The Top 5 Uses for Turmeric
Turmeric has been used for its medicinal benefits for over four thousand years. Today, it is still regarded as a “miracle food” for its powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Turmeric contains various compounds known as curcuminoids. Of these curcuminoids, curcumin is the most beneficial, as it contains several medicinal properties. Studies have found, and continue to find, an on-going list of health issues that have seen successful results with the use of turmeric, including thyroid problems, arthritis, cancer, and various skin concerns. As a well-known anti-inflammatory, turmeric has often been used to treat sprains and reduce swelling throughout various parts of the body. Whether you choose to incorporate it as a dietary supplement or use it to prepare food, the benefits of turmeric are astounding and seem never-ending.
Turmeric as an Anti-Inflammatory
The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties in turmeric have long been accredited with the relief of various pain ailments and the reduction of inflammation. In fact, turmeric is even helpful in reducing gum inflammation when used with your toothpaste or mouthwash in its oil extract form. Using turmeric can help fight gingivitis and increase your overall oral health. It is extremely rich in vitamins and nutrients including vitamin B6, iron, fiber, and potassium — to name a few.
A study conducted in Italy focused on 50 patients who suffered from osteoarthritis in their knee. Half of the patients were instructed to continue following their physicians’ instructions while the other half of patients were given turmeric and standard medical care. This three-month study reported a 58% decrease in stiffness and pain by the group of patients taking the turmeric dietary supplement. They also noted their overall physical mobility improved. The study showed a 300% increase in their emotional assessments and attributed this to the turmeric use. Blood tests found a 16-fold decrease in the inflammation marker C-reactive protein. CRP production comes from the liver and is known to increase inflammation. CRP can often lead to various inflammatory diseases, including lupus, heart disease, and certain cancers. The patients using turmeric were able to reduce a substantial percentage of their non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications. In the US alone, there are well over 50 million Americans suffering from arthritis pain so the findings from this turmeric study provided a very promising future for arthritis suffers.
For patients with thyroid conditions, treating inflammation, not infection, of the thyroid gland is often the course of action taken. When the body’s iodine levels are low, the thyroid does not function properly, and inflammation begins to set in. Turmeric is known to be used to reduce proinflammatory cytokines. Turmeric also seems to be responsible for helping to increase the body’s regulatory T cells; an important role in maintaining a healthy immune system to keep autoimmunity in line. Both play a role in reducing thyroid inflammation.
Turmeric and Digestive Health
Not everyone is aware of the importance of having a happy gut. When your digestive system is healthy, it not only improves the entire digestive process, but it allows the necessary nutrients to be absorbed more easily throughout your entire body, reducing various health risks. Using a turmeric dietary supplement helps promote a happy gut that will protect your digestive system and a healthy body. Here’s how it works:
Curcumin helps facilitate the movement of food through your intestines by relaxing the inner wall muscles. It also reduces gas and bloating while the food is in the process of being digested.
Curcumin promotes the health of the colon by assisting with healing and regenerating when there are bacteria or a leaky gut.
Turmeric use increases the stomach’s secretion of mucus, allowing the lining of the stomach to protect itself against gastric acid damage.
Turmeric helps aid in the digestion of fatty nutrients. It stimulates the gallbladder to produce and release bile which will help move cholesterol out, and straight to your colon for removal. Turmeric is extremely beneficial in decreasing the body’s toxicity levels.
Many additional digestive issues, such as abdominal pain and intestinal worms, have been successfully treated using turmeric, mostly due to its ability to reduce inflammation. Other studies have shown that by reducing the activity of the two enzymes that cause inflammation, turmeric helps relieve other gastrointestinal issues such as IBS, indigestion, and ulcerative colitis. One promising study published in the 2012 Cochrane Database for Systemic Reviews reported seeing less recurrence of colitis when turmeric root was given as a dietary supplement to their patients.
Turmeric and Heart health
Turmeric also seems to play an important role in preventing plaque buildup in the arteries. While benefiting the lining of the body’s blood vessels, blood pressure is regulated; decreasing the occurrence of blood clots forming. This preventative benefit helps lower the risk of stroke and heart attack. Some studies found turmeric may even play a large role in lowering cholesterol levels. Take a look at some additional heart health benefits:
Turmeric curcumin has been linked to improving Cardiac Hypertrophy; the thickening of the heart muscle, decreasing the size of the heart’s chambers.
Its use may help in the prevention of Cardiac Arrhythmia; the abnormal rhythm of the heart.
A study on alcohol effects on fetal heart development during pregnancy showed curcumin may help protect against alcohol-related Congenital Heart Disease; defects in the heart at birth.
Turmeric has also been linked to protecting the heart from Ischemia Reperfusion; tissue damage from a lack of blood supply.
The use of turmeric as a dietary supplement before and during treatment may prevent cardiotoxicity due to chemotherapy.
Turmeric and Cancer
As an antioxidant, turmeric helps relieve swelling and inflammation which is known to be an issue with cancer. This suggests that turmeric can act as a very powerful aid in the fight against cancer, while possibly providing treatment benefits. Studies are continuing to find more information on its preventative powers against cancerous cell growth. Turmeric appears to have the ability to protect healthy cells from radiation damage and slow down the rate of cancer growth. Many studies have noted cancer of the prostate, breast, colon, and skin are among those that have already seen these positive results.
Additional studies done on cancer cells have noted that curcumin has an “anti-cancer effect” by appearing to kill cancerous cells while preventing additional cancerous cells from growing. A study done in 2015 found that turmeric curcumin was able to block cell pathways; weakening the production of tumor cells. A study focused on prostate cancer reported findings that suggest curcumin may even put a stop to cancerous fibroblasts; connective tissue cells.
Long-term studies have found that in countries around the world, where turmeric curcumin is used daily and over an extended period of time, fewer cases of various cancers have been reported. People in these areas reported using 100 mg to 200 mg of turmeric a day. Further studies are being done, while these findings continue to shed more light on the possibilities the link between turmeric and cancer may have.
A study was conducted in 2013 on bowel cancer cells and the effects of using turmeric curcumin as a treatment, in combination with chemotherapy treatments. The study came to the conclusion that chemotherapy combined with the use of turmeric curcumin may be more effective than chemotherapy treatment on its own. These findings have generated tremendous interest and support for on-going studies. As the issue of bioavailability continues to be addressed, further studies will be done on the effectiveness of turmeric as a form of cancer treatment.
Turmeric for Skin
There are a number of ways turmeric use can benefit skin concerns. Not only is it a healing agent, but it also possesses beauty secrets you may not realize. You may be surprised by a few of these and just might find yourself trying out a couple of ideas from this list. You should be aware that turmeric does have the ability to leave a temporary yellow tint on your skin, so if you do try one of the beauty tips, be mindful of any upcoming public outings!
Using turmeric has the ability to treat dry scalp, dandruff, scalp itching, and scalp infections. Using it in an oil form is also linked to supporting new hair growth.
The use of turmeric on the skin helps to soothe the sting and itch of insect bites.
It acts as a healing agent when applied to wounds. While it reduces inflammation, it also has the ability to speed up the healing process.
Its leaves are known for being a cooling herb, making the turmeric leaves very beneficial in treating an array of skin conditions such as eczema and rosacea. It helps to calm the redness caused by inflammation, while the cooling sensation helps relieve the itch. It’s nutrients and vitamins work to nourish and repair the skin.
Similarly, these properties can also help with psoriasis. Turmeric reduces flare-ups and associated symptoms.
Many people have even used turmeric to help with the irritation, swelling, and itching caused by chickenpox.
When ground up, turmeric leaves can be used as a topical paste and has been very popular as a facial treatment. Its powerful anti-inflammatory properties help soothe the irritated areas and calm redness while helping to reduce puffiness.
These same properties benefit acne concerns as well. While it helps to clear up acne through its antibacterial properties, it also has the ability to stop bacteria from continuing to spread. Turmeric also addresses the pores and helps reduce the signs of acne scars.
Its antioxidant properties help fight off free radicals and prevent further skin cell damage.
When mixed with apple cider vinegar, turmeric can be used as a daily facial toner to restore the pH balance of your skin.
When mixed with Greek yogurt and honey, it can be used as a face mask to help stimulate circulation to bring out your skin’s natural glow.
When used around the eyes, turmeric can reduce undereye puffiness, while increasing circulation. This helps relieve the dark circles under your eyes, and also provides lightening and brightening effects.
When used in a daily moisturizer, turmeric helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and dark sun damage spots. It can also help guard against UV damage, such as skin elasticity damage.
Turmeric helps prevent and care for stretch marks. Yes, you read that right! The antioxidant properties found in turmeric have the ability to work deep into the skin and boost your skin membrane cell function. One tbsp of a carrier oil, such as virgin olive oil, can be mixed in one tsp of turmeric powder with juice from one lemon wedge and create a paste to apply two times a day.
If you are in need of care for dry skin, turmeric helps move along the skin’s natural exfoliation process. This process removes the dead skin cells, revealing a healthy layer. It also provides hydration, vitamins, and nutrients to promote a healthy glow and help protect your skin cells from future free-radical damage.
Scabies is another skin condition that can be treated by a mixture of turmeric and neem. It calms and clears up the rash caused by these microscopic skin mites.
It’s hard to deny the potential turmeric has to help prevent, relieve, and treat various medical concerns. Whether you choose to use turmeric as a topical treatment, dietary supplement or cooking spice, adding turmeric to your daily regime can help you achieve a healthier body and lifestyle. At Essential Core Nutrition, our goal is to provide you with the knowledge you need to help you achieve these goals. We have created an all-natural dietary supplement that can help you find relief from pain and inflammation that often leads to additional health concerns and risks. Made with BioPerine to increase bioavailability, our Maximum Strength Turmeric Curcumin Complex can reduce the production of the body’s harmful inflammatory factors. Visit us today to learn more and to start the healing process.