Turmeric is a spice from ginger plant family. It has been used for 4,000 years for many purposes (“Turmeric”). Many species of turmeric exist, Curcuma longa being the most used (Schelling). Turmeric grows e in tropical locations. The most notable parts used are the bulbs, roots, and rhizomes. These parts are boiled, dried and ground, after which they are used either in food and medicine. Turmeric can be available in different forms such as fluid extract, tincture, and capsules containing powder. Though it is fragrant, its taste is bitter (“Turmeric”). Turmeric contains many constituents such as curcumin, ascorbic acid, fiber, calcium, iron, zinc, potassium, and niacin (Cox).
Since thousands of years ago, turmeric has been used for many reasons. Turmeric is used as a flavor. For instance, it is used as the flavor when cooking the Indian curry Due to its yellow color property; turmeric is also used to give Indian curry its yellow color (Budhwaar 76). Turmeric is used in medicine, especially Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine to treat digestive problems, skin diseases, liver problems, wounds and as an anti-inflammatory (“Turmeric”). Turmeric is also used in prevention and treatment of serious illnesses including heart disease, hepatitis, cancer, depression, Alzheimer’s disease and diabetes.
Fresh green turmeric leaves and rhizomes are used as potent insect repellents, fungicide and natural pesticide (Budhwaar 86). Moreover, Turmeric is used as an antioxidant due to its potent biochemical compounds which are known as polyphenols. Turmeric is also used as an ingredient in some commercial herbal products such as cosmetic and skin care products (Schelling)
Benefits of Turmeric
Turmeric is associated with many benefits due to powerful components. One of its primary benefits is its ability to fight infections, treatment of digestive problems and reducing inflammation. These result from turmeric having immune boosting and anti-inflammatory properties. Turmeric is also beneficial in reducing and preventing damage caused by free radicals. Curcumin, a potent antioxidant found in turmeric, scavenges and fights these free radicals hence preventing them from damaging cell membranes and tampering with DNA. Another benefit of turmeric is stopping platelets from clumping together. This aids in preventing forming and building of blood clots along the arteries’ walls. Turmeric also stimulates the production of bile by the gallbladder. This helps in improving digestion. Additionally, turmeric is beneficial to people suffering from ulcerative colitis as it helps them stay in remission leading to decreased relapse rate (“Turmeric”).
Is Turmeric Good For You?
By weighing the numerous benefits associated with turmeric, personally, I consider it good for me. Turmeric helps ease inflammation and joint pain, which are very common in our daily lives Turmeric also helps in digestion. Taking into account that digestion is a daily activity resulting from eating, then using turmeric would be good for me to ease indigestion and treat heartburn. Additionally, turmeric aids in treating wounds. When doing chores, injuries leading to wounds easily happen. Turmeric would, therefore, be good to help me in treating them (Cox)
To utilize the full benefits of turmeric, it’s essential to incorporate the correct dose into your body Too much of turmeric may lead to harmful effects. Studies regarding the dosage in children have not been done; therefore, the dosage outlined is for adults
- Cut root: 1.5 to 3 g per day
- Dried, powdered root: 1 to 3 g per day
- Standardized powder (curcumin): 400 to 600 mg, three times per day
- Fluid extract (1:1) 30 to 90 drops a day
- Tincture (1:2): 15 to 30 drops, 4 times per day (“Turmeric”)
Turmeric Side Effects
Turmeric has been associated with various side effects. This especially occurs when consumed in large amounts. However, even small quantities have been associated with side effects. Large quantities of turmeric lower blood sugar and pressure. This has a poses a side effect to people suffering from diabetes and blood-pressure. Turmeric also leads to thinning of the blood. This poses a risk when a common user of turmeric undergoing surgery. Additionally, turmeric interferes with how the liver processes certain drugs, which may lead to the drug being ineffective. Large doses of turmeric lead to altered heartbeat worsen arthritis symptoms and can cause skin rash. Turmeric, when taken in large doses, puts pregnant women at risk through stimulating the uterus.
“Amazing Health Benefits Of Turmeric | Turmeric.Com”. Turmeric.com. N.p., 2016. Web. 28 May 2016
“Turmeric”. University of Maryland Medical Center. N.p., 2016. Web. 28 May 2016.
Budhwaar, Vikaas. The Secret Benefits Of Ginger And Turmeric. Elgin, IL: New Dawn Press, 2006. Print.
Cox, Lauren. “Turmeric – Supplement Facts And Effects”. Live Science. N.p., 2013. Web. 28 May 2016.