Turmeric is a spice with a variety of health benefits, but it also hides some risks.
Curcuma owes its color to curcumin – the bright yellow pigment that makes this spice so unique. It is because of this ingredient, turmeric is used by traditional healers, mostly by Chinese medicine and Ayurvedic practitioners.
Nutritional supplements with curcumin are generally accepted for health diseases such as cancer and arthritis, although the evidence in this regard is still controversial. In general, the uses of turmeric and curcumin supplements are safe, but in some cases may cause mild side effects.
Benefits of turmeric for upset stomach
Curcumin has long been tested for its advantages in digestive diseases, including acid reflux. Being able to stimulate the creation of bile in the gall bladder, it can assist in easier food absorption. Curcumin may also affect the problems associated with bad digestion – inflammation and gas – since it has an anti-inflammatory influence on the digestive tract.
Curcumin is widely known for its number of antioxidants it contains. It could be as effective as vitamins C, E in eliminating free radicals and safeguarding tissues and cells in the human body. As reported by the American Cancer Society, curcumin can reduce the development of tumors and offer defense against cancer.
Benefits for arthritis disease
Turmeric has anti-inflammatory qualities, successfully decreasing the pain, swelling and inflammation related to osteoarthritis. In a clinical trial published in the 2010 edition of Panminerva Medica, Italian researchers analyzed the impact of curcumin on sufferers with osteoarthritis.
There was an improvement in symptoms and a reduction in dependence on pain medications in 58% of the cases.
Treatment of skin diseases
The traditional medical application of turmeric in Asian countries, involves the preparation of a paste applied to the skin to treat skin problems such as infections, microbe infections, bruises, bug bites, eye issues, mouth lesions and infected wounds.
Side effects on digestive system
Nutritional supplements with curcumin can result in adverse reactions in the digestive tract, with the most typical being gastric dysfunction, unsettled stomach and looseness of the bowels. In rare cases, prolonged use of turmeric supplements can cause stomach ulcers, at least according to a publication by researchers of Maryland University Medical Center. More serious negative reactions rarely occur even at doses of 12 g per day.
Curcumin might cause gallbladder contractions. In healthy people, this stimulation can boost the functioning of the bladder, but in individuals with bile stones or various other obstructions in the bile tubes, this effect can result in discomfort and pain. If you have troubles with your gall bladder, you should seek advice from a health care professional prior to taking turmeric supplements.
High doses of curcumin (over 15 g / day) can cause liver damage, according to data from an animal study conducted by the US National Center for Alternative Medicine. Although there have been no documented cases of liver damage in people who received nutritional supplements with curcumin, there are still changes in liver enzyme levels. Therefore, if you have a history of liver problems, it is better to avoid taking curcumin as well as consuming turmeric as a spice in food dishes.
Food supplements with curcumin are able to interact with certain drugs. In a number of individuals curcumin may lower blood glucose levels. Thus, if you take diabetes medications (that lower blood glucose), usage of turmeric and curcumin supplements can result in an alarmingly low level of sugar in your blood. Curcumin additionally has a blood thinning effect, i. e. decreases clotting ability. When consumed along with other blood thinning prescribed drugs (such as aspirin), curcumin could raise the chance of severe bleeding.
Image Credits: Wikimedia