The golden ingredient, Turmeric, has come to be one of the most prominent and substantial health foods on the planet.
Used for thousands of years in traditional medicine and foods, its history spreads out for centuries and has continued to be loud and proud in the media today.
In the ginger family, turmeric is a root spice and is commonly used in Asian food. It’s warm and bitter taste is commonly seen in curries and you can tell when turmeric has been used through its bright yellow colour.
However, despite its popularity in food, it used widely for medicinal purposes. The active ingredient in turmeric, curcumin, is said to be the most active and beneficial to our health.
The health benefits have been long noted. NCBI, a well-known research website, states that “Turmeric is a well-documented treatment for various respiratory conditions
(e.g., asthma, bronchial hyperactivity, and allergy), as well as for liver disorders, anorexia, rheumatism, diabetic wounds, runny nose, cough, and sinusitis. In traditional Chinese medicine,
it is used to treat diseases associated with abdominal pain. From ancient times, as prescribed by Ayurveda, turmeric has been used to treat sprains and swelling.”
Turmeric is not only seen as an essential medicinal product in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine but in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh too. In Pakistan, turmeric is recognized and used to treat inflammation in the body, as well as to aid in gastrointestinal distress through digestive disorders.
In Afghanistan, turmeric is used as a bacterial and aids in cleaning wounds which additionally allows for a healthy recovery. Bangladesh boasts skin glow from turmeric and is also believed to stop bacteria from coming to our bodies.
Despite so much knowledge of this powerful spice, research has recently backed up previous statements of how much medicinal impact it truly has.
Short-term inflammation is important and is used as the body’s fighting mechanism against foreign invaders and pathogens like bacteria.
The real problem is when inflammation becomes long-term; it is believed to be one of the biggest threats to our bodies system.
Healthline.com admits that “low-level inflammation plays a major role in almost every chronic, western disease. This includes heart disease, cancer, metabolic syndrome, Alzheimer’s and various degenerative conditions.”
Studies have been successful in spotting that turmeric posseses anti-inflammatory property due to its effect on the human dendritic cells. Frontiersin.com
explains dendritic cells as “Dendritic cells (DCs) play important roles in orchestrating host immunity against invading pathogens, representing one of the first responders to infection by mucosal invaders.” Essentially, turmeric is able to activate the cells in order to help the effects of inflammation.
Studies have shown turmeric to aid in the growth of cancer cells, aid in joint inflammation which is an effect caused by arthritis, and in Thailand was used to treat urine inflammation.
is turmeric an antioxidant
Turmeric has been shown to be a very strong antioxidant. Despite your body producing its own antioxidants, it is beneficial for humans to intake other forms of antioxidants too.
They aid in the prevention of free radicals forming and oxidative damage. Medical News today states an antioxidant to be “substances that can prevent or slow damage to cells caused by free radicals,
unstable molecules that the body produces as a reaction to environmental and other pressures.”
Added to your diet, through curries or other methods, turmeric was able to decrease lipid peroxidation rates. Although the study was performed on animals, it was seen to lower the cell damage in the liver, kidney, spleen and brain; as seen on NCBI.
is turmeric antibacterial
Right now, the world is in the middle of an antibiotic resistance threat and is starting to become a worldwide crisis. What this means is that, despite antibiotics being good at fighting certain diseases and illnesses,
our bodies are becoming so used to the medicines that they are not working anymore. Ascertain natural products are being examined, like CBD; turmeric is also on the front line as a possible alternative or aid to antibiotics. Medical News Today explains that through research,
it has been discovered that “billions of minute nanocapsules loaded with curcumin and used in the right dose, can stop the bacteria from sticking to stomach cells. This, in turn, could help antibiotics do their jobs.”
In 2017, the World Health Organization listed the top 12 bacterial strains that required new drugs to fight against. Within these 12 strains, turmeric showed to fight against four of them. Only four may not seem like a big deal in hindsight, but in reality, the possible difference it can make is huge.
turmeric antifungal activity
Through various studies, turmeric has been shown to potentially help treat fungal infections like Candida or yeast infection. As seen on Medical News Today, an Antifungal infection occurs
“when an invading fungus takes over an area of the body and is too much for the immune system to handle.” Often these fungi live in a certain part of the body like the belly, skin, mouth or genital regions.
Another study through NCBI states that turmeric can fight against “14 strains of Candida (10 clinical and four standards).” With more than 17 strains of Candida, turmeric shows that’s its antifungal properties are reasonably strong.
turmeric benefits for skin
When speaking above about the medicinal use of turmeric in other countries, it is also important to note its popularity when it comes to skin.
In India, brides and grooms apply turmeric to their skin before their wedding day to make their skin glow. However, alongside the beauty elements of turmeric, some studies show its protection against harmful bacteria.
Healthline states that turmeric is able to aid against, “psoriasis, heal wounds, help with acne scarring, scabies and a range of dermatological conditions.” A fair warning though, turmeric’s intense yellow tones will most likely cause a temporary stain on your skin, but that’s normal.
Benefits of Golden (Turmeric) Milk and How to Make It
Due to its popularity, turmeric comes in forms of oils, capsules, powdered form or as the root itself. Unfortunately, turmeric is poorly absorbed by the body due to the fact that curcumin needs fat to dissolve, not water.
Our digestive system being quite a watery tract means that we need to execute the necessary moves to allow for better absorption. Essentially, consuming turmeric with fat will aid in absorption. You can achieve this by making Golden Milk.
Another great way for absorption is through pepper. Also known as Piperine, pepper also has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. Healthline states that “Research supports that combining the piperine in black pepper with the curcumin in turmeric enhances curcumin absorption by up to 2,000%.”
This is because pepper is capable of making turmeric “pass through the intestinal wall and into your bloodstream”, as well as, “slow down the breakdown of curcumin by the liver, increasing its blood levels.”
Although more studies need to be done, turmeric has seen frequent potential in modern medicine. However, traditional medicine has boasted this miracle spice for a very long time and it’s important to take note of this.
As an anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antibacterial and antifungal; it’s no wonder why people are starting to move towards this natural product.
With more research in the works, it’s only a matter of time before we can truly know the massive potential turmeric can have on our bodies.