Today’s blog post comes straight to you from a conversation I had earlier in the week with a client of mine. We were talking about her overall health when she mentioned having recently visited her OBGYN to discuss a lot of pain she was having surrounding both her ovulation and her menstrual cycle. As it turns out, her doctor found several large cysts as the culprit. His prescription wasn’t surgery. It wasn’t even hi-doses of ibuprofen or naproxen to help with the pain but instead, daily supplements of turmeric. Ahh yes, I’ve been taking turmeric supplements for years. But, I began to wonder if the rest of you were aware of the enormous health benefits that come with ingesting this powerful herb.
Over the past several years, thousands of studies have been conducted and published in medical journals about curcumin, the main active ingredient in turmeric. Coined as arguably the most powerful herb on the planet at fighting and potentially reversing disease, turmeric is on the top of the list as one of the most frequently mentioned medicinal herbs in all of Science. Let’s start with why my client was prescribed turmeric for her menstrual pain.
The most powerful aspect of curcumin is in its ability to control inflammation. The journal Oncogene published the results of a recent study that evaluated several anti-inflammatory compounds and found that aspirin and ibuprofen are least effective at reducing pain and inflammation, while curcumin is amongst the most effective anti-inflammatory compounds in the world. In addition to the growing problem with pain pill overdose and overuse, and the nasty side effects that can come with taking pain prescriptions regularly (sweating, increased heart rate, ulcers, dependence), turmeric has relatively no known side effects. Let’s share the news about this natural anti-inflammatory with every person we all know because inflammation puts people at risk for almost every disease process known today.
Cancer, ulcerative colitis, arthritis, high cholesterol, and chronic pain can all be the results of inflammation. So, the anti-inflammatory effects of curcumin can be prescribed as a result of pain (as in my client’s case) or as a preventive measure.
Although the list is much longer than even this, studies have shown that there are several other conditions and their treatments where traditional drugs pale in comparison to turmeric in terms of treatments. The following are 12 health benefits to turmeric:
- Antioxidant: Curcumin has the ability to quench free radicals that can cause mutation in our DNA.
- Cancer Preventative: The cancer-causing effects of cigarette smoke, barbequing, and smoke of any kind are suppressed by curcumin.
- Anti-Inflammatory: Curcumin’s anti-inflammatory powers are as effective as many anti-inflammatory drugs, including phenylbutazone and cortisone without the side effects.
- Liver Protective: Curcumin has been shown to have a protective effect on the liver and is incredibly effective at increasing bile release, which helps with fat digestion.
- Wound Healing: Natural antiseptic and antibacterial properties to keep the infection away from cuts and burns.
- Super Brain Function: Curcumin greatly reduces the rate of mental decline. May prevent and slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease by removing any plaque buildup in the brain.
- Kills the Bad Guys: Curcumin has anti-microbial properties that fight the nasty guys such as Clostridium, Streptococcus, Entamoeba histolytica, and several pathogenic fungi.
- Natural Pain Killer: Helps reduce sensations of chronic pain.
- Promote Weight loss: Helps manage weight, and aid in fat metabolism.
- Reduce Depression: A staple in Chinese medicine for helping lift mood in cases of depression.
- Boost Effectiveness of Cancer Drugs: Studies have shown that turmeric can boosts the effects of chemo drug paclitaxel and reduces its side effects.
- Skin Healing: Can help internally and topically with psoriasis and other inflammatory skin conditions.
If any of the above sticks out to you as a current or potential hearth concern, I encourage you to do some research on how turmeric may be able to help you before you turn to common prescription drugs.
Now to the important part….how do you get your hands on this wonder herb? My clients OBGYN prescribed a supplement of whole turmeric vs. isolated curcumin. 400-600 milligrams of turmeric extracts (available in tablets or capsules) three times a day or as directed on the product label. Look for products standardized for 95% curcuminoids. When shopping for supplements, make sure that the one you choose contains black pepper extract or piperine. That’s because neither turmeric nor curcumin taken orally is well absorbed unless taken with black pepper or piperline. And, be patient, the full benefits may not be apparent for up to eight weeks.
I’ll check back with my client after the turmeric has worked its way into her daily routine and let you know what she thinks about its substitute as a pain reliever.
Before I leave you with one of my favorite recipes for turmeric tea, I will say that I’m a big believer in traditional medicine when it’s undoubtedly the right choice. I have however found my house to have a medicine cabinet far less filled with unnecessary medications since starting on my turmeric regiment years ago and I hope you will do.
Click here for a fast and easy recipe for my family’s favorite turmeric tea!
Xx Enjoy! Janine