Turmeric (Scientific names, Curcuma longa or Curcuma domestica)
Some call it the “miracle spice that no one knows about.” And there’s a good chance you haven’t heard of it until now…
Yet, you’ve probably been consuming it all of your life.
Turmeric is a yellow powder that comes from a plant in the ginger family. It’s very prevalent in Asian culture and is used to produce curry – a seasoning that’s found in just about every kitchen in the civilized world.
But turmeric isn’t only beneficial for making spices.
For years, it’s provided countless people with a whole host of health-related benefits without any of us being none-the-wiser.
But in recent years, new research has uncovered that turmeric and its underlying components (more on this in a minute) contain properties that make it one of the healthiest spices in the world.
We’ll talk about those health benefits of turmeric in just a minute. But first, let’s briefly touch on why turmeric has been titled the “miracle spice.”
What Makes Turmeric So Healthy?
There are two components found in turmeric that give the root its healing properties: its oil and curcumin.
The oil of the turmeric root contains anti-microbial properties and is rich in a variety of essential antioxidants for fighting harmful free radicals. But its most prominent benefit is its anti-inflammatory properties.
Curcumin is the “all-star” of turmeric. As a matter of fact, many experts believe it’s the main medicinal component of the yellow spice.
Curcumin itself has been linked helping treat irritable bowel syndrome and is considered to contain properties very similar to that of hydrocortisone (a skin healing medication).
But that’s just a small handful of the benefits turmeric offers…
Below are fifteen reasons why you should consider making turmeric (and curcumin) a part of your daily diet.
1. It can help prevent Alzheimer’s disease.
Do you know that about 44 million people around the globe are suffering from Alzheimer’s or dementia?
The condition is more astonishing in U.S. because in U.S. alone it affects 1 out of every 9 people above
As per estimates, this medical condition alone is going to cost $226 billion to U.S. for caring Alzheimer’s patients in 2015 and if the condition is not taken under control then how much it will cost in near future really nobody knows.
But, the turmeric is incredibly helpful here and you can get it through diets or with supplements to minimize your chances of getting AD.
And, according to the Journal of Biological Chemistry, the symptoms of AD are minimized by consumption of more of things rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds.
Here is an interesting fact: Do you know that India has world’s lowest Alzheimer’s patient? This may be due to the fact that turmeric is a common spice in all the Indian dishes.
Also, due to its proved medicinal properties, the consumption of turmeric in U.S. has been jumped to 70% in 2011 from its 2004 consumption.
2. It has been linked to slowing the growth of cancer-based tumors.
Cancer is a life-threatening disease and when someone is diagnosed with they are left with despair.
But, Turmeric is a boon for them because it has proved to be effective to treat many types of cancers by reducing the size of existing tumors.
Many studies have been done to find out whether the turmeric has anti-carcinogenic agents. And, here are a few of them that suggest that turmeric is effective in treating this life-threatening disease.
Researchers from the University of Texas found that the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin have slowed the growth of tumors in cancer patients. And it has even reduced the size of the tumor in a patient.
A study was conducted in 2007 to treat bowel cancer, and it was found that when turmeric and chemotherapy were used together, the combination killed more cancerous cells than the chemotherapy alone did.
In a 2011 study by the Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, Jiangsu, China, the effect of curcumin on patients with colorectal cancer was observed and it was found that turmeric consumption is beneficial in improving the general health of the patients.
3. It can make cancer cells more vulnerable to chemo and radiation therapies.
It is estimated that over twenty thousand women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer, one of the most common types of cancer, every year in the United States alone.
The estimated new cases of ovarian cancer stand 22280 alone in 2016.
But, the studies suggest that even a very small quantity of curcumin is found to be effective in improving the sensitivity of cancer cells to chemo/radiation therapies.
According to a combined research study done by the University of South Dakota and Sanford Research, the researchers found that pre-treating patients with curcumin had a positive effect on weakening ovarian cancer cells’ resistance to chemo and radiation therapies.
4. It can help relieve the pain caused by sprains and strains.
These are injuries that we get while doing regular exercise, sports or other physical activities. However, these are common soft-tissue injuries but sometimes these injuries require enough time to heal even with a proper treatment.
The University of Maryland Medical Center recommends treating sprains and strains with a turmeric tea since the spice contains anti-inflammatory properties.
Also, Dr. David Williams recommends using turmeric paste for naturally curing sprains and strains. He even guides how to make turmeric paste for the treatment of strains and sprains.
5. It can help prevent heart disease.
Coronary heart disease (CHD) is the main cause of death for both men and women in the United States.
In CHD, our heart is deprived of supply of oxygen-rich blood because of the narrowing of arteries due to plaque build-ups.
Early studies have shown that turmeric may help prevent plaque build-up from forming within the body’s arteries – the main contributor to heart attacks and strokes.
6. It can help cure inflammation in the iris.
Iris helps us in seeing the things by controlling the amount of light that enters through the pupil.
7. It helps prevent indigestion and gastritis.
When the stomach lining is inflamed it is called gastritis.
It may occur suddenly or slowly over the time. However, there are many causes of it like autoimmune problems, infectious agents, sarcoidosis or Crohn’s disease but a bacterium called H. pylori and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are main causes of gastritis.
Indigestion happens when the stomach acid comes into the contact with the sensitive and protective layer of our digestive system called mucosa. It is a common problem and affects many people, but in most cases it occurs occasionally and is benign.
The most common symptoms of indigestion are:
But due to a rich source of antioxidants, turmeric is a good home made alternative of all these health issues. The reason is, antioxidants play an important role in reducing inflammation and re-balancing your intestine.
One study found that the anti-inflammatory properties of curcuminoids play a role in reducing the effects of gastritis and indigestion.
8. It may help treat rheumatoid arthritis.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disease of joints in which it is considered that body’s immune system mistakenly attacks the joints.
But, taking daily doses of turmeric is found to be beneficial in reducing effects of joints in people suffering from this chronic ailment.
Some even argue it’s more effective than diclofenac. However, the final verdict is still out on the certainty of these claims.
9. It can relieve the pain of osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis is a disease of joints that occurs when the cartilage between the joints of bones become rough and thin which restricts flexible movement of joints.
And as per this study , 1 in every 2 people may develop symptomatic knee osteoarthritis by the age they are 85 years old.
A research claims that turmeric supplements can significantly decrease the pain of osteoarthritis.
As a matter of fact, some go so far to say that it is just as effective at relieving the pain as ibuprofen.
10. It can treat irritable bowel syndrome.
IBS is a common digestive disorder that is a possible reason for bloating, stomach stiffness, diarrhea, mucus in stools, and nausea.
As per the latest study, near about 14% population of US is suffering from IBS.
According to a study, it is found that the turmeric extracts are beneficial in improving IBS symptoms in healthy people. The study had been done on 207 healthy people for 8 weeks with daily doses of one or two tablets of a turmeric extract.
Many consumers claim to have experienced significant relief from irritable bowel syndrome after taking curcumin supplements for a duration ranging from a couple of weeks to a couple of months.
Here is another great resource to combat your IBS in a few days by Dr. Mark Hyman.
11. It can relieve severe skin itch.
There are many reasons to have your skin itching e.g.
- Your skin is dry.
- You have an allergic rash.
- You’re suffering from eczema
- Fungal skin infections or yeast infections.
Early research has linked curcumin (in C3 Complex) with treating symptoms of pruritus (mainly itchy skin). This treatment has provided people who suffer from chronic itching with a better overall quality of life.
12. It can help treat precancerous oral conditions.
Oral health plays an important role in controlling our overall health conditions. Whatever we eat or drink goes through our mouth. And if we don't care we are inviting a variety of oral diseases like dental cavities, gum diseases, oral infectious diseases etc.
As per WHO , every adult has dental cavities and 15-to 20% people aged 35-40 have gum diseases.
According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, across the globe, nearly 450 thousands of new cases are reported for oral cancer each year. For having good health, the oral health has to be looked in priority.
One study found that turmeric oil could be effective in treating patients who suffer from oral sub mucous fibrosis, a precancerous oral condition.
13. It can also help treat gingivitis.
Gingivitis is a bacterial infection of gums which turns to periodontitis if it is not diagnosed.
The symptoms include red and swollen gums that bleed during brushing of teeth. The main reasons of gingivitis are poor dental hygiene, diabetes, certain medications, or any systemic disease.
However, taking turmeric is found to be relieving in gingivitis symptoms. It’s been claimed that turmeric oil is effective at treating gingivitis. Even, one study concluded that natural turmeric oil is actually more efficient at treating gingivitis than traditional mouthwash.
14. It may help treat Chron’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
Early studies concluded that turmeric might be a viable treatment for the inflammatory bowel disease brought on by Chron’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
However, more research needs to be done to draw a definitive conclusion.
15. It can help treat symptoms of kidney inflammation.
A research published in 2012 concluded that short-term turmeric supplementation could decrease systolic blood pressure, blood in the urine (hematuria), and urine protein content (proteinuria) in patients that suffered from lupus nephritis (an inflammation of kidney).
How to Get More Turmeric and Curcumin In Your Daily Diet.
While experts have yet to decide on an exact recommend daily amount of turmeric and curcumin, the general consensus lies between 500 – 1500 mg per day.
It’s believed that 500mg of turmeric is the equivalent of approximately four curry-heavy meals. Which means that you’re looking at eating as much as 12 curry-heavy meals per day to reach the 1,500 mg recommended dose.I think it’s safe to say that that’s out of the question.
Start taking a turmeric-based (preferably C3 Complex) dietary supplement. These supplements will help you meet your daily requirements with a single pill.
(That beats 12 curry-heavy meals per day any day of the week!)
We suggest you take a look at Viva Labs’ C3 Curcumin. We’ll be the first to admit it’s not for everyone (read our review to find out why), but it’s one of the more effective turmeric/curcumin supplements currently on the market.