle which supports regular consumption and healthy eating habits.
By adding turmeric into your daily meals in different forms, you’ll be able to know you’re protecting your body from many outside factors with a new tool.
Studies will only continue to find more incredible benefits of turmeric and curcumin, so there’s nothing to lose by jumping out in front of the pack and incorporating turmeric into your meals at least once per day.
It’s a lot cheaper than dealing with chronic medical issues in the future.
and incorporating turmeric into your meals at least once per day. It’s a lot cheaper than dealing with chronic medical issues in the future.