Turmeric : The Czar of Spices
Turmeric the golden spice & superfood Czar needs no introduction but DID YOU KNOW archeologists have found traces of Turmeric which date back to 2500 BCE in the cooking pots which were excavated in the dig sites in New Delhi?. DID YOU ALSO know that Curcumin, the chemical compound found in raw organic turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties that rival those found in ibuprofen and it can shoo super bugs? Well now you know and you have more fun facts to share the next time you use turmeric in food, in a face mask or in a drink.
What is the chemical composition of Turmeric?
Turmeric (the rhizome of Curcuma longa Linn.) has been used as a spice and colouring agent for centuries. It consists of Curcuminoids and more than 300 naturally occurring components including beta-carotene, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), calcium, flavonoids, fiber, iron, niacin, potassium, zinc and other nutrients but the chemical in turmeric linked to its most highly touted health effects is curcumin which has hepatoprotective, neuroprotective, cardioprotective, hypoglycemic, antirheumatic, and antidiabetic activities. Recently research indicated that the ar-turmerone, α-turmerone, and β-turmerone were the biologically active constituents in the essential oil, and proved their antimicrobial, antioxidative, anti-inflammatory activity and anticancer potentials.
What are the health benefits of turmeric?
Medical researchers have found raw turmeric to have the following benefits for humans
Curcumin in Turmeric helps fight virus and other forign invaders. Researchers from Virginia’s National Center for Biodefense and Infectious Diseases found curcumin stopped the potentially deadly Rift Valley Fever virus from multiplying in infected cells. Lead researcher Aarthi Narayanan said “It may interfere with how the virus manipulates the human cell to stop the cell from responding to the infection.”
Aphrodisiac & Happiness
Turmeric paste is applied to new weds as it is a strong Aphrodisiac. It has also been shown to enhance brain chemicals such as noradrenalin and serotonin which enhance the production of dopamine, the happiness hormone.
Researchers have concluded that people with arthritis and tendinitis should use Turmeric internally and externally to reduce pain and inflammation.
Heart Protection & reduction in blood sugar
Curcumin is known to reduce levels of sugar in the blood and harmful cholesterol thereby protecting the heart.
Fight against Cancer
Curcumin facilitates changes on the molecular level that may help prevent and even treat cancer. New evidence from the University of Leicester reveals that curcumin may significantly reduce the painful side effects of bowel cancer in patients undergoing chemotherapy.
How much turmeric should you take a day?
According to the World Health Organization (WHO) 1.4 mg per pound (0–3 mg/kg) of body weight is a recommended allowable daily intake (ADI) for curcumin. According to studies conducted, short term dosages as high as 8 grams was non-toxic to humans in clinical trials. Currently, there is not have enough data available to confirm safety or tolerability of such high dosages for extended periods. What is also proven is that turmeric has a very low absorption rate hence all turmeric supplements are useless unless they have black pepper containing BioPerine (the trademarked name for piperine) which increases absorption by 2000%.
How long does it take for turmeric to work?
Ideally it should be a part of your daily diet but if you have recently add turmeric to your diet & supplements then it would take about 2-4 weeks for it to start showing measurable results but keep in the mind the following
- Do not buy pure turmeric root powder unless the label discloses the exact curcumin content. Otherwise, you may not be getting enough curcumin to experience the full range of benefits.
- Do not buy a turmeric supplement unless it contains some form of black pepper extract to increase absorption and bioavailability.
What are the side effects of turmeric?
When turmeric is not consumed in the right quantity or when the quality is not up to the mark and in some cases it can have the following 5 side effects
- Upset stomach. Turmeric and the pepper in the supplement added to improve absorption heats your body and may lead to abdominal pain and cramps.
- Risk of developing kidney stones if the body is not hydrated
- May cause nausea and diarrhea
- May cause an allergic reaction
Can turmeric help you lose weight?
The anti-inflammatory properties of Turmeric is said to help with stomach problems and reduce inflammation associated with obesity, so in theory it does help you reduce weight but consuming excess turmeric can be very harmful hence it should not be used excessively to reduce weight.
Who should not take turmeric?
The following people should not take turmeric
- People who take blood-thinning drugs as turmeric also purifies the blood
- Women who are pregnant should avoid taking turmeric supplements as it can stimulate contractions but adding small amounts of turmeric as a spice to food shouldn’t be a problem
**We have written this article because we care about your health especially your LONG TERM HEALTH hence we bring you the best sources of natural wellness from our beautiful planet. Though we have experience in wellness, natural wellness and nutrition we are not doctors or certified nutritionist nor are we claiming to be. If you need certified professional advice please consult a certified Doctor.