Turmeric: 5 Health Benefits Of Using This Ancient Spice And Its Possible Side Effects

Date November 21, 2017

Turmeric, also called Indian saffron, is a plant that grows in Asia and Central America. The turmeric that we buy in stores is made of the roots of the plant. Processed turmeric has a beautiful bright yellow color. This fact inspired people from different countries and cultures to use it for a variety of purposes.

Turmeric contains curcumin, an active ingredient that has many beneficial biological properties. Ayurvedic medicine suggests that turmeric is a powerful remedy for many health problems. They include pain and inflammation. Researchers have started to examine turmeric as a pain reliever and healing substance.

Here are five health benefits of turmeric that can help improve your health.

Curcumin has a strong anti-inflammatory effect

Scientists believe that low-level inflammation plays a huge role in developing chronic diseases, such as heart disease, cancer, and metabolic syndrome. That’s why it is very important to reduce chronic inflammation. Curcumin can work as a powerful anti-inflammatory agent. According to studies, curcumin blocks NF-kB, a molecule that is associated with inflammation in the body.

Turmeric is an antioxidant

Curcumin is thought to be a potential antioxidant that can protect the body from free radicals. It also activates the body’s own antioxidant mechanisms.

Curcumin helps the brain work better

Many common brain disorders are linked to brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a special hormone in the brain. When levels of this hormone decrease, it can lead to certain health conditions, such as Alzheimer’s disease and depression. Recent studies demonstrated that curcumin could increase the amount of BDNF.

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Turmeric can relieve pain

The spice is reputed to reduce pain and studies seem to support its pain-killing effect. One experiment shows that curcumin extract can work similarly efficacious as ibuprofen for the treatment of knee arthritis.

Turmeric can improve liver function.

Turmeric is well-known for its antioxidant abilities, and its effect is so powerful that it may protect the liver from damage. This could be good news because turmeric extract and curcumin are potential agents for the treatment of hepatic disease. However, further research is needed to understand its effects and possible contraindications.

Side effects of turmeric

Turmeric can cause digestive problems

The same compounds of turmeric that improve digestive health can cause irritation when consumed in large amounts. Some people in experiments had to stop because turmeric negatively affected their digestion. The bright yellow spice triggers the stomach to release more gastric acid. In some cases, it is good for one’s health. Other times, conversely, it can upset the stomach.

Turmeric thins the blood

As it turns out, turmeric also has a very specific property to thin the blood. Doctors don’t know exactly why it happens. Patients who take blood-thinning meds should avoid large amounts of turmeric.

Turmeric can stimulate contractions

Some people say that eating foods with turmeric can stimulate labor. But we don’t have enough clinical data to back up this information. Some studies claim that turmeric can ease premenstrual symptoms. So, there may be something to the old wives’ tale. At the same time, pregnant ladies should avoid turmeric supplements due to its blood-thinning effect.

Remember that as with other forms of therapy, consult with your doctor before using turmeric to treat your health conditions.

Source: Everyday Health, Medical News Today, Healthline

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This article is purely for informational purposes. Do not self-medicate, and in all cases consult a certified healthcare professional before using any information presented in the article. The editorial board does not guarantee any results and does not bear any responsibility for harm that may result from using the information stated in the article.

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