Turmeric has a long history of being used in traditional medicine. Turmeric, arguably is the most well-studied dietary supplement in modern natural medicine. The curcuma longa plant from which turmeric is extracted, is native to Southeast Asia. The major active ingredient present in turmeric is curcumin. It is curcumin that gives turmeric its characteristic yellow colour. In fact it is curcumin that lends turmeric most of turmeric’s healing properties that it is famous for.
Unfortunately, turmeric (and curcumin on its own) doesn’t absorb well into the bloodstream. In order to reap the benefits of curcumin, it will have to be consumed in the form of supplements.
It is totally worth it, if you look at the benefits curcumin has to offer. Find a few of the magical properties of curcumin listed below.
Eases arthritis and joint pain
Curcumin is highly effective in combating the discomfort from joint pain and arthritis. Various studies prove that curcumin inhibits many of the mediators of inflammation linked to rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and osteoarthritis development.
Past research shows that ingesting the right amount of curcumin may be a more effective anti-inflammatory treatment than a lot of OTC inflammation fighting medications. That too without the unwanted side effects. As chronic inflammation is the underlying cause for many conditions like irritable bowel disease and pancreatitis, curcumin can help in their treatment.
Aids In Heart Health
There is nothing like good exercise for maintaining the health of your heart. Research shows that consuming curcumin is as effective as aerobic exercise at improving vascular endothelial function. One of the amazing benefits of curcumin is its ability to improve the lining of blood vessels known as endothelium. When endothelium isn't maintained, it cannot regulate blood pressure and clotting, thus leading to heart diseases.
Beneficial during Cancer Treatment
As inflammation in the body is linked to tumour growth and development of cancer, compounds like curcumin with its anti-inflammatory properties can aid in its healing and prevention. Research conducted on mice exhibited that curcumin may help slow down the spread of tumor cells and can even prevent them forming in the first place. If curcumin can cure cancer or not, is not yet determined. However, research is underway.
The use of turmeric to treat diabetes in Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicine is well known. Research shows that curcumin helps stabilize blood glucose levels and prevents complications related to diabetes. Curcumin may help prevent diabetes through its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and improve many of the factors that contribute to diabetes, including insulin resistance, high blood sugar, and hyperlipidemia. In a 2012 study, all participants who took curcumin extract for 9 months didn’t develop diabetes, although they were prediabetic. While 16% of the prediabetic participants who took a placebo did develop diabetes after the 9 months.
Reduces Anxiety and Depression
Several clinical trials conducted show that turmeric extract can influence neurotransmitter balance in the brain. Curcumin has the ability to modulate serotonin and dopamine thus acting as an antidepressant. Thus, it may be a good complementary treatment for depression.
Studies conducted show that under certain conditions curcumin can lower triglycerides and cholesterol levels. Curcumin can help with obesity, metabolic syndromes and other chronic conditions related to blood lipid profile.
Improves Gut Health
Turmeric has been used since ancient times to aid digestion and heal gut inflammation. Curcumin has the ability to stimulate the gallbladder, aiding in the production of bile, which in turn helps break down food. Studies have shown that curcumin has the ability to reduce gas and bloating.
Natural Blood Thinner
Blood clotting is a natural bodily function, without which a tiny cut on your finger can become fatal. However, situations like internal clotting and strokes call for thinning of the blood. Curcumin has shown potential as an anticoagulant in certain conditions. Studies show that curcumin can help in local blood clotting and stopping blood flow. However, more research is being conducted to study its efficacy.
Apart from antiviral, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, recent studies show that curcumin is a good antifungal agent too. Tests conducted exhibits that curcumin can reduce candida overgrowth and aid in the treatment of fungal infections with moderate success.
Improves Allergies and Asthma
Anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin can help ward off allergy-related symptoms and decrease the likelihood of asthma attacks. From current research, it has been projected that curcumin supplements can reduce signs of sneezing, nasal congestion and runny nose related to hay fever and allergy attacks.
If you want a healthy body and mind, a healthy liver is of utmost importance. Multiple studies and trials have shown curcumin’s property to limit the damage done to the liver from external harmful substances. It does this by interrupting inflammatory pathways. Curcumies ability to stimulate bile production further helps in eliminating unwanted toxins from the body.
Final Thoughts On The Benefits Of Curcumin
As we can see, curcumin is almost good for everything. It must be noted that curcumin supplements are not the cure or answer for chronic illnesses. However, its usage has shown significant health benefits. In every study conducted on curcumin it has been shown that it is tolerated in high doses and does not cause adverse side effects. Check with your doctor before you include curcumin supplements to your wellness regime so that it does not clash with any of your already prescribed medications.