There’s a lot of buzz around Turmeric these days, especially for its ability to reduce inflammation. And while inflammation is an essential function of your body in the short term – it helps fight off harmful bacteria and plays a role in repairing damage – chronic inflammation can become a problem. Scientists now think that chronic inflammation has a role in conditions such as heart disease, cancer, metabolic syndrome, and more.
Turmeric as an Anti-Inflammatory
Turmeric is the spice responsible for the yellow color of curry and American mustard. It’s been used in India for centuries as a medicinal herb as well as a seasoning. Similar to ginger, but more orange-colored in appearance, it has a pungent, warm, and bitter flavor. Fighting inflammation is only one of the benefits of Turmeric.
Turmeric’s principal active ingredient is curcumin, known for its anti-inflammatory properties. For this reason, Turmeric has been widely sold as a supplement. In supplement form, you get more of the spice than you would use in cooking. It is these high levels of Turmeric that are used as a powerful anti-inflammatory.
How to Take Turmeric
You can add Turmeric to your cooking, but this will not give you enough curcumin to fight inflammation. For that, you will need to take a supplement. And since the Turmeric is not well-absorbed by our bodies, most supplements contain black pepper or piperine to help with absorption.
Why Is Turmeric Getting So Much Attention?
As more chronic diseases are linked to chronic inflammation, any compound with anti-inflammatory properties is getting a lot of attention. Dozens of animal studies and some human trials have suggested that curcumin has anti-inflammatory properties. For this reason, turmeric supplements have become popular as a remedy for conditions linked to chronic inflammation such as colitis, arthritis, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
A Note from GR8NESS
If you’re thinking of using Turmeric as an anti-inflammatory, there are a few things you should keep in mind. Turmeric is generally considered safe when used correctly. In rare cases, daily use over long periods can cause heartburn or stomach upset for some.
While everyone should consult with their physician before starting a turmeric supplement, this is especially important for those with diabetes or liver disease. Medications such as blood thinners that slow blood clotting interacts with turmeric.
Your healthcare provider can let you know if the supplement you’re thinking about taking will interact with any medications you may be taking or pre-existing conditions you may have.