Usually we use spices in our food to spice their taste. We use them without even knowing their health benefits for us.

The most influential spice that gives us the most health benefits is the turmeric.

It can help in the fight against arthritis, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, psoriasis and even Alzheimer`s.

You probably have some questions like if you take turmeric supplement will it give you the benefits you need? Is the turmeric the same as curcumin and what is the difference…..

You can read here more about the turmeric.

The traditional health benefits from turmeric

This spice comes from Curcuma longa a flowering tropical plant that is native from India.

The people of India, Ayurveda, have been using the turmeric for healing purposes for over 5000 years.

People in Asia have been using turmeric in their cooking for over 4,500 years.

Turmeric is used to make curry powder. Usually we use it dry, but it can also be grated like the ginger.

Turmeric, mainly, was used to improve digestion, dissolve gallstones, relieve arthritis and alleviate symptoms of allergies and colds.

They also used it to heal wounds on the skin, and as a beauty treatment.

Today many products contain turmeric in their properties.

In some parts of India, Bangladesh and Pakistan the turmeric is used in the wedding ceremony, being applied both to the bride and the groom on the skin as a form of good luck.

The connection between turmeric and curcumin

We can read turmeric, curcumin and curry powder very often even on medical sites.

It is hard to tell the difference if you don’t understand what they are talking about.

Here is the explanation: Curry powder is a mix of spice where the turmeric takes part of.

Turmeric has many compounds, and one of those compounds with the most widely study is the curcumin.

Besides turmeric, curcumin can be found in ginger, another healthy spice.

We can read about the turmeric on many websites from which many state that the turmeric has more than 600 ailments and benefits.

But if we read thoroughly we will find out that most of those studies were conducted on the curcumin, and not the turmeric in general.

This is so because it is easier to study a compound that is easy to be isolated and standardized so that it can act as a drug instead of a spice.

The real reason is that the turmeric is being used worldwide in the kitchens and it is not desirable for research unless it can be transformed into a substance that can be patented.

The Health benefits from Turmeric

Because the researches were directed to curcumin and not the turmeric, the health benefits are a lot.

It has been proven to help with allergies, with the brain plaques of Alzheimer`s, the pain from arthritis, against depression, diabetes and even decreasing the risk of heart attack.

The turmeric is good for many things as well. The compounds that the turmeric consists of is proven to act as antibiotic ( over 20 of them), 14 are known cancer preventatives, 12 are anti-tumor, 12 anti- inflammatory and at least 10 antioxidants.

Read here of how the turmeric can help specific health problems.

Turmeric and Alzheimer`s

The lowest rate of Alzheimer`s disease goes to the elderly people in a village in India that consume turmeric on regular basis.

The turmeric can prevent the Alzheimer`s occurrence.

The curcumin is proven to help against Alzheimer and it is a turmeric compound. B

Besides curcumin, the turmeric contains another compound called turmerone that can stimulate the brain to repair itself by producing new neurons.

Because of this compound the turmeric can help in other brain diseases such as Alzheimer, Parkinson, traumatic brain injury and even stroke.

Turmeric and Arthritis

People in the US spend over $650 million for treatments for chronic inflammation.

The turmeric can help arthritis because it acts as anti-inflammatory agent. It can be taken internally or applied directly on the skin.

Turmeric can help on the long run against the pain and the functions for those people suffering from arthritis and osteoarthritis.

The Arthritis Foundation suggests a dosage of one capsule (400-600 mg) three times a day for treating osteoarthritis or 0.5-1.0g powdered turmeric root per day.

Turmeric and Cancer

The compound curcumin is proven to attack the tumor cells and kill them while leaving the healthy cells unharmed to work on increasing the effectiveness of the chemotherapy and radiation.

There is a big difference when consuming turmeric in the food and taking curcumin or turmeric supplements.

This was stated and proven by Dr. Saraswati Sukumar an oncologist from the John Hopkins University school of Medicine.

Turmeric and Depression

The turmeric can compete against the most potent antidepressant on the market, the fluoxetine (Prozac) and win.

The antidepressant properties of the turmeric can reduce the stress hormone named cortisol and increase the level of serotonin, the neurotransmitter sending signals of happiness.

There are many side effects from taking antidepressants.

The turmeric on the other hand can be taken indefinitely in the food without feeling addicted or worse.

The turmeric can easily be combined with other natural remedies such as St. John`s wort and SAM-e.

Enhancing turmeric

The main and most important compound of turmeric, the curcumin is not well absorbed.

If it isn’t properly used it can just pass through the intestines. You can increase the absorption with black pepper, like in the curry powder.

It is proven that the compound piperine, found in the black pepper can increase the curcumin absorption by 2000%.

The curcumin is also easily absorbed if the turmeric is cooked in oil, especially if it is cooked in peanut, sesame and coconut oil.

Turmeric Tea

You can consume turmeric in the tea and it will be a balance between the turmeric in the food and the turmeric supplements.

All you need is to boil turmeric in water for about 10 minutes to increase the curcumin`s solubility by 12 times.

You are wondering how the people of Okinawa, Japan, have the longest life records in the world with an average life span of 81,2 years. This is due to their regular consumption of turmeric tea.

You can prepare your tea by putting ½ teaspoon turmeric powder in 1 cup of water and boil it for 10 minutes. Afterwards you can strain it and consume it.

Everyone who has tried it say it is bitter and tastes like medicine.

Here you can find a recipe that is tasty and healthy.
Needed ingredients:

  • ½ cup water
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • for taste you can add honey or stevia

The preparation is very easy. First you need to boil the water and add the turmeric powder. Boil it for 10 minutes and add the coconut milk and coconut oil. Continue mixing until it is well mixed.

You can add honey or stevia for taste.

You can make additions to the proportions and ingredients if you like. You can replace  the coconut milk with almond milk or regular milk.

The turmeric Dosage

The turmeric is usually found in the dry spice section in the grocery store.

But it can also be found as turmeric root, same as ginger root.

Here you can read the suggested turmeric dosage for adults according the Complementary and Alternative Medicine Guide from the University of Maryland:

  • cut root: 1.5- 3 grams per day
  • dried powdered root: 1-3 grams daily
  • fluid extract (1:1): 30- 90 drops daily
  • tincture (1:2) : 15-30 drops, 4 times a day

As it goes for the supplements, the recommended daily dosage is 400-600 mg, 3 times a day.

You should always look for supplements containing 95% curcuminoids that have piperine or black pepper extract as well.

The side effects from turmeric supplements

It is always safer to consume turmeric instead of taking supplements.

The turmeric supplements contain many possible side effects.

The turmeric and the curcumin are not one the same like stated before, so their side effects  are treated on the sites such as Drugs.com, RXlist.com and the National Insitutes of Health`s MedLine.

The sites state not to take turmeric or curcumin supplements if:

  • The curcumin stimulates the uterus and that can bring to miscarriage. During breastfeeding it still hasn’t been researched.
  • when trying to get pregnant, because the turmeric can cause difficulties.
  • hormone sensitive condition, because it acts as estrogen and it goes against reproductive cancer, endometriosis or uterine fibroids.
  • gallstones or gallbladder disease
  • need surgery in the next two weeks because the turmeric may increase the risk of bleeding.
  • taking aspirin, clopidogrel, diclofenac, ibuprofen, naproxen and warfarin.
  • have GERD, ulcers or stomach problems because it may cause gastric irritation, stomach nausea and diarrhea.
  • the turmeric may interfere with medications like Zantac, Tagamet and Nexium I because it can increase the production of stomach acid.
  • The turmeric can increase the risk of low blood sugar if you are diabetic
  • suffering from iron deficiency. it prevents iron absorption.

The Benefits from Turmeric

The turmeric is safely used for many years, which cannot be said the same for the turmeric capsules or tinctures.

They have and produce side effects unlike if the turmeric is cooked.

It is always best to try it naturally before you take any supplements, and the turmeric can be found easily. You can start by adding it to your meals or consuming it as a tea.

Next step is to take turmeric supplements if you think you are not getting the needed results, and at the end you can turn to curcumin supplements. But you need to be aware of the possible side effects from the supplements at all times.