Turmeric (Curcuma longa), the main spice in the Indian dish curry, is arguably the most powerful herb on the planet at fighting and potentially reversing disease. Turmeric benefits include so many healing properties that currently there are over 10,000 peer-reviewed articles published proving turmeric benefits, especially one of its renowned healing compounds, curcumin.
This puts turmeric on top of the list as one of the most frequently mentioned medicinal herbs in all of science. The next most popular studied herbs include garlic, cinnamon, ginseng, ginger and milk thistle.
Turmeric comes from the Curcuma longa plant, which grows in India and other Southeast Asian countries. The dried root of the Curcuma longa plant is ground into the distinctive yellow turmeric powder. There are several chemical compounds found in turmeric, known as curcuminoids. The active substance in turmeric is curcumin.
Of the 10,000+ studies referencing turmeric, the most interesting finding is that when it’s compared to conventional medicine, turmeric benefits equal that of many pharmaceutical medications. In fact, a number of studies have even reported that using curcumin is more advantageous than certain prescription drugs.
Areas of Your Health that Curcumin Benefits May Apply?
When examining the research, turmeric benefits go beyond that of these 12 kinds of conditions and treatments:
- Anti-inflammatory drugs
- Antidepressants (Prozac)
- Anticoagulants (Aspirin)
- Pain killers
- Diabetes drugs (Metformin)
- Arthritis medications
- Inflammatory bowel disease drugs
- Cholesterol drugs (Lipitor)
- Skin Care
Now let’s jump deeper into the research on turmeric benefits at potentially reversing specific diseases.
12 Turmeric Benefits that Beat Medications
Although the list is much longer, we’ve selected 12 conditions and their treatments where drugs pale in comparison to turmeric extracts, in potentially reversing disease. As you read this report, keep in mind that one of the most powerful advantages curcumin has over the traditional medical approach is the lack of side effects.
Medical intervention generally includes the following medications to slow and prevent blood clotting:
- Clopidogrel (Plavix)
- Enoxaparin (Lovenox)
- Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others)
- Warfarin (Coumadin), and others.
Unfortunately, for people with conditions that are treated by these drugs (i.e. deep-vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism), this approach may not always be the wisest decision. Ibuprofen overdose is one such common problem. In addition to common side effects like excessive bleeding and hemorrhage, the risks associated with anticoagulants abound and include everything from back pain to headaches to difficulty breathing. (1)
Turmeric, on the other hand, has relatively no known side effects unless taken in extremely excessive amounts.
Additionally, ever since several groundbreaking studies in the mid-1980s, the curcumin in turmeric has been suggested by researchers as actually being a better option for those with vascular thrombosis. (2)
Although few studies have been conducted on humans, dozens of research trials have proven that turmeric benefits include being especially effective in correcting depression symptoms in laboratory animals.
To address this issue, the journal Phytotherapy Research published the results of an amazing, innovative study this past year. The study took 60 volunteers diagnosed with major depressive disorder (MDD), such as manic depression (bipolar disorder), and split the group to determine how patients treated by curcumin fared against fluoxetine (Prozac) and a combination of the two. (3)
Not only was it discovered that all patients tolerated curcumin well, but they discovered curcumin was as effective as Prozac in managing depression.
According to the authors, “This study provides first clinical evidence that curcumin may be used as an effective and safe therapy for treatment in patients with mild depression.”
Arguably, the most powerful aspect of curcumin is its ability to control inflammation.
The journal Oncogene published the results of a study that evaluated several anti-inflammatory compounds and found that aspirin and ibuprofen are least effective, while curcumin is among the most effective anti-inflammatory compounds in the world. (4)
This news should have reached every household in the world after the study was conducted because inflammation puts people at risk for almost every disease process known to man.
Diseases today such as cancer, ulcerative colitis, arthritis, high cholesterol and chronic pain can be the result of inflammation.
The anti-inflammatory effects of curcumin have also been studied as a possible treatment for Alzheimer’s disease. At this point, evidence for turmeric’s effects on Alzheimer’s patients is inconclusive; it’s not certain that turmeric can prevent or treat the disease. However, perhaps further research might result in the development of future treatments. (5)
As you will see below in several other articles related to chronic illness, keep this in the back of your mind: Turmeric’s key to disease reversal may be its ability to keep inflammation at bay.
4. Skin Condition Treatments
Turmeric benefits include anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that have proven effective in treating skin conditions. Turmeric benefits for skin include speeding up wound healing; calming the pores to decrease acne and acne scarring; and controlling psoriasis flares. (6) Try my Turmeric Face Mask for Glowing Skin.
Turmeric can stain the skin and it may cause an allergic reaction. Do a patch test by applying a dime-size amount to your forearm. Then wait 24–48 hours to check for any reaction before applying turmeric to your face.
5. Arthritis management
Because curcumin is known for its powerful anti-inflammatory and pain-reducing characteristics, a study was conducted on 45 rheumatoid arthritis patients to compare the benefits of curcumin in turmeric to the arthritis drug Diclofenac sodium, which put people at risk of developing leaky gut and heart disease.
The study split these volunteers into three groups: curcumin treatment alone, Diclofenac sodium alone, and a combination of the two. The results of the trial were eye-opening:
The curcumin group showed the highest percentage of improvement in overall [Disease Activity Score] scores and these scores were significantly better than the patients in the diclofenac sodium group. More importantly, curcumin treatment was found to be safe and did not relate with any adverse events. Our study provides the first evidence for the safety and superiority of curcumin treatment in patients with active RA, and highlights the need for future large-scale trials to validate these findings in patients with RA and other arthritic conditions.
Published by Phytotherapy Research in 2012, the results of this study have encouraged more human research to evaluate the amazing effects curcumin-rich plants like turmeric have on people suffering from various different types of arthritis. (7)
6. Cancer treatment
Of all the various topics scientists have tackled in regards to curcumin and disease reversal, cancer (of various types) is one of the most thoroughly researched topics. In the words of global authorities like Cancer Research UK: (8)
A number of laboratory studies on cancer cells have shown that curcumin does have anticancer effects. It seems to be able to kill cancer cells and prevent more from growing. It has the best effects on breast cancer, bowel cancer, stomach cancer and skin cancer cells.
A July 2017 study by researchers at Baylor Scott & White Research Institute found that curcumin may even be able to break through chemo-resistance in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), an aggressive form of pancreatic cancer. (9) Doctors commonly face the challenge of patients initially responding to chemotherapeutic drugs and then later developing resistance. Curcumin appears to re-sensitize these patients’ cancer cells to the drugs, although the exact mechanisms of curcumin’s chemo-sensitization remain ambiguous. Study author, Ajay Goel, PhD, director of gastrointestinal research and translational genomics and oncology at Baylor Scott & White Research Institute stated: (10)
Food-based botanicals have the potential to restore a healthier gene expression in patients but without the toxicity of certain drugs.
Bottom line: Turmeric benefits include working incredibly well to help naturally treat cancer as well as breast cancer, colon cancer and skin cancer. It may also help with chemotherapy resistance in patients with PDAC.