Turmeric is gotten from the flowering plant Curcuma longa, and it belongs to the ginger family, Zingiberaceae. Curcuma longa is a perennial plant. The active ingredient in Turmeric is Curcumin.
What is Turmeric, Where does it come from, and how does it grow
The roots of the flowering plant Curcuma longa is what makes up the Turmeric we know. Some people use the roots of Turmeric when it is dried. Before drying, the rhizomes are being boiled in water then dried. After drying, they are then ground to powder to form the dried Turmeric.
Turmeric is widely grown for a lot of uses, ranging from medical purposes, religious uses, and even culinary. Turmeric has a somewhat bitter, warm, black-pepper like flavor, and a mustard-like, earthy aroma.
Some people prefer to use the fresh rhizomes of Curcuma longa, because of the health benefits and also for the fact that its nutrient has not been altered during the drying or processing.
Turmeric is known to be native to Southeast Asia, and the Indian subcontinent. They grow there mainly because of the regions climatic conditions. Turmeric requires a temperature range between 20oC to 30oC to thrive, and a significant amount of rainfall annually.
The name “Turmeric” originates from an Indian word. It is possible that the origin of the Indian word that led to the naming of Turmeric was derived from an Early Modern English or Middle English as turmeryte or tarmaret. The name may also be of Latin origin terra merita, which means meritorious earth.
A large rhizome is preferably used for cultivation. The rhizomes are cut into sections, each section should have at least two or three buds – the bud is the part of the rhizome that develops into the shoot, flower, and leaf.
The rhizome of the Turmeric is then placed about 2 inches below the soil with the bud facing up. The areas where Turmeric is planted are rich in organic matter, and the soil should be well drained and moist.
What are the Health Benefits of Turmeric?
Turmeric as we already know are grown mainly for its roots. Although other parts of Turmeric are useful, the roots are the most demanded and are popularly used. So far so good, Turmeric may be one of the most effective supplement (nutritional-wise), which has been in existence for a while now.
A lot of highly referenced studies have shown that Turmeric has a lot of health benefits to our brain and body. Below are the seven most popular health benefits of Turmeric;
- Turmeric is Rich in Bioactive Compounds
Studies have revealed that Turmeric is rich in a bioactive compound called curcumin. Curcumin is a bioactive compound that aids to fight against most of the illness that affects man. Although curcumin is not easily absorbed into the bloodstream, it helps to consume Turmeric with black pepper. Black pepper contains piperine, which helps to improve the effectiveness and overall absorption rate.
- Turmeric possesses a Natural Anti-inflammatory compound
As you already know, Turmeric contains curcumin, which has powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Curcumin is so potent that it matches up with some anti-inflammatory drugs, and this time without its side effects. Chronic inflammatory diseases, as well as other molecules that are known to play a significant role in inflammation, are being suppressed by curcumin.
- Turmeric helps to increase the capacity of antioxidant in the body
Free radicals in the body are associated with many diseases that have plagued man for many years, including the fact that it causes aging. Because of the structure of curcumin, it can react with these free radicals and neutralize them, and at the same time, increase the body’s antioxidant enzymes.
- Curcumin in turmeric aids to boost brain-derived neurotrophic factor, which is associated with reducing the risk of brain diseases and are linked with improved brain function
BDNF, a brain hormone which is linked to making you smarter, and enhanced memory are boosted by curcumin present in Turmeric. Curcumin helps in increased growth of new neurons, and at the same time, it helps to fight against degenerative processes that take place in the brain.
- Curcumin in Turmeric helps to lower the risk of heart diseases
Curcumin also helps to reverse a lot of steps that lead to heart diseases. One of the most beneficial effects of curcumin when it comes to heart disease is the fact that it aids to improve the function of the endothelium – endothelium is the lining of our blood vessels. The dysfunction of the endothelium is the primary cause of the inability to regulate the body’s blood pressure, the ability of the blood to clot, among others.
- Turmeric can help prevent cancer
Cancer is caused as a result of uncontrolled growth of the body’s cells. There are many forms of cancer but are all associated with an uncontrolled growth of the body’s cell. But studies have revealed that curcumin in Turmeric has helped to reduce angiogenesis as well as metastasis. Angiogenesis is a case when new body vessels grow in a tumor, while metastasis is a condition when cancer spread, but in each case, curcumin helps to prevent it.
- Curcumin in Turmeric helps prevent Alzheimer’s Diseases
Alzheimer is a neurodegenerative disease which often leads to the cause of dementia. Unfortunately, there is no known cure for it yet, so preventing it in the first place is very important. Researches have shown that oxidative and inflammation damages place a significant role in Alzheimer’s disease. But curcumin helps to cross the blood-brain barrier, which helps to improve the pathological process of Alzheimer’s disease.
Is Turmeric good for your skin?
Yes, Turmeric is very good for your skin. Thanks to curcumin present in Turmeric, its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties of Turmeric makes it works wonder on our skin. You can even indulge in rubbing Turmeric on your skin to brighten it up. Below are some of the benefits of using Turmeric for your skin;
- Curcumin helps to clean up the dysfunctional cellular component of the skin and at the same time prevent the growth of tumor progression and melanoma cells, thereby preventing skin cancer,
- Turmeric helps to reduce the risk of psoriasis – a chronic inflammatory skin diseases,
- Scleroderma which is formed under the skin is as a result of the immune system fighting other health connecting tissue causing scarring, can be prevented using Turmeric,
- Turmeric prevents vitiligo – a depigmentation o the skin causing white patches on the skin,
- ACNE a skin condition which is characterized by whiteheads, pustules, and blackheads are prevented using cream of curcumin.
A research carried out by Professor Greg, and his team proved that consuming curcumin and phytosterol (a naturally occurring steroid present in a plant), helps to reduce the level of cholesterol in the body.
In the research, two groups were selected for the research over four weeks. The first group was the control, placed on a double placebo. The second group was placed on a 2g per day of phytosterol, and 200g per day of curcumin.
At the end of the fourth week, the result showed that the group placed on phytosterol and curcumin showed a reduction in the level of LDL cholesterols by 9.9% than when compared with the control group.
How Much Turmeric should you take a Day?
Since curcumin is the active ingredient in Turmeric, it is essential always to note how much curcumin is present in any caplet or Turmeric you want to consume.
In every tablespoon of Turmeric, it contains about 200 milligrams of curcumin.
The average amount of Turmeric to consume in a day is about 500 milligrams. Whatever you’re treating would determine the amount of curcumin you’d consume in a day.
For instance, if Michael is treating an anti-inflammatory disease, he would be required to consume between 500 – 1000 milligrams of curcumin a day to treat it.
Side Effects and Risks, Can Turmeric be Harmful?
Consuming Turmeric comes with a couple of side effects, although they are not considered significant. In a case of turmeric offer dose – consuming over 1500 milligrams of Turmeric would result in dangerous abnormal heart rhythm. Other side effects associated with consuming Turmeric include:
- Stomach upset
Is Turmeric Hard on Kidneys?
Turmeric is considered safe as long as it is taken in the recommended dosage. However, there have been some claims that Turmeric is hard on the Kidneys. Although Turmeric helps fight against kidney diseases. The curcumin present in Turmeric blunts the effects of the enzymes and inflammatory molecules that may cause chronic kidney diseases.
At the same time, Turmeric contains Potassium which might not be very healthy for the kidney. People who have kidney disease might find it very difficult to consume Turmeric because of the amount of Potassium it contains. People with kidney problems can’t regulate the amount of Potassium in their body, which causes irregular heart rhythm.
Apart from that, Turmeric also contains a considerable high amount of oxalate. Oxalate is a chemical that increases the risk of gallstone – a condition whereby a hardened deposit obstructs the gallbladder preventing the smooth flow of urine.
What Medications should not be taken with Turmeric?
Turmeric reacts with some certain drugs in a way that it becomes harmful rather than beneficial. Therefore it is essential that you take caution when combining Turmeric with the following types of drugs:
- Medications that are broken down by the liver, (cytochrome substrates),
- Medications that are used for diabetes (Antidiabetes drugs),
- Medications that slow down blood clotting, (antiplatelet, or anticoagulant drugs),
Is it Safe to take Turmeric Every Day?
Yes, it is safe to consume Turmeric every day. Consuming about 500 – 1000 mg of Turmeric every day is good and has very few side effects. But consuming up to 2000 mg of Turmeric is not recommended for long term consumption.