From treating cold to curing an injury, turmeric has been the last resort for most of the mothers for their children. Whether adding a pinch of turmeric to the milk to deal with the cold symptoms or applying it as an ointment on the injuries, turmeric has been an age-old remedy.
Turmeric is undoubtedly an indispensable part of the spice box in every Indian kitchen and also our lives. Widely acclaimed as the most powerful spice, this bright yellowish-orange color root is well-known to add its extraordinary earthy flavor to all the delectable dishes, irrespective of the region it represents. For centuries, the use of turmeric is deeply embedded in the ancient Ayurveda, not just in cooking but also in medicines. It has become a go-to fix for the people to tackle a range of health-related problems. The main compound in turmeric is curcumin which not only imparts color to this spice but is also responsible for its health benefits. The amazing healing properties of turmeric comprise of antioxidant, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-viral, anti-mutagenic, anti-carcinogenic, and anti-inflammatory.
But it has also been said that usage of anything beyond a limit can turn its benefits into side effects. So we should always be cautious to use even the most prescribed things in moderation. This article will not only give its readers a glimpse of the benefits of turmeric but also its side effects and dosage.
Health benefits of turmeric
1. Improves kidney health: The anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric reduces the inflammation in kidneys. It detoxifies the kidneys and neutralizes the free radicals.
2. Helps in weight loss: Turmeric can be used as an add-on to the methods for weight loss. It helps in reducing the inflammation related to obesity. Curcumin in turmeric keeps a check on the fat formation in the body and increases antioxidant levels.
3. Helps in easing osteoporosis symptoms: Osteoporosis is a medical condition in which the bones become fragile and prone to breaking. Turmeric prevents the loss of bone minerals and also preserves bone density. The curcumin compound in the spice triggers the bone-producing cells.
4. Turmeric as a blood thinner: The curcumin present in turmeric works as a powerful blood thinner. This compound is imbibed with anti-coagulation properties, which prevents blood from forming clots.
5. For bone healing: Turmeric accelerates the bone healing process due to the presence of curcumin in the spice. Curcumin promotes the formation of new bones and stops the growth of cells responsible for absorbing old bones.
6. Remedy for Arthritic Pain: The anti-inflammatory properties present in turmeric alleviates the pain arising from arthritis. The antioxidants kill the free radicals responsible for damaging the cells in the body. An arthritic person must add this spice in their daily meal regime to relieve themselves of the pain of arthritis.
7. Lowers cholesterol: Curcumin in turmeric controls LDL cholesterol and its harmful implications on the arteries. It stops the liver from producing cholesterol and helps the liver to remove the LDL cholesterol from the body.
8. Cancer Prevention: Curcumin prevents the development of cancer cells in the body and also increases the effects of chemotherapy.
9. Lowering blood pressure: Curcumin, the antioxidant in turmeric, helps in keeping the blood pressure low. The anti-inflammatory properties in the spice keep the high blood pressure at bay.
10. Improves digestion: If you are suffering from a digestive disorder, then consuming raw turmeric is a solution. It vitalizes the gallbladder to produce bile juice and improves digestion. The spice is also effective in treating gas and bloating.
11. Delay in Diabetes: The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties in turmeric defer the onset of the Type 2 diabetes in diabetic people. It also helps in balancing the insulin levels in the body.
12. Boosts Immunity: The anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-viral properties in turmeric stimulate the body’s immune system. Having a glass of milk with a pinch of turmeric daily will do wonders for your immunity.
13. Detoxifies liver: Turmeric stimulates the production of important enzymes that detoxify the liver and removes toxins.
Side effects of turmeric
Although turmeric provides promising health benefits, there are some risks associated with the usage of turmeric in large amounts that are worth considering.
1. Upsetting the stomach: Although turmeric is an ideal remedy to treat digestive disorders, using the spice in ample amounts may lead to side effects. Turmeric increases the production of gastric acid in the stomach, which might help some people, and negatively affect the others.
2. Kidney stones: The presence of oxalate in turmeric may lead to the formation of kidney stones in some people.
3. Adulterated turmeric powder: Not all the turmeric powders are made with pure turmeric roots. There are adulterated turmeric powders available in the market containing toxic ingredients which are bad for health.
4. Headache and nausea: Consuming more than 450 mg of curcumin may cause a headache and nausea in some people.
5. Skin rash: There are cases of skin rashes reported by people who have taken a dose of 8,000 mg of curcumin or more.
6. Bleeding problems: Taking turmeric prevents clotting of blood. There is a possibility of increased risk of bruising and bleeding in people with related disorders.
Effectiveness of turmeric
Turmeric is an effective remedy for a wide range of health-related ailments. The effectiveness of turmeric in treating health problems can be judged from the health benefits mentioned above. But there are still some ailments which are out of the ambit of the benefits of this spice. They are-
- Stomach ulcers
- Eye inflammation
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Cancer-related skin wounds
- Bypass surgery
- Gum disease
- Menstrual problems
- Joint pains
- Rheumatoid arthritis, etc.
Uses of turmeric
The endless uses of turmeric have already been found and implemented in the Indian kitchens. Taking into account the multiple health benefits this spice offers, it can be added to any and every dish. You can simply add turmeric to curries, warm milk, salads, smoothies, pan-fried dishes and in every way you feel like. Although there are turmeric supplements available in the market, raw turmeric is contemplated as the most effective.
Dosage of turmeric
Nevertheless, turmeric is mostly used as a spice, there are still different ways in which you can use it. You can either take it as a powder, a root, a tincture or an extract. Depending on the usage of turmeric, the amount of its usage is going to vary.
If consuming it as a root: Not more than 3 grams a day
If consuming by drying the root and then making the powder: Not more than 3 grams a day
If consuming turmeric powder: Maximum 600 milligrams each three times a day
If consuming the extract: 90 drops per day
If consuming the tincture: Maximum 40 drops each four times a day
With these dosage guidelines, you can conclude that close attention needs to be paid while consuming turmeric in any form. The best thing is to consult your doctor regarding the dosage of this spice and its supplements based on your health condition.