Ayurveda, Health

Surprising benefits of Turmeric / Curcumin

turmeric

What is turmeric?

Turmeric is a perennial plant of the ginger family. It is one of the most widely researched and commonly used Ayurvedic spices in the world. The golden spice finds it’s application in cooking, herbal supplement and even as a topical application for beautification. It smells slightly like mustard but has a hot, almost pepper-like bitterness to it that complements a variety of dishes and makes it very popular in soups, sauces, curries, meat dishes, biscuits, rice preparations, and so on. No Indian dish is complete without turmeric. And even traditional Hindu bride is applied layers of turmeric in a tradition before getting married to create that special glow on the skin.

Top benefits of Turmeric

1. Anti-Cancer

Cancer is a terrible disease, characterized by uncontrolled growth of cells. A number of laboratory studies on cancer cells have shown that curcumin does have anticancer effects. It seems to be able to kill cancer cells and prevent more from growing. It has the best effects on breast cancer, bowel cancer, stomach cancer and skin cancer cells. [1]

2. Anti-Inflammatory

It turns out that curcumin is strongly anti-inflammatory, it is so powerful that it matches the effectiveness of some anti-inflammatory drugs. [2]

3. Lowers risk of heart disease

Curcumin may help reverse many steps in the heart disease process. In one of the study 121 patients who were undergoing bypass surgery were randomly allocated to receive placebo or curcuminoids 4 grams/day beginning 3 days before the scheduled surgery and continued until 5 days after the surgery. Incidence of in-hospital MI was decreased from 30.0% in the placebo group to 13.1% in the curcuminoid group. The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of curcuminoids account for their cardioprotective effects shown in this study. [3]

4. Treating Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease. It is characterized by progressive cognitive deterioration together with declining activities of daily living and behavioral changes. Curcumin leads to a promising treatment for Alzheimer’s disease. [4]

5. Fertility powerhouse

fertility

Turmeric is useful to women having the following problems:

  • PCOS
  • endometriosis
  • uterine fibroids
  • ovarian cysts
  • premenstrual pain
  • amenorrhea due to lack of blood flow or blood stagnation

6. Preventing and curing cough

At this point I can confidently boast that I have been consuming curcumin supplement since 3 years and since that time I have not had any cough or cold! 🙂 I travel on some days without sweater in full winter and yet I do not catch cold!

If you do however are looking for a cure for cold a traditional remedy that most people swear by is the use of hot milk with turmeric. Heat a glass of milk, mix in half a teaspoon of turmeric powder and drink warm to get relief from cough.

A turmeric gargle also gives good results. To one cup of hot water, add in half a teaspoon of turmeric powder and half a teaspoon table salt. Use this liquid as a throat gargle 3-4 times a day and you are sure to experience relief from cough.

7. Useful as a painkiller

Curcumin contains natural pain-relieving COX-2 inhibitors. Due to this it provides relief from injury such as a scrape or cut, and post-surgical inflammation.

8. Weight loss

The golden spice helps accelerate the metabolism rate and let’s your body burn a significant number of calories leading to weight loss.

9. Treats depression

depression

Studies have shown that curcumin has a similar effect as Prozac on patients suffering from depression, mood swings, anxiety, and stress. This makes it a wonderful alternative to allopathy drug, which often have dangerous side effects.

10. Acne control

It is helpful to treat acne, alopecia, atopic dermatitis, facial photoaging, oral lichen planus, pruritus, psoriasis, radiodermatitis, and vitiligo. Significant improvement can be seen in skin disease severity by the use of turmeric both oral and topical. [4]

Caution

Although it is completely safe when consumed in permissible limit there are some cautions that you need to take:

1. According to Ayurveda, taking 4-5 grams of turmeric every day during periods will prevent pregnancy during next ovulation period! So if you are trying to conceive but are high on this spice this may be one of the reason worth checking out!

2. Pregnant women should avoid taking turmeric supplements. Adding small amounts of turmeric as a spice to food shouldn’t be a problem however large dosages may start labor early!

3. It can upset your stomach and cause irritation when taken in large amount.

How much do I take?

Okay, so lately there has been a lot of confusion on how much dosage one can take in a day and how many times one should take it.

The primary reason for the confusion on “how much” arises from the fact that one can take turmeric (and thus its active ingredient) in so many ways:

  • Fresh turmeric root
  • Turmeric dried root powder
  • Supplement with various % of curcumin present

The permissible dosages of various forms:

  • Cut root: 1.5 – 3 g per day
  • Dried, powdered root: 1 – 3 g per day
  • Standardized powder (curcumin): 400 – 600 mg, 2 times per day

Lakadong turmeric

Curcumin supplement may be relatively expensive for you but if you can afford it go for it otherwise buy Lakadong turmeric which costs about INR 250 for 250 grams. It is said that Lakadong turmeric contains between 7-8% of curcumin – the best in class (buy here)

Make sure to use black pepper with it if your supplement does not contain. Black pepper increases the absorption of turmeric by 2000%!

Where to buy?

I have found the following products are real authentic if you wish to buy:

The takeaway

Turmeric is the single most important supplement that I would continue forever If I don’t have the budget for multiple supplements. You are in fact doing injustice to yourself by not eating this indian wonder!

Hope you enjoyed the article! Stay tuned for more updates.

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