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Curcumin Benefits- Why You Should Use More Turmeric

Puja Lalwani
A powerful compound found in turmeric, curcumin functions to protect the body from a host of health conditions. Find all the curcumin benefits and side effects here.
Curcumin is an active ingredient in the spice known as turmeric. Turmeric is one of the most popular spices used in Indian cooking, and works more like a food coloring agent, giving the food a deep yellow color. The treatments of aches, pains, and the common cold and cough, are all included among the health benefits of turmeric.
A pinch of turmeric added to a glass of milk is the concoction used for these problems. Recently, experts in the field of medicine have developed an interest in the medicinal benefits of curcumin, as it has shown to be able to prevent and control a variety of health conditions. On the other hand, it also has been known to induce a couple of side effects.

Health Benefits

Research has shown that there are numerous benefits of consuming curcumin on a daily basis. It is known to help control problems that may develop as a result of aging, some of which can be life-threatening.

May Prevent Cancer

One of the biggest benefits of curcumin includes its ability to stave off cancer development. This finding is based upon a study that was conducted on animals, where a daily dose of curcumin was shown to be able to prevent colon, breast and skin cancer.
This is possibly because of its antioxidant properties that have the ability to fight free radicals, one of the prime causes of cancer development. However, the effect of curcumin on human beings for the purpose of cancer prevention is yet to be discovered.

Helps Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis

Traditionally, turmeric has been used to treat the pain caused by arthritis of different types. This was done through ingestion, as well as topical application. Turmeric curcumin has anti-inflammatory properties, and is therefore capable of controlling the inflammation caused primarily due to osteoarthritis.

Lowers Cholesterol

Another benefit of turmeric curcumin includes the ability to lower high cholesterol levels. By lowering LDL (the 'bad' cholesterol), and increasing HDL (the 'good' cholesterol), curcumin can help prevent problems such as high blood pressure and chronic heart disease.
This ability may also prevent the development of a condition called atherosclerosis that causes the arteries to harden and in turn cause heart problems.

Promotes Immune System Health

As mentioned earlier, turmeric has often been used to take care of the common cold and cough. This is because the curcumin present in turmeric is a powerhouse of antioxidants and increases the strength of the immune system, thereby making it less prone to developing such conditions.

May Prevent Alzheimer's Disease

Though it has not been completely proven yet, the anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin are still being studied on the effect of preventing the development of, or delaying the onset of Alzheimer's disease. It has also been said that the development of other neurological diseases may be delayed upon regular consumption of curcumin.

Enables Detoxification

Curcumin also has the ability to function as a natural detoxification agent, thus clearing the liver of harmful toxins that are a cause for the development of several health conditions. Among these, it also protects the liver from toxicity caused by excessive alcohol consumption, chemicals, and certain medicines.
This of course does not mean that you can continue consuming alcohol in large amounts. Curcumin will prove helpful only up to a certain extent and may not be able to control excessive damage to the liver.

Helps Indigestion

Those who are prone to the problems of severe indigestion may benefit from taking curcumin on a daily basis. It helps in increasing bile production, thereby curing such problems completely.

Controls Diabetes

Studies conducted on animals with diabetes, where a dose of curcumin was given to them daily, has proven that the symptoms of diabetes in them reduced considerably over a period of time.

May Treat Kidney Disease

In a recent Indian research, it was found that curcumin helped treat artificially induced kidney conditions in rats. This study also showed that it helped improve kidney function and prevented the development of kidney diseases. This may lead to further research in the use of curcumin to help treat different conditions of the kidneys.

Side Effects

As healthy as a daily dose of curcumin is, it is important to note that it has a number of side effects which may develop when consumed in excess. These side effects include heartburn, stomach ulcers, and excess bile production that is unsafe for those with gallstones.
Turmeric curcumin has blood thinning properties, which means that while it may be suitable for those with heart conditions, it may not help those who already have a problem of excess bleeding due to poor blood clotting.
It may interact with drugs that you may have been prescribed for other health conditions and cause certain side effects. Lastly, curcumin present in turmeric is known to generate a lot of heat in the body, which makes it unsafe for pregnant women. Even women who are lactating should avoid the intake of curcumin.
Curcumin may be consumed in its natural form, via turmeric, or via the variety of supplements that are available in the market. Health experts suggest that supplements may be necessary because only curcumin derived from food may not be enough to provide all the aforementioned health benefits.
Do remember, as many benefits there may be, and even though it may be one of the best herbal remedies for those health conditions we are so prone to developing, curcumin should always be taken under the consultation of a qualified herbalist to prevent any of its side effects.
Disclaimer: This post is for informative purposes only and does not, in any way, intend to replace the advice of an expert. Research is still being conducted into all the benefits of curcumin and not every purported benefit may be backed by sufficient research.