What Are The Benefits & Side Effects Of Turmeric?
You most probably heard of turmeric, or even seen it on one of your grocery trips. The often yellow powder is now used in a lot of things--as a spice for several recipes, an addition to tea, coffee, and many other beverages, and even a highlighted ingredient in a number of restaurant foods and even processed food.
So, what makes foods that contain turmeric so special. Or rather--are they even special at all? To answer that, and more, we must first have a good understanding of what turmeric is and what are the things it can and cannot do for you.
What is turmeric?To the uninitiated, turmeric and ginger may look like one and the same. Although they are not technically the same, they come from the same category of plants. The generic ginger that most people use in their teas and in cooking is only one type of ginger from the big ginger family. Turmeric is one of these types.
Originating from Southeast Asia, what distinguishes turmeric from the typical ginger you can find in the kitchen is the orange color of it, all the way down to its roots. When made as a tea or diluted for color, turmeric gives off a yellowish color--some people use it as a dye.
Long before the craze for alternative medicine and supplements boomed, turmeric had been one of the staple home and traditional medicines in Southeast Asian countries, particularly China, India, and some parts of the Middle East as well. People from these parts of the world use turmeric either as a topical medicine for the skin or is taken orally in the form of a tea.
Aside from being used as a medicine, turmeric is also a popular spice. While the generic ginger adds in a combination of sweet and sting of spiciness of a dish, turmeric has a warm aroma, and a slightly bitter sensation to the mouth and at the same time a bit peppery or minty.
The health benefits of turmeric
Taking turmeric, whether you take it externally or add it to your daily diet, can have a lot of positive effects to you, regardless of whether you have an existing health condition you want to become better from, or a healthy person that just wants to keep living a healthy life.
Here are some of the best turmeric health benefits.
There are some research that found that taking in turmeric orally twice a day for a span of three months can help in reducing overall cholesterol levels of the body, as well as levels of low-density lipoprotein (or LDL, or also known as the “bad” type of cholesterol). Turmeric can also help lower the levels of triglycerides in the body, a compound that has a high level in people that are overweight.
Research has shown that the taking of turmeric, either on its own or combined with other medicines, can reduce pain in people suffering from osteoarthritis as well as improve their overall function. In fact, in some research, it was found out that the effects of turmeric as a pain reliever can even be better than that of ibuprofen. On the other hand, it was found to be not as effective as diclofenac in pain control and improvement in bodily function.
Itching caused by long-term kidney disease can be a pain. It has been found out that turmeric, when taken orally thrice a day for at least eight weeks can help in the itching. Interestingly, this research found that combining certain products with turmeric, such as black pepper or long pepper daily for a span of two months greatly reduces itching and improves the quality of life for people with this condition.
Other possible benefits
Turmeric is also claimed to help in the treatment or at least alleviation off worst symptoms of disease such as Alzheimer's disease, inflammation of the anterior uveitis (in the eye), skin wounds related to skin cancer, and any internal or external inflammation.
However, these claims are only backed by patient accounts, which are unreliable and can be highly biased. Thus, further research and scientific evidence is needed to add more confidence for these claims.
Take note, however, that most of these claimed benefits of turmeric still need further research to be proven, and most studies about it are considered to be young. Still, the data available now combined with user experience look promising.
Are there turmeric side effects?
By now, you know and understand that turmeric has a lot of health benefits to you and can be taken in many different ways. Generally speaking, a good turmeric product, even a turmeric supplement, should not pose any potential side effects.
Just make sure, however, to only purchase from trusted sources of supplements as the danger in turmeric-based products is not the compound or ingredients itself but rather, the fake components or the authenticity of the product itself.
This is where a turmeric product can have side effects. After all, who knows what type of material would be included in a fake or unregistered product? This is why it is important that you find manufacturers like Windmill Health that sell nothing but authentic supplements.
On the other hand, turmeric may result in some adverse reaction to some people, depending on whatever existing health condition they have while they are taking it. For one, it should never be taken by people with liver or bile conditions, as turmeric may increase bile production that can be fatal to people with such conditions. Also, it may have an adverse reaction if being taken with another medicine--this is something that your physician or doctor can answer specifically for you.
The bottom line
As with all medicinal and supplemental products, make sure that you get your item only from trusted, authorized, and legitimate suppliers or distributors. This will at least give you a better confidence that you will get your money’s worth--perhaps, even more for it.