People have always valued and used the medicinal properties of different spices throughout the history. You may benefit a lot from the utilization of the healing capacity if many different spices, but apparently, turmeric is a unique one.
Namely, a growing number of studies have confirmed its ability to heal hundreds of different health conditions. Due to all this, its popularity has skyrocketed, but we believe there are still things that you aren’t aware of.
Curcuma longa is a tropical plant native to India, and turmeric is derived from its root. Its medicinal properties, especially one part of it, called rhizome, have been traditionally used in South Asia for centuries.
Turmeric was mainly applied in the treatments of inflammation and asthma, but also to treat ulcers, jaundice, and liver obstruction. With an aim to alleviate the inflammation, hot water extracts were orally consumed.
Despite its healing properties, turmeric was also a part of some spiritual and cultural rituals, as it was linked to prosperity and fertility.
Moreover, turmeric was also applied to the bride before the wedding ceremony, believing that it would bring her good luck. Turmeric was also brought as a gift on special occasions, for instance, when paying a visit to a pregnant woman.
Turmeric and Curcumin
You need to know that “turmeric” and “curcumin” are not the same thing and should not be used interchangeably in all cases. Turmeric, as we already stated, is the spice which comes from the root of Curcuma longa.
It contains numerous components, and its most beneficial and popular one is, in fact, curcumin.
This active ingredient has been scientifically shown to be responsible for most of the miraculous health benefits of turmeric, such as its protective properties in the case of a skin disease and Alzheimer’s, its reducing effects in the event of inflammation and the relief its provides in the case of arthritis.
Some of the most significant health effects of curcumin in turmeric include:
- Treats depression
- Promotes cardiovascular health
- Treats asthma
- Soothes inflammation
- Prevents diabetes
Curcumin provides many health benefits that are extremely useful in the treatments of symptoms due to numerous different disorders.
Turmeric is even more beneficial as it contains numerous other nutrients. Namely, it is high in potassium, magnesium, fiber, manganese, vitamin B6, and vitamin C.
Due to all this, turmeric has been found to be extremely active in a great number of different ailments and diseases.
Research has shown that turmeric effectively destroys malignant tumor cells. Namely, the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists conducted a study which found that curcumin prevents the growth of tumors by destroying tumor cells in various ways.
Unlike chemotherapy, turmeric does not damage the unaffected cells and targets the malignant cells only, meaning that it is an excellent chemotherapy alternative.
In the case of arthritis, due to its potent anti-inflammatory properties, turmeric effectively relieves the symptoms. Turmeric prevents the inflammation of joints, as it obstructs inflammatory enzymes and cytokines and enzymes. The turmeric supplement Meriva has been found to reduce the pain and improve the movement in the case of osteoarthritis.
The Indian Academy of Neurology conducted a study which showed that curcumin may be an extremely effective in the treatment of Alzheimer’s.
Moreover, turmeric has been found to contain another beneficial ingredient, called aromatic-turmerone, which increases the number of neural stem cells in people who consume it, and thus makes it incredibly advantageous in the treatments of neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s.
Turmeric for Depression
This amazing spice is also a powerful natural anti-depressant. The Indian Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences conducted a study which proved that curcumin successfully reduces the symptoms of depression due to chronic stress. This is a result of the ability of curcumin to naturally restore the levels of dopamine and serotonin in the body.
Natural Enhancement of Turmeric
The most beneficial active ingredient of turmeric, curcumin, has a low bioavailability, which means that the human body does not easily digest it. Namely, the body metabolizes curcumin so quickly that its full benefits cannot be entirely used by the digestive system.
This is the reason turmeric needs to be combined with black pepper. Black pepper contains a compound called piperine, which boosts digestion of nutrients and decelerates the digestive properties.
This combination gives great effects, as it provides the time needed for the body to digest curcumin, and it stimulates its digestion so that all the health benefits of turmeric can be ultimately used.
How to regularly take turmeric
In order to maximally benefit from the health properties of turmeric, you can usually take it in several different ways. However, the University of Maryland Medical Center recommends the following dosages as the perfect way to enjoy its medicinal properties:
- Dried, powdered root: 1-3 g a day
- Cut root: 1.5- 3 g a day
- Tincture (1:2): 15- 30 drops, four times a day
- Fluid extract (1:1) 30- 90 drops a day
- Standardized powder (curcumin): 400- 600 mg, 3 times a day