The power of turmeric and curcumin for body and soul

Die Kraft von Kurkuma und Curcumin für Körper und Seele

Turmeric, an ancient spice popular in traditional Chinese herbalism and Ayurveda, is one of the most well-known functional foods in the world.

Functional foods are foods that are believed to positively impact health in some way other than just providing calories or taste.

Turmeric and its active ingredient curcumin are often used to support mood and the immune system. But the benefits of this golden spice extend beyond just the mind and immune system.

Below you will find out what turmeric is, how it works and what benefits and risks it brings.

What are turmeric and curcumin?

What is Turmeric? Turmeric is a popular yellow spice, also known as Curcuma longa, that belongs to the ginger family. It is a perennial plant that produces roots and shoots (rhizomes) and is usually around one meter high when fully grown.

There are at least 133 species of turmeric around the world.

The spice turmeric comes from Southeast Asia, where it has been used in traditional herbalism for thousands of years.

What is Curcumin? Curcumin (the group of curcuminoids in turmeric) is the main active component in turmeric. The curcuminoids in turmeric are believed to give the spice both its color and its health-promoting properties, such as: B. supporting joint function and promoting a healthy inflammatory response.

The History of Turmeric Around the World

The earliest use of turmeric was thought to be around 4,000 years ago in India. The Vedic culture (from which Ayurveda emerged) used turmeric as a culinary spice. It also had a place in their religious culture.

Thousands of years later, the golden spice reached China (700 AD). Marco Polo described turmeric in 1280 as a wonderful vegetable with properties similar to saffron, earning it the nickname "Indian saffron" in medieval Europe.

Turmeric has been used in South Asia for thousands of years as a widespread remedy for all sorts of ailments.

These ancient peoples didn't just consume turmeric as food - they burned it to inhale its fumes, made tinctures and oils from it, used it as perfume, and even made ointments and pastes with it.

According to The Cultural History of Plants (2005), turmeric grew separately in Tahiti and Hawaii before Europeans brought Indian turmeric with them.

In modern history, turmeric was first mentioned in the United States in 1831 in Virginia Housewife by Mary Randolph.

Today, India accounts for 80% of the world's turmeric.

Inflammation: When the body's response is not ideal

Inflammation occurs when your immune system protects you from infection or injury. The immune system's inflammatory response is only intended for a short period of time.

Unfortunately, long-term inflammation is a common health problem in our world today.

Long-term inflammation can be caused by:

Untreated infection
Untreated injuries
Exposure to toxins
Weight problems
Excessive stress
When the immune system's natural inflammatory response lasts much longer than intended, it can impact the body's ability to maintain optimal health.

Supporting normal levels of inflammation is an important part of living a vital life.

Benefits of Turmeric

Including turmeric or curcumin in your diet can benefit many areas of health.

However, turmeric as a spice is not very bioavailable, meaning it can be difficult for the body to absorb it effectively.

1. Mood improvement

Both human and animal studies suggest that curcumin can improve mood and promote a positive attitude.

Animal studies appear to indicate that curcumin may reduce occasional feelings of sadness due to its effect on the brain's neurotrophic factor.

Human clinical studies suggest that curcumin may reduce feelings of worry about life's stressors.

The researchers also note that curcumin's target proteins also include proteins that play a role in mood swings.

Turmeric/Curcumin appears to affect mood because it promotes healthy levels of inflammation in the body. An imbalance in inflammation can lead to unwanted mood swings.

2. Healthy inflammation levels

Turmeric supports healthy levels of inflammation throughout the body. One study found that curcumin supports a healthy inflammatory response, similar to resveratrol, the active ingredient in red wine.

Brain support
Turmeric/Curcumin has been observed to promote brain health by supporting normal brain activity and keeping the mind sharp.

4. Vision support

A 2013 study suggests that curcumin may promote eye health throughout the lifespan without significant side effects.

5. Support the cardiovascular system

Your cardiovascular system likes turmeric! This spice conveys the processes of:

Platelet aggregation
Normal cholesterol function
Inflammation in the vascular system

6. Healthy skin

Remember the ancient Indian peoples who used turmeric in their skin salves? These types of ointments and pastes can help improve blood circulation and the appearance of the skin.

7. Metabolism support

Metabolism is the way the body processes what is fed to it and uses it to live and function.

Turmeric and/or curcumin may support metabolism for various functions of the body, including the endocrine system and weight control.

8. Supporting digestion

A small clinical study from 2005 suggests that turmeric may promote healthy digestion, although more evidence is needed to confirm whether or not this is the case on a larger scale.

How to use turmeric

There are many ways to incorporate turmeric into your daily routine. Consider one of the following options:

In Cooking: Turmeric recipes can be found on virtually every food-related website - for good reason! It has an earthy, bitter, musky smell that flavors curry powder. But it's not just for curries! You can add turmeric to eggs, soups, homemade bread, or ground beef. Experiment with your favorite flavors and turmeric to find what you like best.
In tea: "Golden milk" is the popular term for tea drinks that contain turmeric. Golden tea recipes often include coconut milk, ginger, black pepper, and cinnamon for a well-rounded flavor.
In Mouthwashes: Believe it or not, turmeric is a great ingredient for a homemade mouthwash. It may not smell minty-fresh, but it is excellent for supporting a balanced oral microbiome.
Essential Oil: High-quality turmeric essential oil can be used (very sparingly) in dishes or diffused as a fragrance reminiscent of ancient India.
Dietary Supplements: Dietary supplements containing turmeric/curcumin are available from a large number of sources. But be careful: turmeric is best absorbed when, for example, B. combined with black pepper and/or taken in liposomal form.
Turmeric/curcumin side effects

For some people, turmeric/curcumin may cause side effects.

Side effects of curcumin/turmeric may include:

Upset stomach or other digestive problems
skin rash
Increased risk of kidney stones
These side effects are not common. Many studies report no adverse side effects; However, stomach upset is the most common side effect when someone consumes too much of it.

Turmeric/curcumin can have unwanted interactions with blood thinners.

The bottom line

Turmeric has been used to promote health around the world for thousands of years.

Today, turmeric is still used worldwide as a popular functional food. Its active ingredient, curcumin, is touted for its overall health benefits.

It is important to consult your doctor before starting a new supplement regimen, especially if you are taking medications or have a medical condition.

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