Turmeric curcumin or the Indian saffron as is also called is a herbaceous plant of the family of the Zingiberaceae or ginger, a native of the southwest of India. It is composed of curcuminoids, polysaccharides, and essential oils and in India, it is known for its medicinal and culinary uses.
Turmeric has also been used as a remedy in traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurveda for thousands of years.
In recent years, numerous studies have been published that confirm what was already known in ancient folk medicine: Turmeric has many salutary properties and effects.
In its country of origin it is used as:
- Cholagogue, to favor the expulsion of bile.
- Neuroprotective against cognitive or memory defects.
- Bactericides and antivirals.
- Eliminates fungi more effectively than clove or oregano.
- It is an antioxidant, sweeps the free radicals of the organism.
- It favors the reduction of cholesterol in the blood.
What is turmeric curcumin good for?
1. Turmeric has an antioxidant effect
Teresa Ortega, vice president of the Center for Research on Phytotherapy and Professor of Pharmacology at the Complutense University of Madrid, states that the most abundant turmeric variant, curcumin, protects the liver from oxidative stress, also adding anti-tumor, anti-mutagenic and anti-inflammatory qualities to the already mentioned before.
2. Turmeric is anti-inflammatory
Turmeric is well known for its anti-inflammatory properties, which is why it is recommended for those who suffer from arthritis, as it helps calm pain and eliminates toxins from the body.
A study on inflammation examined cytokine levels.
Cytokines are messengers that are released during inflammatory processes and can promote the development of chronic metabolic diseases, especially if there is already a metabolic syndrome such as high blood pressure, diabetes (precursor), obesity, or high blood lipid levels.
However, when the respective patients took 1000 mg of curcumin daily, cytokine levels dropped within 8 weeks.
3. Turmeric helps to reduce cholesterol
Thanks to the intake of turmeric, biliary function increases, and the levels of triglycerides and bad cholesterol (LDL) are reduced.
In a placebo-controlled study, cholesterol levels were significantly reduced in 100 participants after taking 1000 mg of curcumin per day for 8 weeks.
4. Turmeric helps with type 2 diabetes
Curcumin attenuates tumor necrosis levels and plasma free fatty acids, in addition, to decrease the levels of thiobarbituric acid reactive substances and the activity of sorbitol dehydrogenase.
It can elevate plasma insulin levels and increase lipoprotein lipase activity, as well as help activate enzymes in the liver, which are associated with glycolysis, gluconeogenic, and the lipid metabolic process.
An Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine study points out that this vegetable may be beneficial for improving glucose sensitivity and fighting against type two diabetes.
5. Turmeric is effective against depression
A study from the Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience suggests that it has a neuroprotective and effective capacity against depressive disorders.
6. It helps with arthritis and osteoarthritis
The Part of Springer Nature conducted a randomized, double-blind and placebo-controlled study of 40 subjects with mild to moderate knee osteoarthritis appeared.
They received 1500 mg of curcumin daily (in three daily doses) for 28 days or a placebo supplement.
At the end of the six weeks, the curcumin group was clearly better off.
The participants had less pain compared to the placebo group and enjoyed better mobility.
No side effects could be observed.
7. Turmeric can lower the risk of stroke and heart attack
Because turmeric lowers cholesterol, has antioxidant effects, regulates blood lipid levels, helps keep blood sugar at bay, dilutes the blood and protects blood vessels, which are big factors in increasing the risk of a heart attack, is considered a good shield against stroke.
8. It can protect against Alzheimer
A special feature of curcumin is that it can cross the blood-brain barrier, and therefore it has an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effect in the brain too.
It is thought that turmeric can protect against neurodegenerative diseases, which are known to be associated with oxidative stress and inflammatory reactions, which can finally lead to developing Alzheimer’s.
A study held by the Annals of Indian Academy of Neurology showed that due to various effects of curcumin, such as decreased Beta-amyloid plaques, delayed degradation of neurons, metal-chelation, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and decreased microglia formation, the overall memory in patients with Alzheimer’s disease improved.
9. Turmeric can protect against cancer
Turmeric is a good ally to fight against cancer.
Since induces cell death in the deepest part of individual cells and eliminates the cells responsible for bladder and lung cancer, according to Carlos García Saldaña, member of the Spanish Society of Graduates, Doctors, and Graduates in Food Science and Technology.
A study published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences indicates that turmeric can prevent metastasis even in existing cancer, namely breast cancer so that cancer does not spread to the lungs.
10. Curcumin protects against severe lung diseases such as pulmonary fibrosis
The mechanism of action is likely to be explained by the strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant potential of curcumin, which can alter important inflammatory signaling pathways to mitigate massive inflammation in the airways.
In a study published by the Radiation Research, curcumin was tested in pulmonary fibrosis and lung metastases in mice.
It was found that curcumin alleviated those lung injuries and pulmonary fibrosis caused by radiation, chemotherapeutics, and toxins.
However, the cancer cells of the lung metastases were not protected from radiation killing by the curcumin.
So that the radiotherapy in the presence of curcumin could work even better.
11. Turmeric has a positive effect on the intestines
Healthy intestinal flora is one of the main prerequisites for well-being and healing.
12. Curcumin is also good for detoxification
Turmeric curcumin reduces the oxidative stress that mercury causes in the body.
According to a study published in the Journal of Applied Toxicology, the administration of curcumin results in reduced tissue mercury concentration, and in addition to improved liver and kidney levels, which means that the draining and detoxification organs are protected.
13. Curcumin can aid with macular degeneration and other eye diseases
According to a PubMed review, curcumin has been able to delay, and in some cases even reverse, the development of age-related macular degeneration.
Other eye diseases, such as diabetic retinopathy or even retinal cancer (cancer of the retina) could be treated concomitantly with curcumin.
14. Turmeric curcumin can be used for dental care
Turmeric is regularly used in dentistry in its home country.
Curcumin is designed to reduce swelling in the oral cavity, have a beneficial effect on the oral flora and even reduce the risk of bacterial foci in your teeth.
Since turmeric can also support detoxification, it also offers an accompanying mercury excretion after amalgam removal.
What are the uses of turmeric curcumin?
1. Medicinal use
Medicinal use is one of the most prominent uses.
There are two species of turmeric, Javanese turmeric, and Curcuma longa.
Both species have been approved by the European Medicines Agency to treat the symptoms of digestive disorders of various kinds thanks to their ability to increase bile flow secretion.
Symptoms include flatulence, heavy and slow digestions and the feeling of having a full stomach.
In addition, the World Health Organization and the World Medicines Organization recommend it for the treatment of dyspepsia or difficulties in digestion and meteorism.
2. Culinary use
In addition to the medicinal uses that stand out, turmeric should be also highlighted in the kitchen.
It is used to make curry, providing the characteristic color and its particular taste.
It is used as a spice and gives foods a peculiar mustard yellow flavor.
Mostly used with rice and stews with poultry, pork or fish.
This plant can bring benefits to consumers, but most of the time the quantity used when we cook does not reach the required to induce these effects, so they are not guaranteed.
It is not advisable to use in high quantities, otherwise, the flavor of turmeric will dominate the flavor in the dishes.
The plant extract can be used as a food coloring in two different ways:
- Turmeric in the raw extract, which is obtained from ground turmeric.
- Curcumin is a purified or refined state, which is extracted using turmeric solvents.
Are there side effects when using Turmeric curcumin?
The use of turmeric curcumin may have some health problems such as causing gastric irritation.
Despite the anti-ulcer properties, it can cause ulcers due to the alteration of the digestive mucous membranes caused by stomach irritations.
Since turmeric increases bile secretion, it can also cause colic which is contraindicated in people who have gallbladder obstruction, cholangitis, renal calculus disease or mud fever.