Turmeric has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Antioxidants try to get rid of bad guys in the body called free radicals. Turmeric has been used for medicinal purposes in India and Asia for over 5,000 years. Turmeric is a bright yellow spice which has an earthly aroma. Turmeric contains three naturally occurring phytochemicals called curcuminoids of which curcumin is the most studied and most beneficial antioxidant. As mentioned above, antioxidants are chemicals that have anti-inflammatory properties which try to get rid of bad guys in the body called free radicals. Their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties have beneficial effects on obesity, reduce arthritis pain, and reduce diabetic complications such as eye complications, kidney complications and heart complications called retinopathy, nephropathy and cardiomyopathy respectively.
Turmeric also has some protective effects against pancreatic cancer, prostate cancer and multiple myeloma. It also has shown reduced incidence of colon cancer, although it’s effect on cancer has not been verified in human studies .
It also helps with cognitive function. Turmeric can increase the levels of a brain hormone called BDNF, brain-derived neurotrophic factor, which helps in delaying the decline in memory and thinking skills that occur with aging.
Turmeric is as effective as ibuprofen in relieving knee pain in patients with osteoarthritis.
Turmeric also has beneficial effects in reducing the blood pressure, reducing the risk of clots and reducing the risk of heart disease.
Precautions : Curcumin may increase the levels of anticoagulants and antiplatelet drugs and they should be avoided in patients taking anticoagulants or antiplatelet drugs
Take home message: Turmeric has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Antioxidants try to get rid of bad elements in the body called free radicals. Turmeric has been used for medicinal purposes in India and Asia for over 5,000 years. In addition to its beneficial effects on cough, cold, etc., the phytochemical in turmeric, called curcumin, is useful to help with arthritis, improve cognitive function, diabetic complications, and blood pressure as well as reduce the risk of clot formation and heart disease. Turmeric also has been shown to be beneficial in reducing the incidence of colon cancer and has protective effects against pancreatic cancer, prostate cancer and multiple myeloma. Of course, cancer protection has not been conclusively proven.
Most people can safety take turmeric or its active form curcumin, preferably after getting ok from your physician. Total dosage of turmeric should be between 500mg-1g per day. Based on its safety profile, long term use is acceptable.