Five Healing Uses For Turmeric

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The healing uses for turmeric were unknown to me until recently. Turmeric may be one of those spices that are somewhere in your cabinet collecting dust. It is what gives Indian curry its flavor and yellow color. I think I bought it one time for a recipe, but I never gave it much thought beyond its contribution to my Indian food cooking extravaganza.

For over 4000, years people have used it in cooking and to treat a variety of conditions. Studies show that healing uses for turmeric may include fighting infections and some cancers, reducing inflammation, treating digestive and liver problems, wounds, and skin diseases.

Curcumin is the most active component of Turmeric. It has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and is also what gives turmeric its yellow-orange color.

Antioxidants can fight free radicals and may reduce or even help prevent some of the damage they cause. Free radicals can damage cell membranes, affect DNA, and even destroy healthy cells.

Healing Uses For Turmeric

#1 Healing Uses for Turmeric: Curb Heartburn and Indigestion Problems

Curcumin stimulates the gallbladder to produce bile, which may help improve digestion. In Germany, turmeric has been approved to treat digestive problems.

Moreover, one study found that turmeric reduced symptoms of gas and bloating in people suffering from indigestion. For more tips on eating healthy, click here.

#2 Healing Uses for Turmeric: Curb Joint Pain and Help With Arthritis

Because of turmeric’s ability to reduce inflammation. Researchers have conducted studies to analyze the effects on arthritis and joint pain.

Curcumin has anti-inflammatory powers. One of the most encouraging studies found that turmeric extract supplements worked in patients with knee osteoarthritis equally as well as ibuprofen.

#3 Healing Uses for Turmeric: Ward Off Heart Disease And Heart Attacks

Early studies suggested that turmeric may help prevent atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is the buildup of plaque that can block arteries and lead to heart attack or stroke. In one study conducted on animals, turmeric not only lowered cholesterol levels but kept LDL (the bad) cholesterol from accumulating in blood vessels. To help lower your cholesterol, add omega-3 to your diet.

Turmeric may help prevent blood clots from building up in the arteries because Curcumin helps stops platelets from clumping together.

#4 Healing Uses for Turmeric: May Help Prevent Cancer

There has been a great deal of research on turmeric’s anti-cancer properties. Results are very preliminary, and more research is needed. Evidence from lab and animal studies proposes that curcumin may help prevent or treat several types of cancers, including colon, prostate, breast, and skin.

Tumeric’s preventive effects may be due to its antioxidant properties, which protect cells from damage.   For cancer prevention, see The American Cancer Society Guidelines.

#5 Healing Uses for Turmeric: May Ward Off Alzheimer’s Disease

Turmeric is a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. It has circulatory effects that may help prevent and treat neurodegenerative diseases, including Parkinson disease, Alzheimer disease,  and multiple sclerosis.

A recent study suggests that Curcumin contains a brain-boosting chemical that could help slow the progressions of Alzheimer’s by helping hippocampal brain cells grow.  Learn more about the effect of curcumin (turmeric) on Alzheimer’s disease.

The use of herbs is a time-honored approach to strengthening the body and treating disease. However, herbs can trigger side effects and may interact with other herbs, supplements, or medications.

For these reasons, you should take herbs with care, under the supervision of a health care provider. Turmeric is considered safe in food, and supplements are considered safe when taken at the recommended dosage.

However, taking large amounts of turmeric for extended periods of time may cause stomach upset and, in extreme cases, ulcers. People who have gallstones or diabetes should talk to their doctor before taking turmeric.

Turmeric may cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) if combined with medications for diabetes because it is known to lower blood sugar levels.

Pregnant and breastfeeding women should not take turmeric supplements without speaking with their physicians first.