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Surprising Turmeric Benefits for Health

Turmeric benefits for health
turmeric benefits for health
Turmeric health benefits have been known for ages. Used for over 4,000 years, turmeric or curcuma longa is an amazing herb that works magic for most health conditions. Commonly used in Indian homes as a spice, turmeric is a wonder herb. Since childhood, I have seen turmeric being regularly used in our daily meals. In fact, no Indian dish is complete without turmeric. We add turmeric to our foods to give it color. I have known turmeric's anti-septic properties since childhood, but hardly was I aware of its several other benefits.


My Personal Experience
Recently, I read in a research paper that turmeric worked wonders for gas and bloating. This was a surprise package, I must say. I do not suffer from gas/indigestion, so I referred the remedy to a close relative who does experience these problems often. To my surprise, turmeric benefits started to show up the very first day. 

My friend combined one-fourth teaspoon of turmeric with equal quantity of salt and mixed it with lukewarm water. (Let me tell you turmeric is not at all good to taste in its raw form- it's bitter, but it works as a potent remedy)  

Now I take 1/4 tsp of turmeric with 2 pinches of salt dissolved in lukewarm water - works wonders on stomach cramps.

She experimented with this turmeric remedy after dinner when she was experiencing "heaviness" and bloating. Merely after half an hour, she came to me, telling she was feeling very light. That was such a relief to me, since I had suggested her this turmeric remedy!! 

Turmeric for stomach ache
The same friend tells me that since she started taking turmeric, she no longer experiences severe stomach cramps during menstruation. 

She is pretty happy with it. I have seen her experience extreme pain and suffering during her menstruation days - the first two days would be hell for her. 

Now she is happier than ever. She has been continuing to take this turmeric remedy for stomach cramps and never experienced the problem again. But remember, too much of turmeric can have its share of side effects. So practice caution and moderate its use. You can start taking it on a daily basis for 15 days and then take it on alternative days.

Here I must add that those suffering from high BP problems may take turmeric without the addition of salt. It still works! 

Even I have started using turmeric for stomach cramps during menstruation. I am extremely happy for having discovered this fact that turmeric benefits menstrual cramps.Undoubtedly, it has become my go-to remedy for stomach problems.

(Please remember this is just my personal experience. I am not a doctor/medicine specialist to recommend anything).

Let's dig deeper into some other turmeric health benefits:


turmeric benefits
pure turmeric benefits
This relative of ginger or the Queen of Spices is used in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine
  • as an anti-inflammatory  
  • as a cancer preventing spice
  • as a cure for various digestive and liver problems
  • to treat different skin diseases and wounds
  • to relieve menstrual pain





Dyspepsia/ Digestion
Turmeric contains an active ingredient curcumin, which is known to stimulate the gallbladder to produce bile. Bile is commonly known to improve digestion.  One double-blind, placebo-controlled study done in Thailand claimed that turmeric may be a health wonder for people suffering from indigestion, as it has the potential to reduce symptoms of gas/ bloating. (I have already discussed one of the easiest ways to take turmeric for digestion problems). 


The German Commission E, the organization responsible for determining the safety of herbs on health, has recommended turmeric as a safe herb for use by persons suffering from digestive problems.

Precaution: However, people with GERD problems must avoid using turmeric as a herbal remedy for any problem, as it may make Gastroesophageal reflux disease worse, causing stomach upset in some people. 


Even people with gallbladder problems should also avoid excess use of turmeric, as it can make gallbladder problems worse. 

Please avoid turmeric if you have a bile duct or gallstone obstruction.

Turmeric for Wound Healing
turmeric for wound healing
turmeric for wound healing

As an antiseptic, turmeric is considered an excellent remedy for wound healing. In Indian homes (including mine), we use turmeric milk as a remedy for wounds.  Used as a disinfectant, turmeric speeds up the healing process when applied on the affected area. 

In my home, we have been using the blend of ghee (clarified butter) and turmeric for application on a wound. I must admit, this is a proven remedy for wounds.

First, heat  ghee and turmeric mixture on low flame for a few seconds until the color of turmeric turns brown. 

Apply this warm paste on the wound a few times every day. The wound shall heal quicker than expected. (We have been especially applying it on external wounds inflicted from a fall and insect bite. I applied this paste on my ears and nose when I got them pierced. It worked very well : But yes, I must say, this topical treatment does leave yellow stains, which go away only gradually).


Treating Arthritis/Joint Problems
In one of its research studies on the benefits of turmeric for arthritis, the National Institutes of Health demonstrated that the chemicals in this herb were greatly effective in blocking the inflammatory response. Research is under way to find the effectiveness of the active anti-inflammatory agent, curcumin, in turmeric.A study demonstrated that curcumin was quite effective in reducing pain, stiffness, and swelling in patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. The anti-inflammatory curcumin has also been shown to work effectively in the treatment of post-surgical inflammation.

Depression
For those suffering from moderate to severe states of depression, turmeric benefits are slowly being unraveled.A groundbreaking study published in Phytotherapy Research journal claims that curcumin, the key polyphenol in turmeric, is safe and effective in curing serious states of depression. Besides, turmeric has potent neuroprotective properties, thus protecting neurons from injury or disease. This makes turmeric a more effective remedy than drug Prozac for depression.


Heart Disease/Stroke
Some animal studies suggest that turmeric benefits heart health, claiming that it may be effective in preventing the buildup of plaque on arteries, known as atherosclerosis. The plaque buildup poses a risk of heart attack or stroke. Another study on turmeric suggests that it may lower cholesterol levels and prevent build-up of "bad" cholesterol in blood vessels and also stop platelets from clumping together. (One placebo-controlled study failed to prove the beneficial effects of turmeric/ curcumin on cholesterol levels.


Fairness/ Skincare
turmeric for fairness

Again, this is one type of home remedy of turmeric used in Indian homes. Indian grand-moms claim that pure turmeric makes you fairer. Application of turmeric paste with honey may make your skin to glow and look fairer. Grandmothers here have been using turmeric since ages, especially since there was no beauty parlor culture for quite long in India. 

Most village women still refrain from using chemical treatments on their skin and continue to use turmeric to cleanse impurities from their face. In India, before wedding, turmeric paste is applied on the body of the bride and the groom to give them a bright glow on their marriage day. The mixture of turmeric, gram powder, sandalwood powder, and mustard oil is used as a face/ body mask to add glow to the skin. 

Turmeric Prevents Cancer

A groundbreaking study conducted by the University of Texas and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center reveals that the bright yellow-orange Asian spice is also a cancer preventing food. Thanks to its anti-inflammatory, antibiotic properties, turmeric helps fight inflammation and cancer. Remember,  inflammation in any part of the body can give rise to cancer cells, and excess inflammation boosts growth of cancer. 

turmeric for cancer

Research reveals that curcumin affects DNA instructions of cancerous cells, thus inducing cellular death in cancer cells. By adding turmeric to your diet, you may be able halt the growth of cancer cells in the body. Further, by increasing the antioxidant capacity of the body, turmeric removes and repairs the cellular damage from free radicals - which are highly reactive compounds produced in the body through stress, pollution, or chemical exposure. 

Research into turmeric benefits for health claims that curcumin exhibits "antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, and anticancer" properties. These properties prove that it has immense potential against malignant diseases, such as cancer, arthritis, allergies, diabetes, and Alzheimer's, among other chronic illnesses."

The consumption of curcumin along with black pepper, chili extract, or ginger root helps in making turmeric more easily absorbed by the body. It won't be wrong to say that curcumin is a potential drug for several ailments.

Turmeric is also known to contain several potent antioxidants, which can boost the production of glutathione, the Master Antioxidant that plays an important role in cellular health and immune system function. Turmeric cancer benefits are still being studied and research has been carried out in lab studies on animals or samples.


Turmeric Side Effects
  • High dosages of turmeric may cause liver problems, creating liver toxicity. 
  • Pregnant women should also avoid taking turmeric by mouth, as it may stimulate the uterus. 
  • No evidence proves the safety of turmeric as a medicinal remedy during breast-feeding.

Bottom Line
turmeric benefits research

No definitive studies have yet been done on turmeric. More research is still required to prove certain health benefits of turmeric. When used in moderation, the herb does hold great promise!







DisclaimerThis article is only for information purpose, written by someone who has passion for researching information on natural herbs. Please use your discretion before following any of the remedies.
References
http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/turmeric
http://www.arizona.edu/features/tapping-power-turmeric
http://www.med.nyu.edu/content?ChunkIID=21874
http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-662-TURMERIC.aspx?activeIngredientId=662&activeIngredientName=TURMERIC
http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-1012314
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/andrew-weil-md/turmeric-health-have-a-happy-new-year_b_798328.html
Image credits
1. http://www.rebellesociety.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Health-benefits-of-turmeric.jpg
2. http://www.ecoyardfarming.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/turmroot.jpg
3. http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-yYbilOw9AmE/UDtsJNbuu6I/AAAAAAAADe8/faBFUYBLPnI/s320/healing-wounds.jpg
4. http://imbbpullzone.laedukreationpvt.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/turmeric-skin.jpg

5. http://www.naturesemporium.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Web-HeaderTurmeric.jpg
6. http://www.twincore.de/uploads/pics/Vorschaubild_PM_1306_Steinmann_Anggakusuma_1.jpg

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