Turmeric-the ancient herb used in Asian kitchens for centuries is more than just a spice. It is a medicinal herb with strong anti-inflammatory properties that aids in healing, strengthens the immune system and works wonders for treating all kinds of inflammation.
What is inflammation? Let's take a look!
Inflammation is the human body's natural defence mechanism for fighting foreign invaders, healing wounds and cleaning out toxins. It's only when the inflammation goes out of control that it can have a serious impact on the body.
Reasons for inflammation
When the body isn't able to heal the organs or an area on its own, it is then when the prolonged swelling or inflammation occurs. Insect bites, injuries or illness can lead to external swelling whereas serious injury or a side effect of a medication can cause internal swelling.
Rash, hives, pregnancy, menstruation, cysts and tumours, hormonal changes can also lead to external inflammation.
Symptoms of inflammation
Inflammation isn't always visible. Internal inflammation is caused due to retention of fluids that can be seen through a scan or imaging of the enlarged area, bone or muscle.
Internal swelling can also cause other symptoms like nausea, vomiting, dizziness, fever and pain. External inflammation can be accompanied by symptoms like pain, itching, vomiting and flatulence.
Prolonged Inflammation and what can it lead to?
It has been estimated that 3 out of 5 people worldwide die due to chronic inflammatory diseases such as cancer, stroke, diabetes, heart disorders and obesity.
Chronic inflammation is a long-term inflammation that continues for prolonged periods. However, the extent and effects of chronic inflammation vary with the cause of injury and ability of the body to recuperate from the damage.
In prolonged Inflammation, our body's inflammatory response can eventually damage healthy cells tissues and organs. Over time, this can lead to DNA damage and internal scarring.
Some of the chronic inflammation conditions include diseases such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, cerebral injury, cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, cancer, allergy, asthma, bronchitis, colitis, arthritis, renal ischemia, psoriasis, diabetes, obesity, depression, fatigue, and acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS).
How turmeric comes to your rescue!
Here's the secret ingredient. Turmeric contains a powerful compound called curcumin that gives it the bright yellow colour and its anti-inflammatory properties. It can boost immunity and metabolism, reduce inflammation, enable faster healing including reduced pain and enhanced mobility for patients with joint pain and serious conditions such as arthritis and osteoarthritis.
How curcumin works?
Presence of curcumin in turmeric fights inflammation at the molecular level.
It is known to block NF-KB activation increased by several different inflammatory stimuli. NF-KB plays a key role in regulating the immune response to infection. Incorrect regulation of NF-ÎºB has been linked to cancer, inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, septic shock, viral infection, and improper immune development.
Curcumin is a strong antioxidant too
Oxidative damage is one of the main reasons behind ageing and other diseases. Presence of curcumin in turmeric makes it a strong anti-oxidant to neutralize free radicals. It's antioxidant properties also play a major role in preventing heart diseases.
Taking Turmeric for chronic conditions such as arthritis
As turmeric helps in preventing inflammation, it can be used to treat many chronic diseases and condition like diabetes, obesity, depression, arthritis and many more.
How to take Turmeric (The golden herb with a golden rule)
There are many ways to consume turmeric. You can use it as supplements, tables, pills or powder. You can also take raw turmeric in your food, milk (golden milk) or with tea. But do make sure that turmeric is consumed with black pepper for better absorption of curcumin.
We recommend Forest Raga's Turmeric Plus supplement as it already has black pepper and ginger added to it for better absorption. Know more
How much turmeric is too much!
Turmeric when taken by mouth or applied to skin is considered safe if limited to less than 8 grams a day. However, the dosage of turmeric is generally recommended on the health condition and high doses are taken for limited periods of time.
Too much turmeric over long-term can cause gastrointestinal upset for some people.
Who should take Turmeric with caution!
Turmeric supplements should be used with caution by patients who follow medications such as these:
- Medications that slow blood clotting (Anticoagulant / Antiplatelet drugs)
- Medication for diabetes: Even though turmeric helps with regulation of insulin in the body, it is advised to stop using Turmeric supplements at every change of season for a couple of weeks as body's insulin production gets adjusted to the change in the season.
- Medication for immune separation