Turmeric root extract originates from the turmeric plant which is native to India and is now grown and harvested in Asia and other tropical regions of the world. A little known fact is that the turmeric plant is closely related to the well-known ginger plant.
Traditional Health Benefits of Turmeric
Traditionally, Turmeric is used for Pain Support, Beauty & Radiance Support. Turmeric is one of the main ingredients used in curry powder and is used most commonly in Indian cuisine. The curcuminoids in turmeric are used to color foods as well as cosmetic products. Turmeric was first used as a spice in foods and later found to have a variety of medicinal properties and health benefits. Today, through the efforts of research we have a better understanding of the benefits turmeric root extract.
What is Turmeric Used For?
Turmeric may have numerous benefits to the body, including the following: Reduces Number of Heart Attacks, Post-Surgery, Relieves Joint Pain, Treats Acne, Alopecia, Dermatitis and Other Skin Conditions, and Aids in Prevention and Treatment of Alzheimer's Disease
Products Containing Turmeric
Benefits of Turmeric
Curcuminoids are the main active ingredient in turmeric and are responsible for providing a variety of health benefits to consumers. Studies have shown that turmeric is effective as an anti-inflammatory that possesses anti-microbial and antioxidant properties.2 The curcuminoids in turmeric have been shown to be beneficial to individuals who suffer from Type 2 diabetes, cancer, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and obesity. Studies show that turmeric reduces the development of certain tumors. Curcuminoids may also reduce the number of heart attacks post surgery in patients who have undergone a bypass. When compared to ibuprofen, turmeric has shown to be just as effective in relieving knee pain due to osteoarthritis.3 For this reason, many opt for turmeric supplements as opposed to modern pain relief medications. Both oral and topical applications of turmeric root have been researched for the treatment of certain skin. Studies show that turmeric is effective in treating acne, alopecia, atopic dermatitis and psoriasis. Research suggests that consumption of adequate amounts of turmeric could also have the potential to aid in the prevention and treatment of Alzheimer's disease, which is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder for which there is no known cure to date.4 Further studies are needed to determine the extent of the effectiveness in those who suffer from Alzheimer's.
How to Use Turmeric
Turmeric root extract can be used in multiple ways. The most common method is orally, either as a spice in foods, teas or a dietary supplement. Turmeric can also be applied as a paste to the skin for certain skin conditions. In some cases, turmeric root extract is used as an enema in individuals who suffer from inflammatory bowel disease.
Foods that Contain Turmeric
Turmeric is most commonly used as a spice in certain Asian dishes. It is one of the main ingredients in curry powder. While turmeric is not considered an essential nutrient, if you are looking to reap the health benefits, there are ways to incorporate it into your diet. For instance, you can add turmeric into your salad or mix it in with your dressing. You can use it as a seasoning on vegetables instead of salt and pepper. It is also popular to add turmeric to some of your favorite beverages such as lattes and herbal teas. There are dietary supplements that contain turmeric for those who do not have the time to prepare foods and beverages with turmeric root extract or find it easier to reap the benefits from a supplement.
Side Effects & Supplementing with Turmeric
Turmeric is generally considered safe when it is either applied to the skin or taken orally. Most people do not experience side effects when using turmeric and if they do, it is minor such as nausea, dizziness or diarrhea. Studies have shown that turmeric taken in high dosages for long periods of time can lead to gastrointestinal problems. It is important to note that for some people turmeric can lead to anemia and iron deficiency.5 It is advised to seek medical advice if you suspect you have an iron deficiency. Only your healthcare provider can determine if the cause is turmeric or an underlying medical condition. After a thorough examination, your doctor can determine the best treatment plan based on the diagnosis. Turmeric has been around since long before modern medicine and offers many natural benefits via topical application, dietary supplements, and as a spice that is incorporated in a variety of dishes. Those who suffer from certain skin conditions, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, osteoarthritis, cancer, inflammatory bowel disease and Alzheimer's may benefit from the incorporation of turmeric in their diet. If given the opportunity, many choose natural treatments as opposed to drugs. Turmeric root extract is a powerful spice and supplement.
Citations and Sources
1. Amalraj A, Pius A, Gopi S, Gopi S. Biological activities of curcuminoids, other biomolecules from turmeric and their derivatives - A review. J Tradit Complement Med. 2016;7(2):205-233. [PubMed] 2. Vaughn A, Branum A, Sivamani R. Effects of Turmeric (Curcuma longa) on Skin Health: A Systematic Review of the Clinical Evidence. Phytother Res. 2016;30(8):1243-1264. [PubMed] 3. Onakpoya I, Spencer E, Perera R, Heneghan C. Effectiveness of curcuminoids in the treatment of knee osteoarthritis: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials. Int J Rheum Dis. 2017;20(4):420-433. [PubMed] 4. Mishra S, Palanivelu K. The effect of curcumin (turmeric) on Alzheimer’s disease: An overview. Ann Indian Acad Neurol. 2008;11(1):13-19. [PMC] 5. Smith T, Ashar B. Iron Deficiency Anemia Due to High-dose Turmeric. Cureus. 2019;11(1):e3858. [PubMed]
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