What is Turmeric?

What is Turmeric?

Turmeric, yes that’s right yellow spice found in your kitchen cupboard is one of the most popular ingredients used in everyday routines, and not just in cooking! True you’ll often find several foods found infused with this warming ingredient as well as delicious curries and other Indian dishes.

What many of us don’t know, is how the extract called curcumin, which is found in turmeric contains an impressive amount of health benefits. The popularity of taking turmeric supplements or having daily turmeric shots has increased in the last few years. You’ve no doubt tried or have at least been tempted to try a turmeric latte, it’s certainly a trending super ingredient right now. We are going to explore in more detail what turmeric is, and the various benefits it has for our overall health and wellbeing. 

What is turmeric good for?

There are a vast number of concerns turmeric is known to be good for, here are some examples of the most common and most effectively treated with turmeric.

  • High cholesterol- by taking turmeric orally you’ll find your cholesterol levels and other fats, such as triglycerides are lowered. The effectiveness is based on the type of turmeric you are taking, so if you are wanting to combat a high cholesterol with the spice, it’s best to consult with a doctor or medical professional.
  • Reduces inflammations- turmeric and its extract curcumin are packed full of anti-inflammatory properties. You’ll sometimes find skincare products formulated to combat acne and breakouts contain turmeric to reduce the size of active spots. It is also highly effective at clearing any ulcers found in the mouth too.
  • Osteoarthritis- this is probably the most common use of turmeric to help those who suffer from arthritis and other joint pain. The only downside is turmeric is rendered useless if teamed with prescription medications. To get the most out of your supplement it’s best to use it on its own without other medications. Remember, if you have any concerns, it’s vital to visit your doctor before introducing any new supplements to your routine.
  • Depression- there have been many studies of how effective curcumin is at working to help with symptoms of depression.
  • Hay fever- taking a daily supplement of turmeric has been known to reduce the symptoms of those who suffer from seasonal hay fever. After taking turmeric many find that they suffer less from a runny nose, sneezing, and itchy, watery eyes.
  • Immunity- when curcumin is consumed, even in small doses, it can enhance the antibodies found in your immune system to help fight off any signs of infection or inflammation. This boost ensures our immunity is supported and strengthened making turmeric a great addition into your routine during the winter months.

As I mentioned, there you have some examples of what turmeric is good for, but if you are wanting to know a little more, check out our dedicated blog post “What are the benefits of turmeric?” over on The Health Insiders.

Is turmeric and ginger the same?

Not really, but they do provide similar benefits and are known for being highly effective ingredients for combating pain. Both are rhizomes, also known as root stalks, and have been used in both cooking and herbal healing for thousands of years.

Each spice is packed with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties making them a highly effective power duo at treating chronic pain and inflammation. With copious amounts of studies carried out both turmeric and ginger have shown effective results and are often teamed together. Here are some ways of incorporating both ingredients into your daily routine.

How to include ginger into your diet

  • Add fresh ginger into a morning smoothie, or fresh pressed juice shot ready to take on the day.
  • Enjoy a daily herbal tea, if you find the spice too bitter try adding some honey or lemon to sweeten your tea.
  • Add ground ginger into your daily baking or cooking, this will not only give your food extra flavour, but a beneficial boost.
  • Take a daily supplement containing ginger in powder form, this is favoured as the most convenient and effective way of introducing the super food to your diet.

How to include turmeric into your diet

  • Add ground turmeric into a latte or popular “golden milk” recipe which is favoured as a nighttime drink
  • Can be sprinkled into eggs for an added flavoured or into morning porridge, team it with maple syrup or honey to counteract the strong, bitter taste of the spice.
  • Take turmeric in supplement form, you’ll often find that it is teamed with black pepper to help the spice be absorbed into the body quickly.

The best option for you to reap the rewards of these spices is to take some time to figure out the easiest way you can use to incorporate ginger and turmeric into your daily routine.

Is it safe to take turmeric every day?

Yes, it is, but only if you are taking the correct amount. The best dosage to take daily is 1.4mg turmeric a day, anything higher for a long period of time will have a negative impact on the body. This is because as effective and beneficial turmeric is for the body, it will also have some negative side effects, which we will cover in the next section.

What are the side effects of turmeric?

As I have mentioned, turmeric and its extract, curcumin is an effective ingredient for many concerns, but can have some side effects. They aren’t too severe, but if you find you suffer from them for long periods of time you must consult with your GP.

Common side effects of turmeric

  • Mild discomfort and upset stomach
  • Increased experience with acid reflux
  • Frequent bowel movements and diarrhoea
  • Increased levels of urinary oxalate causing development of kidney stones
  • Can cause gallstones to develop and worsen
  • Known to interfere with medication used for treating bleeding disorders.

To find out more, check out our blog post about “What are the side effects of turmeric?” which goes into more detail.

There you have it, some more information about what is turmeric. As you can see it’s a rather impressive ingredient and contains a vast number of benefits for the body, skin, and wellbeing. Don’t forget if you have any questions, come, and follow us on Instagram, you’ll be able to find one of our experts in the direct messages.