Last Updated on March 12, 2021 by Filip Poutintsev
Turmeric, often referred to as “Indian Saffron” has been used as a spice for centuries in South Asia. Long known for its healing properties, this golden spice comes from the ground root of the Curcuma longa plant that grows in Asia and Central America. The benefits of turmeric are amazing and able to treat a wide range of illnesses. The powerful anti-inflammatory and antiseptic qualities have made this ancient root a precious condiment for ages.
Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, has powerful biological properties. Moreover, a study shows it is even effective in killing cancer.
Before modern medicine, turmeric has been used in the traditional Ayurvedic system to treat a variety of health conditions for thousands of years in the Indian subcontinent.
While the health benefits of turmeric are truly incredible, this yellow root spice has been the topic of controversial research for decades.
Pros of Turmeric
In human studies, curcumin has been tested against various diseases and health conditions with many positive outcomes, some of which are listed below.
Turmeric has an anti-inflammatory property and anything that can help fight chronic inflammation is of potential importance in preventing and even treating chronic diseases. Curcumin in turmeric is a bioactive substance that is so powerful that it fights inflammation at a molecular level just like some anti-inflammatory drugs would, minus the side effects.
2. Increased Antioxidants
Oxidative damage is one of the mechanisms responsible for aging and many diseases. Free radicals can react with organic substances, eventually harming the body. Curcumin protects the body from these free radicals by neutralizing them. Besides, curcumin boosts the antioxidants mechanism in the body.
3. Improved Liver Function
The antioxidant properties of turmeric allow it to prevent oxidative damage to your cells and As mentioned earlier, turmeric increases antioxidants in your body. Since the liver is the organ most exposed to toxins, turmeric helps by protecting it from oxidative damage. This ultimately improves liver performance.
4. Pain Relief
Turmeric supplements can help you relieve pain for inflammatory conditions such as arthritis. Studies suggest that turmeric seems to work as well as ibuprofen in people with arthritis in their knees.
5. Brain Health
Curcumin has been found to boost levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF).
Many brain diseases are linked to reduced levels of BDNF which means turmeric can protect your brain from neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s. Additionally, studies show that it helps ease the symptoms of depression.
6. Heart Health
Heart disease is the number one cause of death in the world and studies show that curcumin may help reverse many steps in the heart disease process by improving the function of the endothelium, which is the lining of your blood vessels.
Studies also show using turmeric as a condiment can significantly lower blood cholesterol levels and suppress plaque build-up in the arteries.
7. Cancer Treatment
Curcumin has been studied as a beneficial herb in cancer treatment and been found to affect cancer growth, development and spread of breast, colon, stomach, and skin cancer at the molecular level.
Moreover, studies show that curcumin stops the growth of new blood vessels in existing tumors contributing to the elimination of cancerous cells.
Research has suggested that taking turmeric could treat and prevent diabetes. Curcumin could decrease the level of glucose in the blood and helps to moderate insulin levels. However, it is always better to consult a physician beforehand.
9. Digestive Aid
Turmeric is anti-inflammatory and antioxidant which allows it to protect your digestive system. Turmeric promotes healthy digestion and nutrient absorption by decreasing gut permeability and gut inflammation. There is even a possibility that it could treat irritable bowel syndrome.
10. Can Treat Skin Conditions
Thanks to its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, turmeric can prove to be magic on various skin conditions. It could speed up wound healing and calm the pores to help reduce acne. It can also prevent scarring and sun damage. It is also perfect for reducing puffiness and under-eye darkness.
Cons of Turmeric
While turmeric is a fabulous herb with surprising health benefits, it’s also quite powerful and can strongly imbalance the body if over-used. Let’s take a look at some of the cons of turmeric.
1. Upset Stomach
Turmeric is known to heat your body which might lead to abdominal pain and cramps. Some people may experience nausea, diarrhea and mild stomach distress, especially when taking high doses for prolonged periods.
2. Blood Thinning
Turmeric is known to be responsible for thinning your blood which might be linked with its benefits, such as lowering cholesterol and blood pressure. Turmeric makes you bleed more easily, so, people who take blood-thinning drugs like should avoid consuming large doses of turmeric.
3. Risk of Developing Kidney Stones
Turmeric contains oxalates, which can form calcium oxalate kidney stones which happen to be the most common type of kidney stones. So, people with kidney stones should avoid turmeric.
4. Allergic Reaction
Some people might have allergic reactions to turmeric, so it is better to consult a dermatologist first. It might cause rashes, outbreaks and even shortness of breath. Allergic reactions can occur from both ingestion and skin contact.
5. Iron Deficiency
Adding too much turmeric in your diet could decrease the body’s ability to absorb iron.
So, people with iron deficiency should be careful not to add too much turmeric in their daily meals because it could decrease the body’s ability to absorb iron.
Although the pros of turmeric health benefits usually outweigh the cons, it’s important to know that there can be some side effects. The Indian Saffron supports immune health, helps relieve pain, and can aid in digestion among other things, but it is better to use caution when using it. As with any other supplements, it’s better to speak to your doctor before incorporating it into your diet.