Turmeric is truly a great magical spice from the Indian subcontinent. The prodigious spice is the one which gives the vibrant yellow color to many Indian dishes. This remarkable spice is proven to be a very powerful herb that can fight and prevent many serious diseases.
It is packed with numerous beneficial qualities that help in curing many health and skin issues. Since many centuries, turmeric has been used as a medicinal element in Ayurvedic Medicine, Unani, Siddha medicine and even traditional Chinese medicine.
Though turmeric may seem like any other spice, it is actually much more than just a spice. It is a mystic herb, spice, remedy, flavoring agent, dye, medicinal agent and many more things. It has several qualities and the power to cure and prevent many diseases.
Here, we will be presenting a series of benefits that turmeric provides. We will also show you many ways to incorporate turmeric in your diet. So let’s get started.
What is Turmeric?
Turmeric originally is a flowering plant and is also called as the ‘Golden Spice’. It originates from ‘Curcuma longa’ and also is the part of the ginger plant family. Turmeric powder is created when the dried roots of the plant are blended or grinded to create the yellow powder.
Turmeric powder presents itself in a warm yellow color, has a slightly bitter taste and has earthy mustard like aroma. The vibrant yellow color of turmeric is commonly used as a coloring and flavoring agent in many Asian countries.
What makes it so special? Turmeric contains a very powerful medicinal ingredient called ‘Curcumin’. Curcumin has numerous health benefits and disease curing powers that make turmeric so powerful and effective.
Black Pepper is one other ingredient that can help our body in absorbing Curcumin through the bloodstream by over 2000% ( 1 ).
Along with Curcumin, turmeric also contains iron, potassium, magnesium, vitamin C and vitamin B6, which adds extra qualities to turmeric which cumulatively then benefits your health.
Benefits of Turmeric
Some of the best benefits and uses of turmeric have been presented below:
1. Helps Manage Diabetes
Many studies have suggested that curcumin in turmeric can successfully decrease the level of glucose in your blood and treat other diabetes-related issues. Researchers have also found out that turmeric could help stabilize blood sugar levels and manage diabetes easily ( 2, 3 ).
Diabetes also causes many sub complications in your body like damaging your nerves known as diabetic neuropathy. Diabetic neuropathy can cause many symptoms in your body like muscle pain, muscle weakness, and even blindness in serious cases.
Researchers have found out that curcumin in turmeric helped reduce pain and weakness in muscles.
Lastly, Turmeric has immense potential for reducing insulin resistance and reversing diabetes by being developed into many supplements and effective treatments ( 2 ).
2. Lowers Cholesterol Levels
One should not only rely on heavy pills to reduce their LDL cholesterol levels. Why only rely on pills when some remedies can be found right in your kitchen? Yes. You read that right.
Curcumin in turmeric has been proved to reduce LDL or bad cholesterol levels. And it is already proved that lowering LDL cholesterol levels will help in lowering cardiovascular or heart diseases.
Curcumin may help reverse heart diseases. It also improves the function of the endothelium, which is the lining of your blood vessels. And when it comes to heart diseases, endothelial dysfunction is the major element affecting heart disease ( 4 ).
Thus, this is how turmeric helps in lowering LDL cholesterol levels and helps in lowering the risk of cardiovascular or heart diseases.
3. Lowers Risk of Alzheimer’s
Alzheimer’s disease is a very serious yet the most common neurodegenerative disease in the world. Though it is the most common disease, there hasn’t been a cure to treat Alzheimer’s disease completely to date.
Though medical science is still looking for a cure to treat Alzheimer’s disease, Curcumin in turmeric has been found to prevent Alzheimer’s disease ( 5 ).
Also, inflammation and oxidative damage play a role in Alzheimer’s disease. Curcumin has shown to have beneficial effects on both of these characteristics and cure them.
4. Relief from Migraine
Migraine may not seem like a deadly disease but only the people affected by migraine know how painful it actually is. It consists of extreme pounding headaches and extreme sensitivity to light and sound. It can last up to many hours and cause distress to the person affected by it.
There haven’t been a lot of successful cures while dealing with migraine as it can be seen as a very stubborn issue that just doesn’t go away.
Turmeric on the other hand, has been showing quite effective results while curing migraine. Turmeric has natural anti-inflammatory, pain relieving and detoxifying properties which help in relieving the person from migraine ( 8 ).
Finally, a cure that can give you complete relief from migraine.
5. Boosts Immunity
Our immune system fights hard, every day to protect our body from diseases and infections. Our immune system activates a healthy anti-inflammation response when it detects any harmful compounds that could cause harm to our body. This helps in protecting our body from harmful alien elements and maintaining a healthy body.
Antioxidants in our body help fight free radicals. These radicals when in excessive quantities can cause damage to the other healthy cells. Our immune system helps in protecting our body from these excessive radicals and maintains the health of the healthy cells.
Turmeric has anti-inflammatory and antioxidants properties that help support our immune system. And turmeric provides our body with powerful antioxidants and thereby supporting our immunity system ( 9 ).
This is how turmeric provides extra antioxidants, supports our immunity system and boosts our immunity.
6. Reduces Inflammation
Inflammation is an incredibly important response by our immune system. It helps our body fight with harmful alien elements, helps our body heal from a wound or infection and also helps in repairing the damage.
Without inflammation, our body would be completely weak and exposed to harmful alien pathogens that could harm our body and ultimately even kill us.
Short term inflammation is obviously beneficial to our body. However, when it develops into low-level chronic inflammation, it can lead to numerous problems and also attack our body’s tissues.
Low – level chronic inflammation is a very harmful condition. It increases the risk of many chronic diseases. It is very important to find cures that suppress and reduce inflammation.
As per a scientific study published by Oncogene Journal, Curcumin is one of the most effective anti-inflammatory substance found in the world. It is a very powerful element while fighting with genes related to inflammation ( 10 ).
Thus, this is how with the help of curcumin in turmeric, we can reduce low-level chronic inflammation thereby reducing the risk of many health-related problems ( 11 ).
7. Aids Wound Healing
Wounds can be extremely painful and they can be even more painful when they don’t heal quickly.
Turmeric is one such spice that helps in curing wounds rather than increasing the pain like other spices. The curcumin in turmeric has anti-inflammation and antioxidants which help in speeding up the healing process.
Curcumin effectively helps in curing and healing wounds more quickly ( 12 ).
Applying curcumin (in turmeric) directly on the wounds can effectively heal and cure wounds quickly. This practice is still followed in tribal areas.
8. May help Cure Arthritis
Arthritis is a very common disorder that occurs when there is inflammation in joints. There are different types of arthritis. Most of the arthritic problems involve inflammation of any of the joints and causes immense pain.
As curcumin in turmeric is known to have anti-inflammatory properties, it is quite evident that turmeric may help relieve arthritis. It also helps in naturally curing arthritis and reducing pain and swelling ( 13 ).
There is enough scientific evidence to support and prove the efficacy of curcumin in curing and providing relief to patients suffering from Arthritis ( 14 ).
9. Could Treat and Prevent Cancer
Cancer is one of the most potentially dangerous diseases which causes cells to divide uncontrollably and unnaturally which results in tumors, damage to the immune system and other fatal impairments in our body that can kill us. There are many different types of cancer.
The National Cancer Institute has recognized curcumin as an effective anti-carcinogen, or substance that helps prevent cancer.
Curcumin present in turmeric has the potential to help cure cancerous cells. Curcumin also prevents the growth of new cancerous cells and also helps in eliminating dangerous cells.
Studies and researches have also proved in finding that Curcumin has the potential to successfully prevent the multiplication of cancerous cells right from the beginning ( 15 ).
However, there are still no studies which completely prove that curcumin can totally cure cancer. There have been studies which have released statements that curcumin can prevent cancer and even sometimes cure cancerous cells. But the total proper treatment of cancer has still not been found.
10. Prevents Metabolic Syndrome
A metabolic syndrome is a group of conditions that occur together, increasing your risk of cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. The symptoms or conditions under metabolic syndrome are high blood sugar, excess body fat and abnormal LDL or bad cholesterol levels and high blood pressure.
As mentioned before, the curcumin in turmeric has detoxifying, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties which help in battling all such diseases.
The curcumin in turmeric can successfully decrease the level of glucose in your blood and treat other diabetes-related issues. Researchers have also found out that turmeric could help stabilize blood sugar levels and manage diabetes easily.
Curcumin improves the function of the endothelium, which is the lining of your blood vessels. This is how turmeric helps in lowering LDL cholesterol levels and helps in lowering the risk of cardiovascular heart diseases ( 16 ).
Therefore, this how is how the curcumin in turmeric helps in preventing and curing metabolic syndrome.
11. Maintains Ulcerative Colitis Remission
Ulcerative Colitis (UC) is a long term inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that affects the large intestine, or colon. People who are suffering from ulcerative colitis (UC), experience swelling in their colon and develop small pus-producing ulcers.
The symptoms of Ulcerative Colitis (UC) include discomfort in the abdomen area, diarrhea and a frequent need to have a bowel movement.
The curcumin present in turmeric was recently proved to have been potentially curing Ulcerative Colitis (UC). As mentioned before, the curcumin in turmeric has anti-inflammatory and antioxidants properties ( 17 ).
The curcumin present in turmeric can lower the number of inflammatory cytokines or molecules in your body that signal inflammation. Therefore this may be an indication that curcumin also has the potential to reduce inflammation caused by ulcerative colitis (UC).
Therefore, the curcumin in turmeric has been successful in providing relief from inflammation caused by ulcerative colitis (UC) and thereby maintaining ulcerative colitis and not letting it increase or escalate. More research and studies can help develop more advanced solutions that could help cure ulcerative colitis (UC) completely.
12. Prevents Blood Clots
Turmeric has numerous benefits. One of the medicinal benefits of turmeric is that it helps in preventing blood clots. The curcumin in turmeric has antithrombotic properties or properties that have the ability to inhibit blood clotting.
The curcumin in turmeric reduces the risk of clogged arteries, strokes and heart attacks. Turmeric’s effect on our body is due to its ability to inhibit platelet aggregation and keeps the blood flowing.
Turmeric is used in many supplements because of it’s antithrombotic, anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic properties. Thus, we saw how turmeric can prevent blood clots and thereby reducing the risk of cardiovascular and other health related diseases.
Note: People who take blood thinners must avoid turmeric.
13. Helps in Weight loss
Turmeric is known to play an amazing role while dealing with weight loss and obesity. Turmeric is very effective in preventing the accumulation of fats in the adipose tissue and other tissues (stomach and lower abdomen). These are seen as characteristics of obesity.
Angiogenesis (formation of new blood vessels) in the white adipose tissue is linked to the fat accumulation in obese people. The curcumin present in turmeric has been found to decrease the size of adipose tissues, i.e. lower fat accumulation in over-weight patients.
Lastly, turmeric also has a thermogenic action which helps in fat burn and is also known to accelerate diet-induced weight loss.
14. Reduces Depression
Depression is a common yet a very serious mood disorder which comprises of a feeling of sadness, fluctuation of moods and a loss of interest in daily activities. Curcumin has shown potential in treating depression.
Curcumin also increases serotonin and dopamine levels that lead to a reduction in symptoms of depression ( 18 ).
Therefore, we see how curcumin in turmeric can be seen as a tool to treat depression. More research and studies can reveal more information about this and hopefully also develop supplements which make it easier to treat depression.
15. Benefits your Skin
Turmeric also helps in curing a lot of your skin issues and benefits your skin immensely.
a) Acne and Acne Scars
Turmeric is seen as an incredible herb which prevents acne and also makes your acne scars disappear. Turmeric is filled with anti-inflammatory and antiseptic qualities. These properties help in keeping the bacteria from spreading more acne, reduces redness, swelling, and blemishes. It also clears your face off acne breakouts.
b) Treats skin conditions
As mentioned before, turmeric has amazing anti-inflammatory and antibacterial elements which work wonders on skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema.
c) Soothes Dry Skin
Along with anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and antibacterial properties, turmeric also has marvelous moisturizing and hydrating qualities.
Turmeric can deeply hydrate and revitalize skin while and also eliminate dryness present in the skin. It naturally speeds up the process of the removal of dead and dry skin cells, protects skin from further damages and maintains soft, supple skin.
d) Reduces Stretch Marks
Stretch marks are extremely common and very annoying to witness. These faded white lines on your skin do no harm but surely isn’t very pleasant to look at.
The curcumin in the turmeric has antioxidative power to penetrate and improve the function of the skin membrane cells. Turmeric will surely help lighten the presence of stretch marks and make you feel at ease.
e) Brightens skin and gives you glowing skin
Turmeric is packed with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory components. These qualities may benefit your skin immensely by brightening, improving your skin complexion, and rejuvenating dull-looking skin.
They may also provide glow and luster to your skin. Lastly, turmeric will bring out the natural glow in your skin and revitalizing it from within.
Now that we have finished looking at the benefits of turmeric, we shall look into the ways to incorporate turmeric in your diets.
How to Incorporate Turmeric in your Diet
i. Turmeric Roots
Turmeric roots may be seen as an amazing addition to your diet. You can either consume it raw (½ inch long piece of root sliced or chopped) or you can also juice it and drink.
ii. Golden Paste
Golden paste is turmeric powder with black pepper powder. Combining black pepper with turmeric increases and enhances curcumin absorption in your body and also provides your body with additional benefits.
1 tsp of turmeric powder with ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper is enough to make the golden paste and should be consumed once or twice a day.
iii. Turmeric Powder
Adding turmeric powder is the easiest way to consume turmeric in your daily diet. Just add turmeric powder in your food and it will be enough to provide your body with the many benefits turmeric has.
iv. Turmeric Milk
A glass of hot milk with a pinch of turmeric and honey can never go wrong. This simple drink has so many benefits that could improve your health. This turmeric milk cures common cold and cough and relieves pain naturally.
v. Turmeric Tea
Turmeric Tea is one of the easiest ways to incorporate turmeric in your diet. Boil some water, add 2 tsps of turmeric and add in honey, lemon or milk to taste. This drink has a unique subtle flavor and it soothes your throat pain and relieves pain.
So we have to come to an end of the compilation providing you with an array of benefits that turmeric provides and also how to incorporate turmeric in your diet in easy ways.
Now that you have learned all the benefits turmeric provides and also learned how to add turmeric in your daily diet, it is important to know that excess of anything shall eventually be harmful for your health.
So you need to be careful of not consuming excessive turmeric as it may have its repercussions.
Risk and Precautions
Some people may have allergic reactions to turmeric. High doses of turmeric have been observed to cause side effects that include nausea, diarrhea, increased menstrual flow, lowered blood pressure, increased risk of bleeding, hyperactive gallbladder contractions and even increased liver function tests.
So as seen before, Turmeric is an amazing herb with many magical medicinal properties but may also have its side effects. So we advise avoiding consuming turmeric in large quantities and make sure you incorporate turmeric in your diet slowly and gradually.
Hope this article helped you in knowing the numerous health and skin benefits of turmeric. Hopefully, you have also learned ways to supplement turmeric in your daily diet to reap all those benefits of turmeric. Stay healthy. Stay happy.