Does that title look like an overambitious one? Well, it may, but it is 101% true that benefits of turmeric beat most medications if administered correctly. This spice is the spirit of Indian households, and the one that is responsible for the resplendent yellow color in those mouth-watering Indian curries. But, guess what, it is not only for aesthetic reasons that turmeric is a staple in the Indian kitchens, but also because it is so replete with medicinal virtues than any herb or spice on the face of the earth. Interestingly, it is one of the compounds – curcumin– and not all the constituents of turmeric, that make it so virtuous. It does not only impart turmeric its magically healing qualities but also its bright yellow color.
The accolades of this spice have traveled so far and wide that as many as 6000+ studies have made curcumin its subject, hailing it as one of the most charismatic compounds with medicinal properties which many how shown surpass the benefits of pharmaceutical medication. As a matter of fact, curcumin, they say, more often than not, proves to be more effective than prescription drugs for maladies as fatal as cancer.
So, here is a round-up of what turmeric benefits can do for you.
- An Edge over Chemotherapy
While chemotherapy has taken its place in the minds of most Americans as the standard for cancer of all sorts, we cannot deny the fact that it does leave a weak body behind it, and it takes a lot of time to recover after your chemo is over. When it comes to studying the effectiveness of turmeric, it must be acknowledged that it is cancer studies that turmeric has really proven itself. Even the most prestigious authorities on cancer, like Cancer Research UK, have conducted several studies on the anticarcinogenic effects of turmeric (curcumin, in particular). It turns out it is apparently quite capable of fighting off cancer cells, and in preventing its re-growth too! However, the best effects have been seen on the cells of stomach cancer, breast cancer, skin cancer and colon cancer. Also for those who are shy about abandoning chemo, when this compound was combined with chemotherapy, the results were better than what chemo alone could provide. The latest of the studies also hint on its marvelous effects in plummeting the size of malignant tumors, ultimately leading the obliteration of cancer cells.
The mode by which the active component, curcumin, does this in the body is absolutely fascinating.
Though cancer really occurs because cells don’t commit suicide like they should, curcumin actually activates the death receptors through many different means. One particularly interesting way is by activating enzymes that literally chop up the proteins within these mutinous cancer cells. One of the reasons cancer cells do not develop some sort of resistance to curcumin like they do with chemo drugs is because curcumin activates the cells death in many different ways. Why it doesn’t kill normal healthy cells is a bit of a mystery, but this phenomenon reinforces the reputation turmeric has for bringing the body back into balance.
All this being true, it is still important to remember that absorb turmeric properly, your body needs healthy fats and/or black pepper along with this marvelous spice. Warming the spice through cooking is also a great way to make this marvelous effect or turmeric real for you and your situation.
Inflammation issues can be solved with turmeric in a reasonable time
- A Safer Option than Anti-inflammatory Drugs
Evidently, based on all research that has been carried out till date, controlling inflammation is the most powerful virtue that curcumin possesses. Several compounds contained in it are an absolute antidote for inflammation. Also, these were found to be far more effective than aspirin as well as ibuprofen. And, these results were published in the Oncogene journal. As a matter of fact, curcumin is the most potent anti-inflammatory on the face of the earth. What is interesting is that so many maladies like arthritis, cancer (of so many kinds), chronic pain, cardiovascular diseases, ulcerative colitis, etc., can very well be a result of inflammation. So, if you have one panacea that can nip all evil in the bud, then why not have it when there is still time?
It’s hard to argue with turmeric’s power of safe pain relief
3. Kills Pain More Efficiently than Analgesics
This virtue of turmeric (curcumin) is one of the most well-accepted ones, and so many of the medical authorities agree on it. It kills pain better than painkillers and, if you are thinking of turmeric side effects, you will have none, if you keep the dosage right. That is so much unlike the case of standard analgesics, even Tylenol, that could even lead you to liver failure in the long run. The European Journal of Pharmacology published the finding that not only is curcumin an effective pain reliever in case of diabetic pain conditions, but also in all sort of pain like that related to arthritis, inflammation, internal and external injuries.
4. Better Boost than Anti-depressants
It has already been suggested by scores of studies that turmeric helps treat so many symptoms of depression in animals. But, that’s just the beginning. The Phytotherapy Research Journal published some amazing observations about the antidepressant effects of turmeric. The results on 60 volunteers with major depressive disorders were all quite significant. It came out that curcumin proved to be as potent as Prozac when it came to managing the symptoms of depression. As a therapy, with Prozac, or without, it can work very well, even for mild depression.
- The Best Bet for Diabetes
Turmeric is such good news for people suffering from diabetes, one of the most sinister killers in the world. The crucial role of insulin in the condition of diabetes is very well maintained by turmeric. Adding this spice to your diet can actually work wonders for you. It does not only help in staving off the malady before it arrives, but also possesses the ability to reverse the condition once it has arrived. In fact, it proved to be 400 times more effective than a common diabetes drug called Metformin. It helps treat many insulin resistance related issues as well as hyperglycemia. Moreover, because curcumin also has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, it is effective in treating inflammation that usually leads to complications in diabetes (infection, blindness, etc.).
- The Safest Alternative to Anticoagulants
Let’s face it, there comes a time, when many of us depend on anticoagulants like Aspirin, Enoxaparin, Naproxen, Diclofenac, Ibuprofen, Warfarin, etc., for preventing blood clotting. Unfortunately enough, these prescription drugs do not come without side effects as disastrous as hemorrhaging. Even if we count that as extreme, there are always short term adverse effects like short breath, headaches, dizziness, backache, etc. Turmeric, here, works as a much safer option. It works very well as a blood thinner because its side effects are as good as nil if turmeric dosage is limited. In fact, all is good as long as you are not consuming it excessively. Moreover, it has proven to be a better option for those suffering from vascular thrombosis.
Turmeric is much safer with rheumatoid arthritis as it heals the stomach instead of hurting it
- Much More Relieving than Arthritis Medication
Now that we know that turmeric has analgesic as well anti-inflammatory benefits, it only makes sense how turmeric may be helpful in managing the symptoms, as well as the condition of RA (rheumatoid arthritis). When studies were conducted on RA patients, it was deduced that curcumin, the primary compound in turmeric, was much more helpful in relieving pain and the condition of arthritis than Voltaren (diclofenac sodium), the drug that is most prescribed for relieving pain in RA. Turmeric not only works better than diclofenac sodium, but also shows results when the drug and curcumin work together. Turmeric side effects were, however, found to be nil for not only RA patients but also for those for those with all kinds of arthritis.
- Treats Gastrointestinal Ailments More Reliably than Drugs
Those suffering from gastrointestinal troubles like inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), face one sure problem with drugs – intolerance. Why? Because, the drugs can end up damaging the mucosal lining of the stomach since the flora of the stomach is already in a bad shape in such people. Curcumin, on the other hand, has the ability to manage gastrointestinal ailments as bad as IBD and ulcerative colitis by not only minimizing inflammation and infection, but also by relieving the pain. Luckily, turmeric dosage that is not excessive shows no side-effects at all, and as it brings down inflammation in the intestine, it also fosters the growth of probiotics inside the gut to bring the microbiome of the body back to normal.
It is common knowledge that steroids do a great job at treating diseases and physical conditions in a very short span of time, but that they also have really bad side effects. Nevertheless, if you want the same kind of effectiveness but with a safer situation, curcumin is the best bet for obtaining relief in conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma, psoriasis, lupus, etc. While steroids only work to suppress the condition, curcumin works in-depth to deal with and reverse the underlying cause. The greatest advantage that the compound offers is, indeed, that there are no side-effects. Many reputable holistic doctors have also given evidence to prove it can even help you prevent, as well as treat, maladies like asthma, renal and thyroid problems, indigestion, insomnia, high blood pressure, tachycardia, and even acne.
- Cholesterol Control (Statin) Drugs
Rising cholesterol is one of the most common problems with people who have a sedentary, passive lifestyle. High levels of bad cholesterol are nothing but an open invitation to diabetes as well as cardiovascular diseases. Statin drugs like Simvastatin, the ones that are prescribed to bring down the levels of bad cholesterol, can do their job fairly well, but they are surely bad news for the liver and the kidneys. What they do not address is the root cause – high blood pressure and inflammation. Thankfully, curcumin does. It does kind of an all-round action and addresses the root causes very well.
However, integrating turmeric it in your cooking regime (though you are able to take proportionally more if you do so) may not help much as it will not provide you the purest benefits of turmeric . Getting hold of curcumin extract (an authentic one) is a great way to get maximum results. One big reason is that while it gives you the best qualities of turmeric, it also ensures a measured dosage.
So let me ask you a question: Will it be turmeric, medication, or both?
Of course the question is a bit glib. After all, as Hippocrates said: Your medicine IS your food. So taking one type of medication with another usually takes a little planning and checking, and maybe even consulting.
So, consider this:
- Turmeric can interact or make stronger conventional medications like blood-thinning medications including warfarin (Coumadin), aspirin, and NSAIDs stronger
- Since it naturally increases stomach acid (which can be a good thing), it shouldn’t be taken with stomach acid blockers like Tagamet or Nexium.
- Since it lowers blood sugar (usually a good thing), it should not be taken with diabetes medication
In other words, in a certain sense, turmeric can be TOO effective to be taken with some medications, because it simply does what it has been doing for thousands of years: promoting the proper functioning of the body so people can get on with their lives.
For many of us, thinking of life without medication (even an “innocent Tylenol”, ie the one that actually sends over 1000 people a year to the emergency room) is tough.
Sure, our pharmaceutical concoctions give us a lot of comfort because they work fast. But that’s not usually the best policy when you are trying to make an investment in your health. Traditional wisdom, born out by time, is that the turtle, indeed, wins the race every time because slow, steady (preventative and conservative) progress is better than the quick (Russian roulette) shot in the dark we often get from modern medicine.
Make the easy slow investments in your health with spices like turmeric and ginger, so you can reap the rewards of an old age not plagued by sickness, medical bills, and uncomfortable medical devices.
Want to give turmeric a try, whether, in your everyday cooking, baking, hot beverages, and sweets, or simply in its natural form as a supplement?
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