You may have seen turmeric in the grocery store’s herbs and spices aisle, or may have even cooked with it but did you know it actually has a reputation for providing health benefits as well? That’s right, that little bottle of yellow powder carries some potential for healing certain conditions.
While there is always the latest superfood or miracle herb that seems to make headlines, turmeric has been the subject of a large collection of scientific studies which you will see throughout this article which show it’s potential to benefit human health in a variety of ways. Let’s take a real look at what turmeric is, it’s history, and scientific studies which show it to be useful for more than just cooking!
What is Turmeric?
Turmeric is a rhizomatous herbaceous perennial plant. That might sound complicated! A simpler way of understanding it is to remember it as part of the ginger family that is native to the forests in South Asia as well as some Pacific Islands like those of Hawaii. It is bright yellow in color and can be consumed fresh or dried into a powder. A common spice in Asian cuisine, turmeric also has a history of being used as an herbal medicine and a dye for fabric.
History of Turmeric for Healing
As you will learn below, the scientific community has put turmeric to the test to find out conclusively what it can be helpful with in terms of medicinal use. However, it has been used as an herbal medicine for thousands of years in several cultures around the world.
In countries like India where Ayurveda herbal medicine is practiced, turmeric is commonly ingested to improve digestion and intestinal flora, helping with overall stomach and bowel health. It is considered cleansing to the liver and gallbladder, and has also been used for centuries to tackle menstrual cramps and arthritis.
It’s not just the Asian cultures that have utilized turmeric in this way. The ancient Hawaiians consumed it to help with health ailments including sinus infections, ear infections, and gastrointestinal ulcers.
Potential Health Benefits of Turmeric
Now lets take a look at the numerous health benefits which have been found in studies of turmeric. Here’s a collection of the latest research and findings.
1.Soothes Dyspepsia or Indigestion
Turmeric helps with dyspepsia and indigestion by assisting the gallbladder in the production of bile.In Germany, turmeric has been tested and approved for the treatment of both of these conditions, as it showed in studies to decrease symptoms of bloating and gas in people who consumed it regularly. Therefore, a teaspoon of turmeric after a big meal could help to make for a more comfortable aftermath.
2.Helps Ulcerative Colitis Stay in Remission
Turmeric has the potential to help people with ulcerative colitis to stay in remission.
If you haven’t heard of it before, it is a chronic disease of the digestive tract that causes fever, diarrhea, abdominal pain, bloody stools, and rectal pain. The symptoms can come and go, varying in severity. A double blind study has strongly indicated that turmeric taken in combination with prescribed conventional treatment for a period of 6 months or more, increases the likelihood of ulcerative colitis staying in remission.
3.Reduces Inflammation in Osteoarthritis
Another potential benefit of turmeric is its ability to reduce inflammation. Given that osteoarthritis is an inflammatory condition, researchers have been testing turmeric as an additional supplement for sufferers alongside their regular medicine. One study has discovered that when people use it with winter cherry and zinc, there’s a noted reduction in arthritis pain. Furthermore, a 2006 study found turmeric to be effective at reducing joint inflammation, a 2010 clinical trial found Meriva (a turmeric supplement) to provide improvements in pain and functioning for 100 patients who had Osteoarthritis of the knee, and a 2012 study found a turmeric supplement reduced joint pain and swelling better than a NSAID. From these studies, turmeric shows great potential for those suffering from this chronic condition as well as those who want to prevent it.
4.Reduce Risk of Heart Disease
Heart disease is common and can lead to devastating heart attacks and even death. Studies are underway testing the impact that turmeric ingestion can have on reducing the risk of heart disease.
Some have indicated that turmeric can improve the lining of blood vessels. Dysfunction with the lining is a prominent cause of heart disease, as it involves the inability to regulate blood pressure which leads to clotting. One study in particular has indicated that turmeric is as effective as exercise, whereas another shows that it works as well as the medicine Atorvastatin.
A 2012 study looked at one claim in particular; that turmeric can help prevent heart attacks amongst bypass patients. The study examined 121 patients who underwent bypass surgery between 2009 and 2011. Some of the group were given turmeric supplements whereas others received the placebo. Those with the placebo had higher incidents of heart attacks following their surgery than those who took turmeric. It should be noted here, however, that turmeric is not a substitute for heart medication and should only be seen as a supplement.
5.May Help Prevent and Treat Some Cancers
Cancer treatments are continuously being developed and tested. Some laboratory studies involving mice have demonstrated that turmeric can decrease the size of cancerous tumors, which gives hope to cancer sufferers. Other studies have shown that it can reduce angiogenesis (which is the development of new blood vessels in tumors) and metastasis (the spreading of cancer). It also could contribute to the death of cancer cells. While there are different forms of cancer, many of them have common characteristics that could be fought by the properties within turmeric.
6.Shows Anti-bacterial Properties
Laboratory tests on mice and rats have shown that the properties of turmeric can kill bacteria and help to reduce infection rates. These studies have only been completed on mice and are awaiting further human trials. However, it is exciting to know that there’s a possibility that turmeric could reduce infection rates in the future.
7.May Help Prevent Neurodegenerative Diseases
Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) is a type of growth hormone that functions within the brain. Decreased levels of it are linked to illnesses like depression and Alzheimer’s disease. The properties of turmeric can increase the hormone levels, which could delay these diseases and illnesses. There’s also evidence that an increase of BDNF improves memory and cognitive function. So you never know, turmeric might even be making you smarter!
8.Promoted Balance Mood
As already mentioned, turmeric can improve conditions such as depression through increasing the BDNF hormone. In addition, there’s evidence that turmeric can boost the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin. These play a key role in improving overall mood. This is a really promising sign for those of you who require an additional boost, or who have tried conventional medications and been disappointed with the results.
9.Speed Wound Healing Process
Everyday wounds are common occurrences, from cutting your finger on a knife to falling down and scraping your knee. These minor wounds can possibly heal quicker with the help of turmeric according to a 2014 Life Sciences study. During the study, the healing process was boosted in a number of ways, from reducing redness to bringing down swelling.
Another study published in the Oct 2006 issue of Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry showed that topical turmeric application helped heal wounds in rats. This happened through an increase in collagen synthesis rates and greater wound contraction. Furthermore, in some cases, the turmeric appeared to strengthen tissue and improve cell proliferation around the wound. Of course, further studies are necessary before it’s known whether turmeric can have the same effect on human wounds but this shows some potential.
10.Balances Blood Sugar
Keeping balanced blood sugar is essential for maintaining all aspects of good health. Have you ever gone too long without eating and experienced shakiness? Or eaten way too much sugar and become hyper? That’s due to your blood sugar levels going all out of whack. If the imbalance continues over a long period of time, it can cause type 2 diabetes and hormonal problems.
A study published in 2014 in the The Journal of Endocrinology examined the effects of turmeric on the beta and islet cells in the pancreas. The beta cells are what produce insulin, which control the levels of sugar in the blood. The study found that turmeric assisted in balancing blood sugar by working positively on these cells. This can help to maintain the balanced blood sugar levels we need which prevents further problems such as Type 2 Diabetes.
Turmeric has been thought to stabilize cholesterol since the 1990s, and studies are continually underway to prove the positive effects. A couple of these studies have shown there to be a reduction in cholesterol markers and lipid profiles following the intake of regular turmeric. One single-blind study published in 2011 in Phytotherapy Research investigated turmeric’s influence on cholesterol and triglyceride levels. After seven days on high doses of turmeric, the results were statistically significant. Serum cholesterol levels had reduced by 17% and triglycerides reduced by 47%. Not only did this study demonstrate the effectiveness of turmeric for this purpose, but it also had very few side effects.
Itchiness can occur as a symptom of many different conditions, from neurological to viral and bacterial. Research has indicated that ingesting turmeric three times a day for 8 weeks reduces itching in people with long-term kidney disease. Similarly, other research has shown that taking a combination of specific products (C3 Complex, Sami Labs LTD) containing turmeric, as well as black pepper for 4 weeks decreases the severity of itching. Chronic itching can be distressing, so it is promising that these studies have shown turmeric can improve the overall quality of life for people with specific conditions.
How to Take it For the Maximum Benefit
The property of turmeric that is most beneficial is called curcumin. In order to prepare turmeric so that the curcumin is present, the root and bulbs are processed to make medicine and food.
After being boiled, the turmeric is dried and turned into powder. The powder can be encapsulated so that you can take it in pill form.Alternatively, it is possible to ingest fluid extract. Of course, turmeric can also be added in powder form to food such as curry.
There is a another process using a technology called Lipsamol technology that is proving far more effective with regard to absorption so that you get far more benefit from taking Turmeric is this form. You can find out more about this process here. Organic Lipsamol Turmeric Extract
The amount of turmeric you take each day depends on what you’re using it for.
For high cholesterol, it is suggested that you should take 1.4 grams of turmeric extract divided into two daily doses for 3 months.
For itching, the recommended amount of turmeric is 1500 mg divided into 3 daily doses for 8 weeks
For osteoarthritis, it is recommended that you take 500 mg of a non-commercial turmeric product 4 times a day for 4 to 6 weeks.
Turmeric: A Beneficial Supplement
As you can see, turmeric is showing great potential as a health supplement for a variety of reasons. We are beginning to develop the scientific evidence to back up what cultures have known for many years. Not only can turmeric help once conditions develop, it can also be taken to maintain good health and prevent future health problems.
If you are interested in taking Turmeric in supplement form then we recommend you check out Purathrive as their product uses the Lipsamol technology process that ensures the absorption level is much higher and therefore more effective that just the more conventional ways of adding Turmeric to your diet.
To find out more click here – Purathrive Liposomal Organic Turmeric Extract