8 Impressive Health Benefits of Turmeric

by Dr. Edward Group DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM Published on , Last Updated on

A bowl of organic turmeric. Turmeric provides an abundance of antioxidants capable of supporting cellular health.Turmeric, also known as Curcuma longa, is an ancient spice that has remained popular in India and Asia since 2,000 BC. The spice belongs to the ginger family and is a prized component of the culinary traditions of these cultures. Turmeric imparts a vibrant yellowish hue to curry dishes, and the spice is used as a natural dyeing agent for cloth.

Curcuminoids are the main phytochemicals that give turmeric its most impressive and wide-ranging health benefits. Amazingly, over 9,000 medical and clinical research studies have evaluated turmeric and curcumin and yielded a wealth of positive information.

There are three main phytochemicals in the curcuminoid family that are responsible for turmeric’s health benefits: diferuloylmethane (or curcumin, the primary curcuminoid responsible for turmeric’s vibrant yellowish color), demethoxycurcumin, and bisdemethoxycurcumin. In addition to these three chemicals, turmerone is a potent volatile oil found in the root.

Research has shown that these curcuminoids communicate with 160 mechanisms and pathways in the body to support a wide range of processes, including brain health, cardiovascular health, tissue health, and more.[1, 2]

8 Health Benefits of Turmeric

Turmeric provides an abundance of antioxidants capable of supporting cellular health, but what does that mean for you? Here are some of the most well-researched benefits of turmeric.

1. Promotes Balanced Mood

A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study published in the Journal of Affective Disorders reported noticeable and promising results with turmeric for supporting a balanced mood. Two groups were studied. The first group received curcumin daily, while the other received placebo. After eight weeks, the mood and anxiety score tests completed by all of the participants showed significant symptom improvements compared to placebo. Could turmeric be a potential new option for stabilizing mood?[3]

2. Helps Wounds Heal

Cut your finger? A study in the Sept 2014 issue of Life Sciences found that the curcumin in turmeric offers beneficial properties that appear to accelerate the wound healing process by soothing irritation and oxidation. As more research evaluates turmeric’s ability to support the body’s natural healing abilities, the breadth of applications could be enormous.[4]

An exciting study in the October 2006 issue of Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry demonstrated the efficacy of a topical turmeric application for wounds in rats. The results showed that turmeric supported collagen synthesis rates, improved wound contraction, and increased tissue strength and cell proliferation around the wound. Turmeric also showed antioxidant properties that helped the healing process.[5]

3. Eases Aches and Discomfort

An impressive study completed and published in the March 2014 issue of the Journal of Clinical Interventions in Aging examined the effect of turmeric on knee discomfort. Results showed that turmeric experienced relief on par with more conventional options. The turmeric group, however, seemed to enjoy more relief from joint stiffness. Those taking turmeric reported significantly fewer side effects than those following mainstream-oriented action plans.[6] A double-blind, placebo-controlled study in the December 2011 issue of Surgical Endoscopy looked at turmeric supplementation on postoperative discomfort and fatigue. Patients taking turmeric experienced significantly less discomfort compared to placebo.[7]

4. Encourages Balanced Blood Sugar

A novel investigative study published in the Nov 2014 issue of the Journal of Endocrinology looked at the effects of curcumin on insulin-producing cells within the pancreas called Beta cells (or B-cells) and Islet cells, in relation to imbalanced blood sugar. Researchers addressed B-cell lines and human Islet cells with preparations of turmeric and observed positive benefits.[8]

5. Soothes Irritated Tissue

Turmeric is valuable in helping soothe excess irritation. The swelling response is a healthy and natural mechanism the body uses to usher soothing compounds during times of crises or repair. It’s believed that most people in today’s toxic, stress-laden environment are under constant pressure and the tissue in their body is irritated, red, and swollen as a result. A review published in the 2007 issue of Advances of Experimental Medicine noted the soothing effect of turmeric is likely exerted through its ability to inhibit enzymes that irritate tissue.[9, 10]

6. Loosens Stiff Joints

A randomized, pilot clinical study published in the November 2012 issue of Phytotherapy Research set out to determine the effectiveness of turmeric for active joint discomfort. One group received the standard-of-care medication while the other received turmeric. Patients were given symptom score sheets to assess results. Turmeric outperformed the other option on all levels and was relatively free of adverse side effects.[11]

7. Encourages Normal Lipid Levels

Turmeric’s ability to encourage normal lipid profiles has been hypothesized and studied since the 1990s with varying levels of benefits. Some studies show an impressive reduction in lipid profiles for turmeric-supplemented groups. One randomized, single-blind clinical study published in the November 2011 issue of Phytotherapy Research investigated turmeric’s effect on lipid levels. Group participants were given either curcumin from turmeric in small or large servings; a control group was given vitamin E only. After just seven days, the results proved statistically significant. Small servings of turmeric produced the most favorable and balancing effects on lipid profiles.[12]

The results of a seven-day trial showed the curcumin-supplemented participants had better lipid profile numbers. Most importantly, these studies show that turmeric is consistently safe and has very low risk of side effect.[13]

8. Supports the Stomach Lining

India has long used turmeric in curry dishes as a taste and color enhancer. One reason for its longstanding popularity is because of its soothing properties on digestion. Researchers tested the protective effects of turmeric on the lining of the stomach against acidic preparations used to induce stomach ulcers. A preparation containing turmeric essential oils was administered before the ethanol and it was observed that turmeric protected the cells in the stomach and damage was reduced. In addition, turmeric also appears to offer some impressive protection for stomach ailments.[14]

Supplementing with Turmeric

There are a lot of turmeric supplements on the market; some better than others. Only purchase organic products from reputable companies. Because turmeric is so popular, there are many low-quality products produced under questionable circumstances. If you’re in the market for a turmeric supplement, we recently released a liquid turmeric extract. I’m really proud of it and the feedback has been incredible.

I’d like to hear from people who’ve supplemented with turmeric. How has it affected your life? Leave a comment below and share your experience.

References

  1. Sahdeo Prasad and Bharat B. Aggarwal. Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects. Turmeric, the Golden Spice From Traditional Medicine to Modern Medicine. 2nd edition. Ch 13.
  2. Zhou H, Beevers CS, Huang S. The targets of curcumin. Curr Drug Target. 2011 Mar 1;12(3):332-47.
  3. Lopresti AL, Maes M. Curcumin for the treatment of major depression: a randomised, double-blind, placebo controlled study. J Affect Disord. 2014 Oct;167:368-75. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2014.06.001.
  4. Akbik D, Ghadiri M, et al. Curcumin as a wound healing agent. Life Sci. 2014 Sep 6. pii: S0024-3205(14)00703-6. doi: 10.1016/j.lfs.2014.08.016.
  5. Panchatcharam M, Miriyala S. Curcumin improves wound healing by modulating collagen and decreasing reactive oxygen species. Mol Cell Biochem. 2006 Oct;290(1-2):87-96.
  6. Kuptniratsaikul V, Dajpratham P. Efficacy and safety of Curcuma domestica extracts compared with ibuprofen in patients with knee osteoarthritis: a multicenter study. Clin Interv Aging. 2014 Mar 20;9:451-8. doi: 10.2147/CIA.S58535.
  7. Agarwal KA et al. Efficacy of turmeric (curcumin) in pain and postoperative fatigue after laparoscopic cholecystectomy: a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study. 2011 Dec; 25(12):3805–10.
  8. Rouse M, Younès A. Resveratrol and curcumin enhance pancreatic β-cell function by inhibiting phosphodiesterase activity. J Endocrinol. 2014 Nov;223(2):107-17. doi: 10.1530/JOE-14-0335.
  9. Menon VP, Sudheer AR. Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2007;595:105-25.
  10. Chainani-Wu N. Safety and anti-inflammatory activity of curcumin: a component of tumeric. J Altern Complement Med. 2003 Feb;9(1):161-8.
  11. Chandran B1, Goel A. A randomized, pilot study to assess the efficacy and safety of curcumin in patients with active rheumatoid arthritis. Phytother Res. 2012 Nov;26(11):1719-25. doi: 10.1002/ptr.4639.
  12. Pungcharoenkul K, Thongnopnua P. Effect of different curcuminoid supplement dosages on total in vivo antioxidant capacity and cholesterol levels of healthy human subjects. Phytotherapy Research 2011 Nov; 25(11):1721–26.
  13. Soni KB, Kuttan R. Effect of oral curcumin administration on serum peroxides and cholesterol levels in human volunteers. Indian J Physiol Pharmacol. 1992 Oct;36(4):273-5.
  14. Liju VB, Jeena K. Gastroprotective activity of essential oils from turmeric and ginger. J Basic Clin Physiol Pharmacol. 2014 Apr 21.

†Results may vary. Information and statements made are for education purposes and are not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. Global Healing Center does not dispense medical advice, prescribe, or diagnose illness. The views and nutritional advice expressed by Global Healing Center are not intended to be a substitute for conventional medical service. If you have a severe medical condition or health concern, see your physician.

  • dkshaw

    What would be a typical daily amount of turmeric ingested to achieve beneficial, measurable effects on general health? Anyone?

  • Man on the street

    I understand that there is a pill form for

  • Lucy

    Yes, there is. You can get it on Amazon.

  • zimmett

    I’ve been using Turmeric for about 2 years. I had pain in my knee and this stuff really works. I take 1 500mg tablet daily and I would not go with out it. I purchase it at Walmart for about $5 or $6 dollars.90capsules. It also works well for arthritis.

  • Sandra Benefield

    Been Taking Turmeric now for 2 years and it does seem to help with inflammation soreness in my fingers, I started taking 1000 MG because i heard it was a cancer protecting agent & have been on it since

  • This is great information! Using turmeric for inflammation, aches and pains really appeals to me. I am just beginning to get those inflammation issues that we sometimes get as we age. Adding a turmeric supplement and more turmeric into my diet every day has helped to significantly reduce inflammation in my hands and fingers.

    I’ll admit, I had a hard time believing that turmeric’s anti-inflammatory benefits were more than just hype. But one I began taking it, it was amazing how quickly it started to change how I felt. Know I am telling everyone I know that turmeric is one of the best natural anti-inflammatories available to us.

  • Bella

    Has helped me so much with psorasis. That and a anti-inflammatory diet. Wow! My skin is healing! Try it!

  • Betty Evoy Perkins

    I have arthritis in my knees, hands, & fingers and nothing has helped the pain. I started taking Tart Cherry with Turmeric (also has some ginger, cayenne pepper & quercertin in it) a few months ago – the pain is probably 90% gone!! I LOVE this!!!

  • Lulupc

    Am interested in an answer to Dkshaw question

  • Zoila Kanikapila

    I’ve felt a big difference since I’ve used it I had high cholesterol and sugar and knee problems with inflammation after getting a shot of kenelog. But know I feel like a 100%better taking a natural supplement that’s organic powder turmeric

  • Zoila Kanikapila

    Amen

  • Roxane

    I have been supplementing with turmeric for the past 6 to 7 months for my IBS and aches and pains of menopause. But surprisingly it had a big effect on my cholesterol. My results were 7.3 in April and my last result was two weeks ago and went down to 5.9 almost mortal level which recommended to be at 5.5. And LDL went from 4.6 to 3.6 which almost to recommended level of 3.5. No matter what I will NEVER take statins! I am only taking 1 capsule a day which is really half the recommended dose. So pretty happy with that!

  • Roxane

    I meant almost “normal” level. Oh dear ! Sorry for typo mistake!

  • Michael (NW)

    Is there something other than black pepper that can be used to help absorb tumeric/curcumin? I’m not supposed to eat black pepper. Not on my good food list. 🙂 Thank you.

  • Jennifer R Duncan

    Does anyone have recipes? I’ve been making turmeric and ginger tea but I would rather EAT the roots

  • Nicolas Nicoli

    It is also good for the prostate! my dad had to face strong prostate problems and He tried with different methods, turmeric helped him and he also takes a supplement named alpharise, it is really good and has no side effects because it is natural.

  • ohyan2919

    1/2 to 1 & 1/2 teaspoons

  • No_More_Obama

    I’m 79 and have been taking turmeric curcumin for the past 2 weeks for arthritis inflammation. I have noticed a huge improvement with regard to daily pain. My doctor did not want me to take it because it’s a blood thinner and I take Warfarin to thin my blood to avoid stroke. However, he agreed as long as my blood levels are closely monitored. So far, they have been just fine and I’m thrilled to find something that’s so beneficial in many ways.

  • Sarah Anderson

    I just started making a tea, with fresh turmeric and ginger. Very excited to see the health benefits from an extended period of use. Going to have one cup in the morning afternoon, maybe post work out, one before bed. I’ll let you know my results!


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