Turmeric powder has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that make it an ideal antiseptic used in home remedies for wounds.
Turmeric comes from the Curcuma longa plant, which grows in India and other Southeast Asian countries. The dried root of the Curcuma longa plant is ground into the distinctive yellow turmeric powder. There are several chemical compounds found in turmeric, known as curcuminoids. The active substance in turmeric is curcumin
Health Benefits of Turmeric
When examining the research, turmeric benefits go beyond that of these 12 kinds of conditions and treatments:
- Anti-inflammatory drugs
- Antidepressants (Prozac)
- Anticoagulants (Aspirin)
- Pain killers
- Diabetes drugs (Metformin)
- Arthritis medications
- Inflammatory bowel disease drugs
- Cholesterol drugs (Lipitor)
- Skin Care
12 Turmeric Benefits
Although the list is much longer, we’ve selected 12 conditions and their treatments where drugs pale in comparison to turmeric extracts, in potentially reversing disease. As you read this report, keep in mind that one of the most powerful advantages curcumin has over the traditional medical approach is the lack of side effects.
Medical intervention generally includes the following medications to slow and prevent blood clotting:
- Clopidogrel (Plavix)
- Enoxaparin (Lovenox)
- Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others)
- Warfarin (Coumadin), and others.
Unfortunately, for people with conditions that are treated by these drugs (i.e. deep-vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism), this approach may not always be the wisest decision. Ibuprofen overdose is one such common problem. In addition to common side effects like excessive bleeding and hemorrhage, the risks associated with anticoagulants abound and include everything from back pain to headaches to difficulty breathing. (1)
Turmeric, on the other hand, has relatively no known side effects unless taken in extremely excessive amounts.
Additionally, ever since several groundbreaking studies in the mid-1980s, the curcumin in turmeric has been suggested by researchers as actually being a better option for those with vascular thrombosis. (2)
Although few studies have been conducted on humans, dozens of research trials have proven that turmeric is especially effective in correcting depression symptoms in laboratory animals.
Not only was it discovered that all patients tolerated curcumin well, but they discovered curcumin was as effective as Prozac in managing depression.
According to the authors, “This study provides first clinical evidence that curcumin may be used as an effective and safe therapy for treatment in patients with mild depression.”
Arguably, the most powerful aspect of curcumin is its ability to control inflammation.
The journal Oncogene published the results of a study that evaluated several anti-inflammatory compounds and found that aspirin and ibuprofen are least effective, while curcumin is among the most effective anti-inflammatory compounds in the world.
This news should have reached every household in the world after the study was conducted because inflammation puts people at risk for almost every disease process known to man.
Diseases today such as cancer, ulcerative colitis, arthritis, high cholesterol and chronic pain can be the result of inflammation.
The anti-inflammatory effects of curcumin have also been studied as a possible treatment for Alzheimer’s disease. At this point, evidence for turmeric’s effects on Alzheimer’s patients is inconclusive; it’s not certain that turmeric can prevent or treat the disease. However, perhaps further research might result in the development of future treatments.
As you will see below in several other articles related to chronic illness, keep this in the back of your mind: Turmeric’s key to disease reversal may be its ability to keep inflammation at bay.
4. Skin Condition Treatments
The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of turmeric have proven effective in treating skin conditions. Turmeric benefits for skin include speeding up wound healing; calming the pores to decrease acne and acne scarring; and controlling psoriasis flares.
Turmeric can stain the skin and it may cause an allergic reaction. Do a patch test by applying a dime-size amount to your forearm. Then wait 24–48 hours to check for any reaction before applying turmeric to your face.
5. Arthritis management
Because curcumin is known for its powerful anti-inflammatory and pain-reducing characteristics, a study was conducted on 45 rheumatoid arthritis patients to compare the benefits of curcumin in turmeric to the arthritis drug Diclofenac sodium, which put people at risk of developing leaky gut and heart disease.
6. Cancer treatment
Of all the various topics scientists have tackled in regards to curcumin and disease reversal, cancer (of various types) is one of the most thoroughly researched topics.
A number of laboratory studies on cancer cells have shown that curcumin does have anticancer effects. It seems to be able to kill cancer cells and prevent more from growing. It has the best effects on breast cancer, bowel cancer, stomach cancer and skin cancer cells.
Bottom line: Turmeric works incredibly well to help naturally treat cancer and is especially effective at treating breast cancer, colon cancer and skin cancer.
7. Diabetes management
For lowering blood sugar and reversing insulin resistance, there’s arguably no better natural treatment than adding turmeric into your diet.
In 2009, Biochemistry and Biophysical Research Communications published a study out of Auburn University that explored how supplementing with turmeric can help reverse diabetes.
The study discovered that curcumin in turmeric is literally 400 times more potent than Metformin (a common diabetes drug) in activating AMPK which improves insulin sensitivity which can help reverse Type 2 Diabetes.
In addition to correcting the causes of diabetes, curcumin has also been proven to help reverse many of the issues related to insulin resistance and hyperglycemia.
Take, for instance, diabetic neuropathy and retinopathy. One of the most common complications of diabetes is damaged blood vessels, which cause blindness.
A study found that supplementing with curcumin can delay this horrible complication of diabetes because of its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. (10)
A study published in the journal Biofactors showed that curcumin can help promote weight loss. The researchers found that the anti-inflammatory properties in curcumin were effective at suppressing the inflammatory processes of obesity, therefore helping to reduce obesity and its “adverse health effects.”
9. Gastrointestinal treatments
Oftentimes, people with digestive and stomach complaints become intolerant to medical interventions because the stomach flora is already compromised and drugs can literally tear up the mucosal lining.
An in-depth analysis of all the studies evaluating curcumin’s ability to manage inflammatory bowel disease (IBS, Crohn’s disease, and ulcerative colitis) found that many patients were able to stop taking their prescribed corticosteroids because their condition improved so dramatically by taking curcumin!
For many patients with IBD (inflammatory bowel disease) corticosteroids reduce their pain symptoms, but damage the intestinal lining over time actually making the condition worse.
However, supplementing with curcumin did not have these side effects and, because of its anti-inflammatory properties, actually helped heal the gut and supported the growth of good bacteria (probiotics).
10. Cholesterol regulators
One of the reasons heart disease is such a problem in the U.S. is that people are developing pre-diabetes (high blood sugar) at an alarming rate.
In turn, diabetics and non-diabetics alike are suffering from a common complication called oxidative stress, which damages the inside of blood vessels. Because of this damage to the arteries, cholesterol begins to build up to patch up the damaged areas, which leads to high levels of LDL cholesterol.
Traditionally, statin drugs (like Lipitor) are widely known to harm the kidneys and liver and cause a number of deadly side effects. They do bring cholesterol down, but they never address the actual cause, which is oxidative stress that is caused by high blood sugar levels and inflammation.
One of the more widely accepted properties of curcumin in scientific communities is its ability to manage pain.
Just this past year the European Journal of Pharmacology published research that discovered curcumin naturally activates the opioid system in diabetic rats. Typically manipulated by drugs, this natural process serves as the body’s inherent pain-relieving response. (15)
Not being limited to diabetic pain conditions, an interesting study also published late last year gives us a clue as to the wide array of pain conditions that can be treated by curcumin.
Take, for instance, severe burns. Typically, burn victims are treated with dangerous opioids and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories. However, because of its anti-inflammatory benefits, U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research suggests that, curcumin should be used to treat burns instead of these conventional medications.
The trend should be becoming clear at this point. Therapeutic use of turmeric and other curcumin-rich plants are displacing conventional medical treatments and proving it’s a legitimate natural painkiller.