12 Turmeric Benefits to Rival Medications
7 minute read
Turmeric may be your favorite spice to add to curried dishes, but it can do so much more. Used for centuries in ancient Chinese and Indian medicine, turmeric provides countless health benefits.
Curcumin, the key ingredient in turmeric, possesses powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties which allow it to be a natural and effective treatment option for numerous health problems.
You can’t get through a medicine commercial these days without hearing the seamlessly ending list of potential side effects. As advanced as the medical world has become, there is no way to develop new drugs and medications without possible side effects.
Sadly, some of these side effects are dangerous and cause harm that outweighs the benefits of the medication. Turning to natural options, like turmeric, is quickly becoming the way forward.
Why Turmeric Should Be in Your Medicine Cabinet
1. Fights Inflammation
One of the most substantial benefits of curcumin is its ability to control inflammation. With inflammation being linked to several serious diseases including, asthma, irritable bowel syndrome, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and cancer, a powerful anti-inflammatory option is a good ally to have.
| Related: Turmeric: The Natural Anti-Inflammatory |
When compared to the leading NSAID medications, curcumin or turmeric supplements have been shown to be more effective in controlling inflammation.
2. Blood Clot Prevention
Blood clotting is a natural reaction that prevents you from losing too much blood. For some people, however, blood clots (thrombus) can be dangerous. Larger blood clots can become dislodged and travel through the body interfering with blood flow.
| Related: Why Turmeric Can Keep Old Age at Bay |
Studies have shown that turmeric effectively reduces the risk of blood clot formation by preventing excessive platelet aggregation.
3. Reduces Depression
Curcumin appears to have an impact on neurotransmitter function within the brain, which has caused researchers to investigate its potential for treating depression. Turmeric is natural, so it is easier for people to tolerate when compared to the leading anti-depressant medications.
| Related: What Is the Best Diet to Fight Depression? |
With no adverse side effects and significant improvement in depressive symptoms, turmeric is a more effective and natural treatment choice for depression and other mood disorders.
4. Natural Detoxifier
Your body is exposed to dietary and environmental toxins every day, and a buildup of these toxins in your system can lead to oxidative damage, uncontrolled inflammation, and organ failure. Your liver is responsible for detoxifying the body, but when toxin levels are too high, the liver gets overwhelmed.
Turmeric helps support the liver’s detoxification process and allows for more efficient removal of dangerous chemicals and toxins. By ridding the body of these potential carcinogenic compounds, you are protected from serious diseases, including cancer.
5. Promotes Skin Health
Inflammation is the major cause of acne, psoriasis, and other skin problems. By controlling the inflammatory response, turmeric supplements, or a topical solution can prevent outbreaks and promote a healthy glow.
You should be advised that turmeric can stain the skin so you should always test topical creams on a patch of skin first.
6. Cancer Prevention and Treatment
With no cure for cancer, the search for effective treatment and preventative options never stops. Curcumin has been shown to possess anti-cancer properties and can trigger cancer cell apoptosis (cell death), which prevents cancer cells from developing and spreading.
| Related: Can Turmeric Help Prevent Cancer? |
This powerful spice has also been shown to work in the face of chemo-resistant forms of cancer, making it a stronger option than many medications.
7. Diabetes Management
Studies have found that curcumin is more effective in activating enzymes that help control blood glucose levels in diabetic patients. Additionally, curcumin helps to reduce peripheral neuropathic pain that is associated with diabetes.
Curcumin also protects your kidneys, which can prevent kidney damage that often develops in severe cases of diabetes. Diabetic nerve pain is also relieved with regular use of turmeric extracts.
8. Digestive Support
Ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, and irritable bowel syndrome are all serious digestive troubles caused by inflammation. While NSAID medications are usually prescribed to control the inflammation, they can eventually cause additional stomach problems such as ulcers and damage to the intestinal lining.
Curcumin or turmeric supplements do not cause these additional problems and effectively control the inflammation that causes digestive problems.
9. Fight Obesity
Obesity has been known to trigger inflammatory responses, which have a negative impact on your health. Turmeric supplements help suppress the inflammation associated with obesity, which promotes healthier living.
Studies also found that regular curcumin consumption resulted in the reduced proliferation of fat cells, meaning less fat was available in the body. The less fat there is stored in your body, the less risk you have for becoming overweight.
10. Natural Pain Reliever
Curcumin extract stimulates the opioid system, which can help provide natural pain relief. Studies have found that turmeric therapy can help to efficiently heal wounds, sooth burn pains, relieve diabetic nerve pain, reduce arthritis- and inflammatory-related pains, and relieve pain caused by surgeries, injuries, and even dental procedures.
11. Controls Cholesterol Levels
Oxidative stress damages blood vessels, which allow cholesterol to build up and clog arteries. Cholesterol medications can be used to reduce this buildup, but they have been known to cause renal and hepatic damage in the process.
Because of the dangers of these statin medications, people are turning to turmeric for controlling oxidative stress and inflammation, which will provide better control over cholesterol levels.
12. Better Arthritis Treatment
One of the most common inflammatory diseases is arthritis, and it impacts the lives of millions. Painful joints can severely disrupt the quality of life, and to date, there is no definitive cure. NSAID medications are the standard option for treatment, but overuse comes with serious side effects, such as stomach ulcers and leaky gut syndrome.
Studies have shown that turmeric extract effectively treats arthritis conditions through control of the inflammatory response without the side effects.
The Bottom Line
The results are in, and they say that turmeric is more than just a flavorful and colorful spice. Turmeric, or more specifically, curcumin, is a powerful compound that delivers a multitude of health benefits.
With all the positive results for your health and limited, rare side effects, turmeric is becoming a preferred option over most medications. You should always follow the recommendations of your physician when it comes to your health, but turmeric may be a powerful option to consider.