Turmeric is a brightly-colored spice commonly used in Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine that has been traditionally used for medicinal purposes for many centuries. It is a bright yellow-orange color and has a warm, bitter, pungent taste. The active ingredient in turmeric is curcumin, which is a type of polyphenol with powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Turmeric has been used for a variety of health conditions, including:
- Inflammation: Turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties that may help to reduce inflammation in the body.
- Pain relief: Turmeric may help to reduce pain, including joint pain and muscle soreness.
- Digestive issues: Turmeric may help to improve digestion and reduce the risk of stomach ulcers.
- Cardiovascular health: Turmeric may help to lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease.
- Diabetes management: Turmeric may help to improve insulin sensitivity and lower blood sugar levels in people with diabetes.
- Cancer prevention: Some studies have suggested that turmeric may have anticancer properties and may be able to reduce the risk of certain types of cancer.
- Brain health: Turmeric may have neuroprotective effects and may help to improve brain function and protect against age-related cognitive decline.
- Skin health: Turmeric may help to improve skin health and reduce the risk of acne and other skin conditions.
- Weight management: Turmeric may help to reduce body weight and body mass index (BMI) in people who are overweight or obese.
- Allergy relief: Turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties and may be able to reduce the severity of allergy symptoms.
When first beginning a turmeric regimen, it is important to start with a very low dose and gradually increase the dosage over time. This will reduce the risk of potential side effects. Some of which include stomach upset, nausea, dizziness, and even diarrhea. Turmeric may also interact with certain medications, so it is important to speak with a healthcare professional before starting a turmeric supplement.
Turmeric is native to Southeast Asia and has been used in their traditional medicine for centuries. It is known that turmeric gained widespread usage in Western countries also in the 19th and 20th centuries as a natural remedy for a variety of health conditions. Today, turmeric is used in a variety of dietary supplements, including capsules, tablets, and powders.