Top 4 Science-Backed Health Benefits and Uses of Turmeric

Golden Milk

The wonderful spice from India

The health benefits of turmeric may seem like a recent discovery today. However, it has a long history in the Ayurvedic tradition, especially for digestive health. In fact, this brilliant gold spice has been appreciated in India for over four thousand years! While turmeric can have potent anti-inflammatory properties against cancer, and joint-related diseases, this article will focus primarily on gastrointestinal health and healing.

What are the health benefits of turmeric?

Turmeric is composed of three active constituents that are collectively called curcuminoids.
The benefits of turmeric are largely owed to a powerful class of antioxidants called curcuminoids, collectively referred to as curcumin.
The curcominoid complex is responsible for the antiinflammatory and antimicrobial properties that are present in the turmeric root.

A complementary therapy for gut health

The components of the diet are highly important for gut health and healing, so this must be looked at first and then supplement the diet with herbs. Curcumin’s therapeutic benefits has been demonstrated for a variety of gastrointestinal conditions.
The therapeutic uses of curcumin include reducing dyspepsia (indigestion), relieving symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), fight against Helicobacter Pylori bacteria, and support the healing of gastric ulcers.
Dyspepsia: Curcumin supports digestion by relaxing the smooth muscles of the digestive tract and gently pushing digested food through the intestines. This herb helps relieve unwanted cramping and bloating. IBS and IBD: It is thought that low-grade inflammation of intestinal mucosa is responsible for the common IBS symptoms (abdominal pain, bloating, altered bowel habits, and increased stool frequency) which often times these symptoms overlap with IBD. Studies have found that curcumin can alleviate or reduce the frequency of IBS and IBD symptoms. H. Pylori: Curcumin’s potent antibacterial properties has been found to inhibit the growth of all 65 strains of H. Pylori, a powerful bacteria that can infect the human stomach and live inside for years. Gastric ulcers: A clinical trial involving 45 subjects diagnosed with peptic ulcers who were given a dose of 600 milligrams of curcumin five times per week, found that 79% of patient’s ulcers were healed after 12 weeks of treatment.

How to take curcumin?

Give these a try with piperine! This is an alkaloid constituent from black pepper that helps with the absorption of curcumin. A flavorful way to have it is as a Golden Milk tea or add as a spice.  Also, turmeric supplements bound to phosphatidylcholine has been shown to be well absorbed.

Potential risks and limitations

Turmeric is very safe to consume. Some people  may get indigestion when taking high amounts of turmeric/curcumin.

The bottom line

Turmeric’s therapeutic value makes it a potential choice for supporting digestive health. To reduce systemic inflammation you need to include a fat such as ghee or piperine, a black pepper extract, to be properly absorbed. This potent anti-inflammatory in generally safe, but high doses can cause gastrointestinal problems.

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Written by Nazirber De La Cruz, RDN, CDN

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