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Turmeric Health Benefits and Uses Are Many

Updated on March 3, 2019
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I enjoy writing about many topics, including healthcare and advances in healthcare, as well as herbal and natural healthcare approaches.

Turmeric is a natural herb that has been recognized in India for thousands of years regarding its beneficial properties as it relates to maintaining a healthy immune system and for treating various health conditions. It is a herb that is used as a food spice with a distinctive yellow-orange color and a strong taste. Medical practitioners in India have long understood that beyond its use as a food enhancement spice, it is very useful for treating various medical conditions. The rest of the world is waking up to the reality that turmeric has many health benefits and uses beyond being a potent food spice. It provides many powerful health benefits that can be put to work to bolster the human immune system and treat many common health maladies.

Important! If you are considering increasing your turmeric intake via either dietary changes or supplements, it is very important to check with your doctor beforehand, as this herb can adversely affect people with certain medical conditions.

Turmeric is a natural herb that provides powerful health benefits.
Turmeric is a natural herb that provides powerful health benefits. | Source

The Many Health Benefits That Turmeric Provides

From fighting off infectious microbes to alleviating conditions such as asthma to keeping cancer in check, this powerful herb provides a potent boost to the human immune system and can improve a number of health conditions and even prevent illnesses. In addition, it has positive qualities that go beyond physical health; it has also been found to improve memory and help improve people’s moods.

Turmeric comes from the roots of the Curcuma longa plant. Its active ingredient is a compound called curcumin, which has many health benefits that have been documented in studies, research papers and anecdotally over many years. It is a strong antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, antioxidant, anticarcinogenic, antimutagenic and anti-inflammatory agent when present in the bloodstream in adequate amounts. It helps the body’s immune system fight and prevent diseases, and helps to alleviate many medical conditions.

The following is a list of medical conditions that this turmeric can alleviate, treat and in some cases prevent:

  • Alzheimer’s Disease - Scientists have concluded that amyloid plaques within the brain are a main cause of memory robbing Alzheimer’s disease,due to their tendency to block neural pathways that transmit information within the brain. There are indications that the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin can break down amyloid plaques within the brain and deliver more oxygen, both of which are beneficial to people suffering from Alzheimer’s.

  • Asthma - Anti-inflammatory properties reduce inflammation associated with asthma.

  • Arthritis - Anti-inflammatory properties lessen arthritis pain.

  • Body Weight Reduction - Increases metabolism within the human body, which makes it easier to lose body weight. It also lowers cortisol (stress hormone) levels within the body, which in turn helps the body to reduce its fat.

  • Blood Pressure - Acts as a natural blood thinner, which lowers blood pressure.

  • Cancer (various types) - Anti-inflammatory properties create internal environment that helps prevent development of certain types of cancer. Also, impacts the growth and multiplication of existing cancer cells by disrupting their cellular signaling.

  • Cuts and Wounds - Acts as an antibacterial and wards off infections when placed on cuts or wounds in its powder or paste form.

  • Cystic Fibrosis (CF) - A team of researchers from Yale University found that that curcumin corrects a gene defect that causes cystic fibrosis.

  • Depression - Promotes balance of key brain chemicals, such as serotonin and dopamine, improving mood.

  • Diabetes - Helps regulate insulin levels and control glucose.

  • Digestion and Waste Elimination - Helps the digestive system work more efficiently. It is also a diuretic, which helps the body clear excessive fluid and wastes more quickly.

  • Free Radical Damage - Since turmeric is a powerful antioxidant, it helps prevent damage caused by free radicals within the body, which is especially beneficial to heart health and for the prevention of cancer.

  • Fungal / Yeast / Viral / Bacterial Infections - Disrupts cell membrane of infectious agents, which causes them to die or be inactivated.

  • Headaches - Anti-inflammatory properties lessen headaches, and appears to be especially effective against migraine headaches.

  • Heart Health - Regulates cholesterol by helping the body reduce unhealthy. cholesterol in the bloodstream, preventing plaque buildup in arteries.

  • Immune System Boost - The immune system boosting substance lipopolysaccharide is provided to the body by turmeric. Additionally, its antiviral anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal properties help the immune system fight off foreign infections agents that enter the body.

  • Inflammatory Diseases - Anti-inflammatory properties lessen diseases within the body associated with inflammation of internal body tissues.

  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome - Anti-inflammatory properties lessen symptoms of bowel irritation conditions caused by inflammation.

  • Liver - Helps to detox and recharge the liver by encouraging production of bile, which is then used by the liver to remove toxins.

  • Memory Loss - Promotes greater blood flow and oxygen to the brain, improving brain function.

  • Multiple Sclerosis (MS) - The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties help to alleviate some of the symptoms associated with MS by reversing some of the underlying causes of the disease.

  • Pain Management - Anti-inflammatory properties lessen pain from inflammatory conditions.

  • Skin Health - Topical forms of turmeric provide skin anti-inflammatory and germ fighting benefits that help keep skin healthy.

  • Skin Itchiness and Eczema - When taken internally or spread on itchy skin using a paste, the anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric help sooth itchy skin and treat the symptoms of Eczema.

  • Toenail or Fingernail Fungus - Disrupts a fungus’ cell membrane, which causes the fungus to die.

  • Upset Stomach - When taken in moderation, turmeric’s anti-inflammatory properties help soothe stomach aches. It is important not to overdo turmeric intake, since too much turmeric in the stomach can actually cause an upset stomach.

Turmeric In Powder Form Can Be Used as a Food Spice

Turmeric in its powder form can be used as a food spice to provide flavor to foods.
Turmeric in its powder form can be used as a food spice to provide flavor to foods. | Source

Warning About Turmeric: Consult a Doctor Before Increasing Intake

While turmeric is in many ways a wonder herb that has far-reaching positive health impacts for many people, it can actually be harmful and unhealthy for people with certain medical conditions. It is very important to consult a doctor before increasing turmeric intake to ensure that it will not cause negative impacts to your health. Just because turmeric is a natural herb does not mean it is entirely safe for everyone.

The following are some of the health situations that warrant avoiding increasing turmeric intake:

  • Pregnant women
  • Women who are breastfeeding a baby
  • People with gallbladder problems or bile-duct obstruction
  • People who have an upcoming surgery
  • People who have trouble with blood clotting
  • People on blood thinning medications
  • People with dyspepsia and gastro-esophageal reflux disease
  • People that are prone to developing kidney stones or gout
  • People on acid reducing or anti-diabetic medications
  • People with an allergy to yellow food coloring agents or ginger

Even if none of these health situations apply to you, it is recommended to consult a doctor prior to increasing turmeric intake or the intake of any natural herb.

Best Ways To Consume Turmeric

What is the best way to consume turmeric? Obtaining turmeric from dietary sources has advantages over taking supplements. The spice form of turmeric provides nutritious protein and dietary fiber. It also contains many essential vitamins and minerals, from vitamins C, E and K to a variety of trace metals, that are important to maintaining a healthy immune system. However, taking a turmeric supplement on a regular basis ensures that you obtain turmeric in the amount you desire each day.

Ideally, it is best to get turmeric from dietary sources such as dishes or drinks made with the herb, but for those who do not like the taste of turmeric or do not have the time to consume it as part of their diet, there are a number of turmeric supplements available. I have taken the Gaia Herbs Turmeric Supreme Extra Strength turmeric supplement because it is easy to consume and includes black pepper extract to aid in the absorption of turmeric by the body. Turmeric is not easily absorbed by the body, so taking a supplement with something included that helps the body absorb it is a good way to ensure you actually absorb the supplement that you digest.

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What is Turmeric Good For? 10 Turmeric Health Benefits

Carrot Turmeric Miso Soup

Carrot Turmeric Miso Soup is an example of how easy it is to include the herb turmeric in your diet.
Carrot Turmeric Miso Soup is an example of how easy it is to include the herb turmeric in your diet. | Source

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2018 John Coviello

Comments

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    • Natalie Frank profile image

      Natalie Frank 

      3 years ago from Chicago, IL

      My brother and sister in law mentioned turmeric to me for fibromyalgia pain and it has helped take the edge off. I don't want to start with pain pills so any natural remedy I can find is a welcome addition to my regimen. Thanks for the article.

    • Emmy ali profile image

      Eman Abdallah Kamel 

      3 years ago from Egypt

      Informative article, interesting to read.

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 

      3 years ago from Oklahoma

      Interesting read.

    • Kristina Hearn profile image

      Kristina Hearn 

      3 years ago from Iowa

      The soup recipe that you included looks delicious! I recently tried fermented cauliflower with turmeric and it turned out well. Thanks for sharing the benefits, and cautions, of using turmeric!

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 

      3 years ago from Germany

      Wow! Turmeric has a lot of health benefits. I love drinking turmeric tea with honey. Yummy! Thanks for sharing.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      3 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Good to know that it is not good to take turmeric when taking anti-diabetic pills. I suppose if you include it as a spice, it is alright. Older folks in Asia really believe in the healing property of turmeric.

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