30 Health Benefits of Turmeric

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Over the last few years, turmeric has grown in popularity. These days social media sites are filled with recipes for golden milk and turmeric-spiced foods. Though popular today, turmeric has been long used as an Ayurvedic spice. 

While turmeric is often added to food for its color and flavor, one of the better ways to reap the health benefits is with a high-quality supplement. Elm & Rye offers a turmeric supplement that’s made with pure, sustainably sourced ingredients. When added to your daily routine, turmeric can have noticeable impacts on your overall health and wellbeing. 

Keep reading to learn all about turmeric and 30 different health benefits that the spice offers. After seeing just how amazing turmeric is, you’re sure to make it part of your daily health regimen!

What is turmeric?

Turmeric comes from the root of the turmeric plant, which is in the same botanical family as ginger. Turmeric is native to Asia and has been used for centuries for culinary and medicinal purposes. 

In cooking, it’s the top ingredient in curry, creating a deep golden color. Use of turmeric for medical purposes dates back as early as 250 B.C. During these times, turmeric was used for liver support, to treat food poisoning, and other ailments.

Curcumin, the most active compound in turmeric, has scientifically proven health benefits. It has potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Top 30 benefits of turmeric

Years of research have linked turmeric to all sorts of health benefits. It’s also important to note that turmeric has been used for thousands of years for various medicinal purposes. This alone is proof that the spice shows great promise as an all-natural treatment for all sorts of conditions and ailments. 

Here are the top 30 benefits of turmeric that you need to know about.

1. It’s a natural anti-inflammatory

One of the most well-known benefits of turmeric is its anti-inflammatory properties. While short-term inflammation is natural, chronic inflammation can be problematic. In fact, studies have linked chronic inflammation to a variety of health conditions, including: 

●       Cancer

●       Heart disease

●       Alzheimer’s disease

●       Metabolic syndrome

●       Degenerative conditions 

Taking turmeric supplements is an effective way to reduce inflammation throughout the body, no matter the cause.

2. Has antioxidant properties

Oxidative damage, caused by free radicals, is one of the main causes of various diseases and aging. Free radicals negatively interact with organic substances in the body, including proteins, fatty acids, and even DNA. 

Antioxidants protect the body against free radical damage. Cellular studies conducted on animals have found that curcumin may not only block free radical damage, but it may also stimulate other antioxidants. High levels of antioxidants mean added protection.

3. May lower the risk of heart disease

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S. and around the world. While there are many factors that contribute to heart disease, curcumin may reverse many steps of its development. 

One of the biggest benefits is that turmeric, especially curcumin, improves the function of the lining of the blood vessels. The spice also reduces oxidation and inflammation, which lessens the risk of heart disease and other cardiovascular issues.

4. Reduces arthritis symptoms

Arthritis is another common condition in the U.S. While there are different types of arthritis, the most common form involves joint inflammation. Because turmeric is an anti-inflammatory compound, it can help arthritis sufferers. 

The spice may serve as a safer and more effective alternative to over-the-counter and prescription anti-inflammatory drugs.

5. May prevent cancer

Cancer occurs when there is uncontrolled cell growth within the body. Studies have found that turmeric may impact several different forms of cancer due to its ability to affect the growth and development of cancerous cells. 

In fact, curcumin has shown to not only cause the death of these cells, it also reduces the spread of cancer throughout the body. There is also evidence that turmeric may prevent the occurrence of cancer altogether, especially cancers of the digestive system.

6. Supports cognitive health

Turmeric keeps the brain sharp, no matter your age. In fact, the spice has been shown to improve cognitive function as well as memory and recall. It’s thought that turmeric works in the brain by counteracting neurodegenerative diseases while also minimizing age-related and stress-induced cognitive and memory decline. Turmeric also reduces inflammation in the brain, which too plays a role in cognition. 

Many common brain disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease, have been linked to low levels of a protein known as brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). Studies have found that curcumin may increase BDNF levels, which means the compound may delay or even possibly reverse brain diseases and age-related cognitive function.

7. Reduces symptoms of depression

Though prescription medications are the go-to for treating depression and other mental health issues, curcumin is a promising alternative. One study found that curcumin has effects similar to Prozac. 

There is also evidence that curcumin may boost serotonin and dopamine levels. These neurotransmitters are often low or imbalanced in those who suffer from depression.

8. May aid weight loss

Obesity increases the risk of various health issues, including diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. For some, losing weight is easy. However, for those who have a pre-existing metabolic disorder, shedding extra pounds is quite complicated. 

Research has found that the active ingredient in turmeric may benefit those with a metabolic disorder. The compound helps to stabilize metabolism, which in turn makes it easier to manage a healthy weight. 

Turmeric may also regulate lipid metabolism, increase insulin sensitivity, and suppress the growth of fat tissue.

9. May improve allergies and asthma

When the body mistakenly identifies a foreign substance as harmful, an allergy occurs. During an allergic reaction, the body produces antibodies to respond to the allergen. This causes all sorts of symptoms, including itching, coughing, and sneezing. 

Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, turmeric may fend off allergy-related symptoms while also decreasing the risk of asthma attacks. Research suggests that turmeric reduces nasal congestion, sneezing, and runny nose.

10. Helps with liver detoxification

The liver filters and removes toxins from the blood while also metabolizing nutrients to ensure the body has everything it needs to function. A healthy liver is a must for physical and mental health. 

Countless trials have found that curcumin may limit liver damage from toxins and other harmful substances. This is due to the compound’s ability to interrupt inflammatory pathways. 

Turmeric also stimulates bile production, which also helps to eliminate waste from the body.

11. May reduce headaches and migraines

Chronic headaches and/or migraines can make life miserable. The pain and discomfort caused by them can lead to stress, fatigue, neck tension, poor posture, and other issues. One of the great benefits of turmeric is that it may reduce the occurrence of headaches and migraines due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. 

While there’s more research to be done, turmeric may one day be used as an all-natural remedy for headaches and migraines.

12. Aids digestion

Not only does turmeric add amazing flavor to food, it may also play a role in digestion. As a result of its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, turmeric has shown to be an effective digestive healing agent. 

There are several studies underway to determine how turmeric may help with gut permeability and gut inflammation. This could open the door for the spice being used as a treatment for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and other conditions.

13. Natural blood thinner

It’s normal for the blood to clot. When there is a wounded area on the body, the natural response is for platelets in the blood to clot to plug the wound. However, some people require blood thinners to prevent unwanted blockages. 

When used under certain conditions, turmeric supplements may serve as an all-natural blood thinner. Turmeric impacts the coagulation process, including local blood clotting and stopping blood flow.

14. Diabetes management

Turmeric helps to control and possibly lower blood sugar levels. It may also improve insulin sensitivity. These properties benefit those with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. With its ability to improve glycemic regulation, turmeric may be an effective treatment for lowering the risk and severity of diabetes.

15. Improves skin health

The skin is not only the largest organ on the body, it serves as our outermost protective layer. Skin regulates our internal body temperature while protecting us against harmful pathogens and microbes. Throughout life, it’s not uncommon to develop skin conditions such as acne, psoriasis, and eczema. 

While there are countless skincare products on the market, turmeric may be one that surprises you. When taken as a supplement or applied topically, the spice reduces oxidative stress, a known cause of many inflammatory skin conditions. 

Turmeric also boosts tissue repair and collagen synthesis.

16. Potential treatment for Alzheimer’s disease

Like many diseases of the brain, there aren’t many treatment options for Alzheimer’s. Today, there is no cure for the disease, just treatment for some of the symptoms. Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia. 

While there’s still much to learn, research has found that curcumin may be a breakthrough compound in treating the condition. Not only does curcumin cross the blood-brain barrier, its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties are crucial. 

Curcumin has also shown to reduce and eliminate the buildup of amyloid plaques.

17. Reduces high blood pressure

High blood pressure, known as hypertension, is when the force of the blood in the artery walls is higher than normal. Hypertension can be caused by many factors, including genetics, lifestyle choices, and stress.

Plenty of research has been conducted on turmeric’s ability to support cardiovascular health. Studies have found that curcumin improves vascular endothelial function, which declines with age.

18. Helps regulate cholesterol

High cholesterol increases the risk of heart disease and other cardiovascular issues. Clinical trials have found that turmeric lowers triglycerides and cholesterol levels. This is especially beneficial for those who have diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and/or obesity. 

Turmeric also removes cholesterol from the liver, which greatly reduces the risk of fatty liver disease.

19. Treats viral infections

When feeling under the weather, most people reach for vitamin C, zinc, and a hot cup of tea. One thing you can add to your list is turmeric. Curcumin may help to fight off a wide range of viruses, including the flu.

The spice may also help to lessen common symptoms of viral infections, including coughing, sneezing, runny nose, and body aches.

20. May ease PMS symptoms

Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) causes a combination of physical, behavioral, and psychological changes in pre-menopausal women. Due to its anti-inflammatory and neurological effects, curcumin may help to treat PMS. 

One study found that curcumin caused a significant reduction in behavioral and emotional PMS symptoms, including menstrual cramps and mood swings.

21. Supports spleen health

As with many parts of the body, turmeric also supports spleen health due to its anti-inflammatory properties. By boosting the body’s immune system and preventing heavy metal toxicity, the spice keeps the spleen working as it should. The spleen has several roles in the body, including absorbing nutrients from digested food and controlling blood cell levels.

22. Potential HIV benefits

Over the last few years, there have been great advances in HIV treatment. Because of turmeric’s strong anti-microbial properties, it has shown to be quite effective in combating infections. This is a huge benefit for those who have been diagnosed with HIV. The condition suppresses the immune system, making those with HIV more vulnerable to infections. 

23. May help those with epilepsy and seizures

The proper dose of turmeric may offer anti-seizure benefits. Research has found that turmeric supplements may delay the onset of tonic-clonic seizures as well as myoclonic jerks. This helps to improve seizure score. 

The spice may also reverse cognitive impairment and oxidative stress that occurs before and after a seizure.

24. Supports thyroid health

Hyperthyroidism is caused by excessive levels of thyroid hormones. This can cause an imbalance in antioxidant and pro-oxidant levels in the body. When taken regularly, turmeric can regulate enzyme levels in the body. It may also relieve oxidative stress that occurs in the brain due to hypothyroidism. 

The condition also impacts liver function. Turmeric can minimize liver damage while also helping to restore healthy liver function.

25. Helps to prevent gallstones

Because turmeric improves bile flow in the gallbladder, it may help to prevent gallstones from forming. When the body doesn’t produce enough bile, it can lead to heartburn and indigestion. Taking a turmeric supplement can regulate bile production to ease these symptoms.

26. Treats and prevents UTIs

Turmeric has shown to be effective in stopping the growth of microbes that cause urinary tract infections (UTIs). By increasing the microbes’ sensitivity to antibiotics, they are more effective. 

Turmeric also prevents the body from making NF kappa-B, which is one of the primary causes for UTIs and bladder infections. The spice’s immune boosting abilities also help treat and prevent such infections.

27. Improves stroke recovery

Turmeric’s anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties may not only treat the effects of stroke, but it may help to prevent them altogether. Its antioxidant properties reduce oxidative stress and cellular damage, which contributes to ischemic brain injury after a stroke. 

At the same time, turmeric can also be used to prevent blood clots that cause blocked arteries that lead to a stroke.

28. Boosts the immune system

Even at low doses, turmeric enhances the body’s antibody responses. This improves the body’s ability to respond to viruses and other harmful pathogens. An enhanced immune system means you’re less susceptible to common conditions such as the flu and colds.

29. Protects the pancreas

The pancreas is an important organ in the body. It produces digestive enzymes and insulin, which control blood sugar levels. When the pancreas becomes inflamed, it causes a condition known as pancreatitis. 

With its anti-inflammatory properties, turmeric may prevent and treat pancreatitis. It may also promote the removal of fluid from the pancreatic tissue.

30. Lessens recovery time

Turmeric’s immune-boosting and anti-microbial properties may help to speed up recovery, especially after surgery. The spice reduces the risk of infections and helps wounds to heal quickly. Turmeric also reduces post-operative pain and fatigue.

Top 3 turmeric supplements

There are countless turmeric supplements on the market today, but if you want to reap all of the benefits, it’s important to take a high-quality supplement. To save you the time and effort of researching on your own, we’ve come up with a list of the top three turmeric supplements available on the market today. 

1. Elm & Rye Turmeric

Elm & Rye is a trusted name in the supplement industry. No matter if you want to take turmeric to ease pain or to improve heart health, Elm & Rye is a great option. 

The brand prides itself on using pure ingredients that are sustainably sourced. Potent, quality ingredients mean that you’ll feel better, sooner. The best part is that this supplement is safe for all lifestyle and dietary needs as it’s soy, gluten, dairy, and preservative free. 

Dosage amount: 700 mg of turmeric 

Price: $49.99 for 30 tablets or $35.99 with the subscribe & save discount 

Serving size: Take one tablet daily 

2. Life Extension Curcumin Elite

Life Extension Curcumin Elite Turmeric Extract is formulated to have up to 45.5 times greater bioavailability, which means that you’ll feel the effects sooner and for longer. Curcumin Elite supports a healthy inflammatory response as well as whole-body vitality so that you can tackle each day feeling your best. 

It’s made with a unique proprietary blend of ingredients, including curcuminoids, turmerones, and galactomannans. The supplement is non-GMO, gluten-free, and vegetarian. 

Dosage amount: 200 mg of curcuminoids, 15 mg turmerones, and 150 mg of galactomannans 

Price: $24.00 for 60 capsules 

Serving size: Take one capsule daily 

3. Youtheory Turmeric

 

Youtheory Turmeric is made with the most widely clinically studied turmeric extract available on the market today and contains 95% total curcuminoids. The supplement is enhanced with BioPerine® black pepper extract which boosts bioavailability and absorption. 

Youtheory Turmeric delivers 20 times more curcuminoids than other powders. The supplement can be used as a powerful antioxidant as well as to support a healthy response to inflammation.

This supplement is dairy-free, soy-free, and gluten-free. 

Dosage amount: 1,000 mg of turmeric 

Price: $29.99 for 120 tablets 

Serving size: Take three tablets per day

Side effects & dosage

How much turmeric should I take? The average person can safely consume anywhere from 150-250 mg of turmeric a day. However, it’s best to check with your doctor before adding a new supplement to your regimen. 

For best results, look for a supplement that contains black pepper extract, also known as piperine. This improves the body’s ability to absorb turmeric within the intestines, which helps to maximize turmeric benefits. 

Is it safe to take turmeric every day? As long as you stay within the recommended dosing range, there’s little to no risk of taking turmeric daily. Be aware that it takes anywhere from 4-8 weeks of continuous use before you will experience the true effects of the compound. 

Are there negative side effects? Turmeric supplements are well-tolerated among most individuals and are generally considered to be safe. Turmeric side effects are mild and extremely rare. The most common side effect is digestive discomfort, gas, and bloating, which typically only occur when turmeric is taken in high dosages. 

If you experience any negative side effects after taking turmeric, reduce the dosage or stop taking the supplement altogether. 

Is turmeric safe for everyone? Generally, yes, but there are some exceptions. 

Women who are pregnant, may become pregnant, or are breastfeeding should avoid turmeric in medicinal amounts. Those scheduled for surgery should avoid turmeric, as it may thin the blood and cause blood clotting complications. 

If you suffer from gallstones, liver disease, or bile duct obstruction, be aware that turmeric increases bile secretion. Large amounts of the spice may aggravate symptoms. 

For those with iron deficiency anemia, turmeric should be avoided in high quantities. Compounds in the spice bind to iron in the stomach, which makes it unabsorbable. 

If you take diabetes medication, blood thinners, or medicine for acid reflux, talk to your doctor first before taking a turmeric supplement. 

If you’ve been diagnosed with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), get approval from your doctor before taking a turmeric supplement. The spice causes stomach upset in some people and may worsen GERD symptoms.

Final thoughts

Turmeric is a spice that has been used for thousands of years to treat a wide range of health conditions and ailments. From digestive issues to bacterial infections to inflammation, turmeric is an effective and all-natural treatment. 

Remember that turmeric must be taken consistently, as with any other supplement, to experience the full benefits. It can take up to 8 weeks for levels in the body to stabilize. Though there is no preferred time to take turmeric, taking the supplement at the same time each day makes it much easier to be consistent.