Turmeric is a root that not only provides phenomenal flavor to curries and other dishes, but also provides many health benefits. The active component in turmeric root is called curcumin, and this has been shown to possess antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. As research on this “super root” has continued, scientists have found that turmeric is an effective remedy for multiple ailments, and is equally as effective as (or even more effective than) some prescription drugs.
Since these drugs are often used to treat inflammation, and turmeric possesses natural anti-inflammatory properties, it makes sense that turmeric would be an effective substitute. A 1999 study found in Phytotherapy Research revealed that curcumin treated eye inflammation more effectively than pharmaceutical corticosteroids. Another study published in 2008 found that curcumin treated inflammation related to lung transplants more effectively than corticosteroids.
Lipitor is a popular drug prescribed by physicians for high cholesterol, but this is not your only option available. A 2008 study published by the Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences showed that a curcuminoid preparation was just as effective as Lipitor in treating patients with oxidative stress and inflammation from type 2 diabetes.
Metformin is often prescribed to treat diabetes. One study published in 2009 by Auburn University found that curcumin could activate AMPK and simultaneously suppress gluconeogenic gene suppression; simply, this translates to a balance of glucose intake and production, which helps treat diabetes as well as Metformin.
4. Imipramine and Prozac
Perhaps because curcumin (and thus turmeric) also treats causes and symptoms of stress in the body and provides a variety of antioxidants, it is also effective in treating depression. A 2011 study published by Government Medical College in India showed that turmeric supplements treated depression in rats just as well as prozac or imipramine.
Oxaliplatin is often used during chemotherapy to prevent the growth of cancer cells. Research suggests, however, that curcumin may be just as effective in preventing cancer cells from metastasizing. A 2007 study done by the University of Leicester showed that curcumin was equally as effective in preventing the spread of cancer cells. Furthermore, the NIH has produced over 50 studies suggesting curcumin’s ability to stop cancer cells, and 27 separate studies have shown that curcumin may be effective in treating chemotherapy-resistant cancers.
6. Anti-inflammatory Drugs
In 2004 the University of Texas published a study that found curcumin to be equally as effective in treating inflammation as ten of the most common pharmaceutical anti-inflammatory drugs (such as ibuprofen and aspirin).
Almost everyone can benefit from adding turmeric to their diets on a regular basis. Especially if you deal with one of the ailments mentioned above or are currently taking any of the pharmaceutical drugs, talk to your physician about replacing these drugs with turmeric, either in part or completely. Unlike many of these drugs, turmeric is naturally occurring and will not treat one symptom while giving you ten new side effects to worry about.