The Amazing Benefits of Turmeric
Turmeric has been used for centuries in the treatment of many inflammatory conditions and diseases in indigenous systems of Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine.
In India, turmeric has traditionally been used primarily for arthritic and muscular disorders, while in China it has been used as a topical analgesic and for conditions ranging from flatulence, colic, and ringworm to hepatitis and chest pain.
Turmeric's active constituents are yellowish orange volatile oils called curcuminoids. There is currently great interest in the curcuminoid known as curcumin, which has demonstrated antioxidant, antineoplastic, antiviral, and immunosuppressive activity in vitro and in animals. Curcumin has antiseptic and antiparasitic activity so it’s no wonder it is considered to be a great alternative medicine. However, more research is needed to confirm the vast range of benefits as neither turmeric nor curcumin have been extensively studied in clinical trials.
The German Commission E monographs cite no known interactions of curcumin with drugs. However, consideration should be taken with the use of curcumin with anticoagulants and dietary supplements known to have anti-platelet activity because there is a possibility that curcumin itself may have additional anti-platelet effects. This means that an individual may be more susceptible to bleeding if taking curcumin in addition to taking blood thinning medications. With that being said, it is not recommended to consume curcumin in person with bleeding disorders.
Curcumin consumption is cautioned in pregnancy as The American herbal Products Association has classified turmeric as a menstrual stimulant.
Turmeric appears to be generally safe and further study is being conducted to clarify turmeric’s role, if any, in the prevention and treatment of several cancers, as well as treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.
Fresh turmeric has been known to be more beneficial but you can also consume it in its dried form or even in turmeric capsules.
Chainani-Wu, N. (2003). Safety and anti-Inflammatory activity of curcumin: A component of tumeric (curcuma longa). The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 9, 161-168.
Grant, K. & Schneider, C. (2005). Alternative Therapies: Turmeric. Retrieved from http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/406890