You may have seen the vibrant golden-hued root crop at your local grocery store and wondered what it was—and if you asked, you were likely told it was called turmeric.
What you might not have known is that behind this humble root lies a powerful punch of health benefits that can make a real difference in your day-to-day life. So, just what is turmeric good for? Turns out, the list is quite long!
The ancient remedy has been in use for centuries for a wide range of ailments, but it’s only recently that researchers and medical professionals have studied the properties and unearthed the immense list of benefits of turmeric.
Below we’ll walk through 15 of its many healing applications—from joint pain relief to cognitive improvement:
1. What is Turmeric Good For?
For centuries, turmeric has served as a staple in generations of Indian Ayurvedic medicine and traditional Chinese medicine due to its potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
Whether sipped as a golden latte or eaten in capsule form as turmeric supplements, the turmeric superfood has been linked to improved brain function, joint health, and more.
Its botanical name is Curcuma longa, a member of the ginger family. It is a perennial plant with its rhizome (underground stem) harvested for culinary spices and medicine. It is popularly also awarded the title “Indian saffron”.
The beauty and health benefits of turmeric are quite familiar to India as it is primarily grown there. It is a popular ingredient in many South Asian and Middle East dishes.
1.1 Contains Dietary Curcumin
The holy secret of this spice is Curcumin. Curcuminoid is a plant compound with antioxidant properties—turmeric is known for its deep yellow-orange hue. This spice can do more than just brighten up any dish; it packs numerous potential health benefits for your mind and body alike.
Curcuminoids have been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as “Generally Recognized as Safe”.
1.2. Anti-Inflammatory Properties
Inflammation aids your body’s defense against external invaders and also aids in the restoration of damage. Pathogens such as bacteria might easily take over your body and kill you if there is no inflammation.
Although short-term inflammation is useful, it may become a big concern when it becomes a chronic inflammation and starts attacking your body’s tissues inappropriately.
Turmeric’s major active component is curcumin. Curcumin is strongly anti-inflammatory and is quite a strong antioxidant. Taking turmeric supplements aids the body in combating the harmful consequences of cell oxidation. It works by suppressing the activity of inflammatory enzymes and decreasing inflammatory proteins.
What does this mean for you? Well, studies have shown that turmeric can help reduce the severity of joint and muscle pain caused by conditions like arthritis, as well as help ease stiffness in those areas.
Thanks to its anti-inflammatory effects, it can also be used to treat skin conditions such as psoriasis or eczema.
Additionally, turmeric may help alleviate some symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome(IBS), and Crohn’s disease. Curcumin may also be helpful with oral lichen planus and to prevent blood clots.
As always, if you are experiencing any of these symptoms or illnesses then it is best to consult your doctor before trying any new course of treatment.
However, supplementing your diet with turmeric or adding more turmeric-based products into your routine could be one way to start seeing some health benefits sooner rather than later.
1.3. Reduced Cholesterol Levels
You might be surprised to learn that turmeric can help you lower your cholesterol levels. It accomplishes this by increasing the synthesis of bile acids, which break down lipids and cholesterol in the intestine. This reduces the quantity of cholesterol absorbed into your system.
1.3.1 Turmeric Lowers Cholesterol in What Way?
Curcumin in turmeric inhibits an enzyme known as HMG-CoA reductase, which is responsible for the creation of harmful cholesterol in the body. Turmeric has also been shown in studies to decrease inflammation, which can contribute to lower harmful cholesterol levels.
The health advantages of turmeric do not end there; there are more ways turmeric can assist decrease cholesterol levels. As per traditional medicine knowledge, curcumin may, for example, help with weight reduction, since some studies have shown that it can prevent fat formation and aid in weight control.
Furthermore, evidence shows that frequent use of turmeric may raise HDL (good) cholesterol while decreasing LDL (bad) cholesterol.
Overall, including turmeric in your diet is an excellent method to help decrease your cholesterol.
1.4. Improves Skin Health
One of the best beauty secrets out there is to use turmeric for providing major benefits to the skin. It provides skin with the “golden glow” as it has chock-full antioxidant properties which promote radiant skin health and give anti-inflammation benefits.
Turmeric has anti-microbial, and antioxidant properties that may help in many ways it can be used to treat several skin disorders, including acne, psoriasis, eczema, and skin discoloration.
Turmeric includes potent antioxidants such as curcumin. Curcumin may not only neutralize free radicals damage but also protect the skin from environmental stresses such as pollution. These antioxidants also aid in the creation of collagen and the restoration of damaged skin.
1.4.2 Properties That Reduce Inflammation
Turmeric contains anti-inflammatory qualities that can help decrease skin redness and swelling caused by conditions such as acne or eczema. Its antibacterial characteristics make it an incredible choice for treating acne outbreaks or any other form of skin problem.
1.4.3 Healing Potential
Turmeric’s healing capabilities make it an excellent choice for treating wounds and injuries on the body. Turmeric can be used topically to aid with healing and scar reduction. It may even be used to exfoliate and brighten your skin as a face mask or scrub!
Some people also use turmeric products such as a turmeric-based anti-ageing supplement to reap the skin health benefits of turmeric.
1.4.4 Acne Treatment
Did you know that turmeric may help your skincare routine? Turmeric has antiseptic and antibacterial properties that can benefit the skin in several ways. It is highly effective in the treatment of acne and other inflammatory skin issues due to its high antioxidant content.
A homemade mask made of equal parts turmeric powder and honey can help remove acne-causing bacteria while also lowering irritation.
1.5. Reduces Muscle Pain and Joint Inflammation
What other use does turmeric have? It turns out that this ancient spice may genuinely reduce muscle pain and joint inflammation and related health conditions.
Curcumin, the major element in turmeric, has been shown in tests to reduce joint inflammation, making it a good choice for people who suffer from aches and pains. It is also helpful for blood clots.
1.5.1 Natural Painkiller
Turmeric and turmeric supplements are also natural pain treatments that do not have the bad side effects which are associated with many prescription or over-the-counter drugs. It works exactly as well as those pharmaceutical-based medicines but without any of the potential side effects. What a win-win situation!
The greatest method to benefit from turmeric’s potent anti-inflammatory qualities is to consume it daily. To relieve aches and pains, you can mix turmeric powder into your meals, take turmeric extract pills, or drink turmeric tea.
Turmeric extracts, alone or in combination with other herbal substances, can help persons with knee osteoarthritis reduce pain and improve function. Turmeric may be equally effective as ibuprofen at relieving pain. Yet, it does not appear to function as effectively as another medication known as diclofenac.
1.5.3 Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid Arthritis is a long-term autoimmune condition that causes the body’s defense system to attack itself and the results are inflammation, stiffness, and pain in the joints. Curcumin may improve symptoms of Rheumatoid arthritis.
1.6. Enhances Cognitive Function
You might be shocked to discover that one of turmeric’s benefits is that it aids in the improvement of cognitive ability. In research, turmeric has been found to boost memory, help to learn, and raise overall attention and concentration.
1.6.1 Possibility of Brain Enhancement
Curcumin (the primary active ingredient in turmeric) contains anti-inflammatory properties that can help guard against neurological disorders and common brain disorders and improve the chemical communications delivered throughout the brain. It improves cell communication, which leads to increased functionality.
Turmeric’s anti-inflammatory characteristics make it a promising tool for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease: curcumin protects against the inflammation that damages brain cells, improving cognitive function.
The outcomes of a study involving 60 people suffering from major depressive disorder were published in the journal Phytotherapy Research in 2015. The participants were administered turmeric curcumin, fluoxetine, or a combination of the two.
Curcumin was equally effective as fluoxetine in treating depression after six weeks. Curcumin is often well accepted by persons suffering from depression, according to a meta-analysis published in 2020.
If you want to give your brain a boost, use turmeric in your diet!
1.7. May Aid in The Prevention of Cancerous Cell Development
Did you know that turmeric is known to help inhibit the growth of cancerous cells? How does it accomplish this? Well curcumin, the main ingredient in turmeric, potentially aids in the growth of healthy cells.
Curcumin has been shown in studies to suppress and even kill tumor cell development. Many latest studies are focusing on cancers such as colorectal cancer, colon cancer, breast cancer, and human prostate cancer.
More research is needed to determine how effective curcumin is in preventing cancerous cell growth and cancer treatment, but preliminary results are promising!
1.8. Improves Digestive System and Nutrient Absorption
Digestive health is a key component of overall health and well-being, and research shows that turmeric may be the answer to your digestive issues. It not only assists in the breakdown of fat-soluble vitamins and minerals, allowing for improved absorption.
Turmeric is said to increase bile production in the gallbladder, which assists with food digestion and mineral absorption. Its natural antifungal and antibacterial properties also make it an effective therapy for digestive issues such as Inflammatory bowel disease, IBS, constipation, and bloating.
Curcumin maintenance therapy may help also give a helping hand against ulcerative colitis (UC) as per some studies.
If you want to enhance your gut health, you should consider including turmeric in your diet.
Here are a few suggestions:
- Add turmeric to foods like curries or soups or blend it with curry powder to incorporate it into your everyday diet.
- Every day, try adding a teaspoon of powdered turmeric or 1/4 teaspoon of freshly ground turmeric root powder.
- Make turmeric tea by steeping a teaspoon of powdered or freshly grated root in hot water for 10 minutes.
- Under the physician’s guidance take one capsule of turmeric per day as a herbal supplement.
Turmeric can help you control your blood sugar levels, which may surprise you. Turmeric has been shown in trials to help reduce the risk of developing diabetes by improving glucose control. It also enhances insulin sensitivity, which lowers your risk of developing insulin resistance.
Turmeric’s anti-inflammatory properties, as well as the active element curcumin, make it an ideal supplement for those who want to regulate their blood sugar levels and overall health.
1.9. Blood Sugar Control
It has been shown in research that curcumin can lower blood sugar levels as well as other diabetes-related problems. Curcumin may have a role in diabetes prevention, according to the researchers. It also enhances insulin sensitivity, reducing the likelihood of developing insulin resistance.
More clinical trials with humans are needed for a better understanding of turmeric and curcumin effects.
Before including turmeric in your diet, as with any supplement, consult your doctor with all your health claims. They will be able to provide you with not high doses but a suitable dose suggestion based on different criteria such as age, weight, and underlying medical issues.
Also, for best efficacy, search for top-quality turmeric pills/ curcumin supplements prepared with organic components and containing 95% curcuminoids.
1.10. Improves Immunity
One health advantage of turmeric that you may not be aware of is that it can help increase your immunity. Everyone knows that feeling ill is unpleasant, but studies have shown that taking a turmeric supplement can help strengthen your immune and keep you healthy and free from any chronic disease.
1.10.1 Booster of The Immune System
Curcumin may assist to improve the body’s immune system by stimulating certain immune cells such as T-cells and B-cells, in addition to its anti-inflammatory qualities. This allows your body to fight infections more quickly and efficiently, reducing your chances of being ill.
Turmeric also includes vitamins A, C, and E, which are necessary for maintaining a strong immune system and preventing sickness. There are several ways to include turmeric in your diet, such as adding it to smoothies or juices, dusting it on meals, or including it in tea or soup dishes – all of which will help improve your immune system!
1.11. Natural Liver Cleanser
Turmeric is an excellent natural liver cleanser! According to a study, the active curcumin in turmeric benefits the liver by boosting enzymes involved in the removal of toxins from the body. Thus, if you’re seeking a natural technique to flush out toxins and other impurities, turmeric is a simple, tried-and-true remedy.
It is very beneficial in assisting your body’s natural detoxification process since it can:
- Decrease overall inflammation due to liver disease.
- Assist with digestion
- Cleanse the liver by increasing bile output.
- Enhance antioxidant activity to aid in liver protection.
- Minimize the accumulation of fat in your liver.
Including turmeric in your regimen can help ensure that your body receives the assistance it requires to flush out toxins and execute its natural cleaning tasks.
1.12. Promotes Heart Health
Turmeric has also been demonstrated in studies to benefit heart health. It has been shown to lower bad cholesterol (LDL) and triglyceride levels, both of which are risk factors for heart disease.
It has also been associated with lower blood pressure and increased blood flow, all of which are necessary for a healthy heart.
Participants in one research who took 500 mg of turmeric extract daily for three months had decreased levels of LDL cholesterol and C-reactive protein (CRP), an inflammatory marker linked to heart disease.
Curcumin, the main component in turmeric, is considered to be responsible for these heart-healthy benefits. Curcumin looks to be capable of reducing inflammation and improving endothelial function, which is the lining of your blood vessels.
1.13. May Aid in Prostate Cancer Treatment
Researchers have discovered that turmeric and its derivative, curcumin, can help prevent or cure prostate cancer. The spicy, bitter spice contains anticancer properties that may inhibit the spread and growth of cancerous cells.
1.14. Diverse Use in Recipes and Beverages
What is turmeric good for if it won’t be delicious in dishes and beverages? It not only adds a beautiful yellow-orange color to foods and drinks like curries and turmeric lattes, but it also has nutritional advantages, flavor, and aroma.
Here are some of the many ways to get the health benefits of turmeric as a part of dishes and drinks:
1.14.1 Soups and Curries
Turmeric is frequently used as the main component in curries and soups. It imparts an earthy taste while also supplying some essential nutrients.
1.14.2 Tonics and Teas
Turmeric is brewed with tea or tonic in several cultures to make an immune-boosting beverage. Just add powdered turmeric or freshly ground turmeric root to your favorite herbal tea blend to make this concoction. It’s even blended with ginger root to produce a very warm cup of tea.
1.14.3 Juices and Smoothies
Incorporating turmeric into smoothies or juices is an excellent way to benefit from its natural anti-inflammatory benefits without having to experiment with new foods or recipes.
1.14.4 Bakery Products
A few teaspoons or tablespoons of turmeric powder can be added to baked items such as bread, muffins, cakes, and cookies. The flavor is mild yet detectable in most home-baked goods.
Turmeric’s health advantages are numerous enough that you should consider incorporating this ancient spice into your daily routine, whether you’re adding a pinch of powdered turmeric or utilizing it as an ingredient in your meals!
1.15. Considerations and Side Effects of Turmeric and Curcumin:
- It’s important to understand that turmeric can cause a type of allergic reaction known as contact dermatitis in some people.
- After applying turmeric directly to the skin, some people experience redness, itching, and blisters. Remember that just because turmeric is natural doesn’t mean it’s effective or safe for your skin.
- Another disadvantage of turmeric is its ability to color everything it comes into contact with. Because of this, it is used as a dye in many cultures.
- While turmeric and curcumin treatment(s) are typically healthy, too much of a good thing may be harmful. One worry is that high amounts might harm your kidneys. This is because consuming an excessive amount of curcumin can drastically raise your body’s urine oxalate levels, raising your chance of kidney stone development.
- Because of its limited bioavailability, which appears to be mostly attributable to poor absorption, fast metabolism, and rapid elimination, ingesting curcumin alone does not result in the linked health benefits. Several components can improve bioavailability. For example, the main active component of black pepper called piperine has been demonstrated to improve bioavailability by 2000% when coupled in a complex with curcumin.
1.15.1 What Quantity of Turmeric to Consume?
- To gain the health benefits of turmeric you must try to aim for 500 milligrams (mg) of curcuminoids each day, which is around 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric powder. Doses of 1,500 mg of curcuminoids, or roughly 1-1/2 teaspoons of its powder, per day, may induce adverse effects.
- Turmeric extracts and turmeric supplements can be also used along with or in place of our good old spice.
Turmeric may be the most versatile and helpful natural medicine and an active ingredient to incorporate into your regular diet or supplement regimen. It has several health advantages, including anti-inflammatory activity, antioxidant protection, cardiovascular support, digestive regularity, and much more.
“What is turmeric good for?” is out of the question because There’s a lot to enjoy about this golden-hued spice, whether it’s for lowering inflammation and discomfort or enhancing digestion and heart health. Turmeric has been used for thousands of years, and a new study is revealing further evidence of its potential uses for healing and well-being.
Why not give turmeric a try as a pleasurable and simple method to assist your body stay healthy? Your body will appreciate it afterward.
Read more from us here.