Turmeric is one of the most popular spices among the health conscious individuals nowadays. This is not surprising at all, as numerous studies conducted in recent years have found that this spice has a wide range of medicinal uses, from beauty treatments, to healing external wounds, reducing inflammation, and improving digestive health.
But, how do you use turmeric and what are the different forms it comes in? Continue reading to find out more!
What is Turmeric?
Turmeric is made up of hundreds of different compounds, with each one having its own unique properties. The most important compound found in turmeric is curcumin (it comprises around 2-9 percent of the turmeric root). This ingredient is responsible for the majority of the therapeutic effects of this spice, and it is one of the most widely studied compound around the world.
Health Benefits of Turmeric:
- Strong Anti-Inflammatory Properties
- Reduces the Risk of Cancer
- Alleviates Allergies
- Relieves Arthritis Pain
- Treats Depression
- Keeps Diabetes Under Control
- Reduces the Risk of Heart Attack
Turmeric for Inflammation!
What is Inflammation?
Inflammation can be simply described as the body’s way to self-protect. The aim of inflammation is to remove harmful stimuli, such as damaged cells, irritants, or pathogens, and to begin the healing process. There are 2 types of inflammation – acute inflammation and chronic inflammation. Acute inflammation occurs within seconds to minutes after an injury, and can quickly become severe, however, it is often essential for the repair of damaged tissues. Chronic inflammation, on the other hand, occurs over longer times – it can last for months or even years.
The Effects of Inflammation on the Health!
Inflammation can affect your health in many different ways. Since chronic inflammation lasts for several months and even years, certain medical conditions can start to develop, such as obesity, arthritis, heart disease, and cancer.
In most cases, the main cause for chronic inflammation is unhealthy lifestyle. According to an article published by Dr. Mercola, both cancer and cardiovascular diseases have a strong link with chronic inflammation, which stimulates the production of free radicals.
There are many natural options that can reduce inflammation more effectively than most anti-inflammatory medications. Adding turmeric to your diet is definitely one of the most reliable options, because it significantly increases the levels of antioxidants in your body; these are the agents that help reduce inflammation.
The Difference between Whole Turmeric and Supplements?
The main difference between whole turmeric and turmeric supplements is in the amount of curcumin. For example, you can get a whooping 500mg of curcumin in supplement form (like capsule), while 1 teaspoon of turmeric will only give you about 15mg of this powerful compound. These facts clearly show that using supplements is the best way to experience the healing properties of curcumin.
However, you should also continue to use both whole turmeric and powdered turmeric, because they also have many health benefits, and provide a rich flavor to your meals.
NOTE: For best therapeutic effects, look for products standardized for 95% curcuminoids that also contain piperine or black pepper extract.
Side Effects of Turmeric Supplements
You should avoid taking turmeric supplements if:
- You are pregnant – it increases the risk of miscarriage.
- You are trying to conceive – it could add to your difficulties.
- You are suffering from gallstones or gallbladder disease – it may worsen your problems.
- You are taking medications that slow clotting (like aspirin) – it increases the risk of bleeding and bruising
- You are suffering from stomach issues – it may cause gastric irritation, nausea and/or diarrhea.
- You are taking diabetes medication – it increases the risk of hypoglycemia
- You are suffering from iron deficiency
- You are scheduled for surgery in the next 2 weeks – it increase the risk of bleeding
Here are the recommended doses of turmeric for adults, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center:
- Cut root: 1.5 to 3 grams daily
- Dried, powdered root: 1 to 3 grams daily
- Fluid extract (1:1): 30 to 90 drops daily
- Tincture (1:2): 15 to 30 drops, 4 times per day
- Standardized powder supplement: 400 to 600 mg, 3 times per day