Turmeric is quite interesting because of its huge role in Chinese and Ayruvedic Medicine. You normally see it in its rhizome form, a knobby stem that has roots and grows underground, being turned into a powdered, dry form. Turmeric is highly popular because of curcumin, the active ingredient.
It is interesting to notice the fact that curcumin was isolated around 200 years ago and turmeric is not the only available source but the compound is most popular when used as turmeric.
In both Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine, the turmeric plant is utilized in order to:
- heal wounds
- relieve pain associated with arthritis
- regulate menstruation
Besides these, there are also notes that highlight the fact that curcumin has some anticancer, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. However, we do not have enough proof to say that this is actually the case.
We need to understand the fact that we are still at a preliminary research stage with turmeric and especially the curcumin active ingredient. This research suggests that curcumin is capable of decreasing blood cholesterol, treat acne, improve cardiovascular function, improve liver function and decrease symptoms that appear for people suffering from irritable bowel syndrome.
This is where things become interesting. According to the US National Institute Of Health, we do not have reliable evidence that turmeric can help treat many conditions. Turmeric was associated with treatments for irritable bowel syndrome, osteoarthritis and inflammation but not enough clinical trials were done. To put it as simple as possible, while there is some evidence that turmeric helps with inflammation, when dealing with serious conditions like Alzheimer’s and cancer, we cannot say that it will help.
What we have to take away is the fact that turmeric is really good at relieving some symptoms. The best example is the joint pain or the inflammation that is associated with attacks in osteoarthritis. However, it is not a cure that can help when dealing with serious conditions and diseases. The really good news is that consuming turmeric will not have side effects for the vast majority of people. You cannot expect miracles but curcumin can aid in many situations. There is no reason why you should not try it out.