Turmeric: features, benefits and uses

One of the most used spices in the kitchen to cleanse the organism is turmeric: it’s a yellow spice that belongs to the family of plants to which ginger also belongs. This spice has a hot and bitter taste. It’s no coincidence that plants belonging to this genus are also used for food and medicinal purposes. What are the contraindications? And the features of this spice? And the benefits? Here are some things you must know.


Turmeric: here’s how it works

Turmeric contains countless active substances, such as turmeric itself, which has a choleretic action (stimulates gall production), but also vitamin C (lemon) and other antioxidants.

The active agents in the turmeric also have cholagogic properties (which stimulate the contraction of the gallbladder), hepatoprotective properties and antiseptic properties. Therefore, turmeric is usually suggested in case of liver ailments, gastric mucosa disorders and disorders concerning any digestive processes, and is also used to stimulate appetite.

Features and benefits of turmeric: all there is to know

What are the features and benefits of turmeric? Curcumina is of fundamental importance: this molecule is classifiable among the polyphenols and is responsible for the golden yellow color typical of turmeric and the curries that contain it, but not only.

Turmeric has been given the following features:

  • Antioxidant
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Anti-infective
  • Antimicrobial
  • Hepatoprotective
  • Anti-thrombosis
  • Cadioprotective
  • Anti-arthritic
  • Pro-apoptotic
  • Anti-cancer
  • Chemopreventive

How does turmeric operate against cancer?

Turmeric conducts a protective function against tumors (for example against colon or breast tumours): this depends on the negative regulation of molecules involved in inflammation (inflammatory cytokines), of transcription factors, of some enzymes (protein kinases), of some genes involved in cancer and of reactive oxygen species.

The benefits of turmeric

Moreover, among the benefits of turmeric, it should be noted how the use of this spice allows to obtain a better resistance to insulin. The latter is a phenomenon associated with various diseases and syndromes, such as glucose intolerance, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and the metabolic syndrome.

Turmeric is useful to treat bilious colics, but also conditions such as cholecystitis, cholelithiasis (gall bladder stones), stomach ulcers and jaundice.

Moreover, this spice is used to treat eczemata, acne, alopecia leading to hair loss, atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, vitiligo, radiodermatitis and other skin problems.

Turmeric contraindications: when to avoid this spice?

Turmeric doesn’t present any particular contraindications. It’s a safe spice and without any particular risks of side effects. This is why its ingestion is considered almost free of risks. However, you must pay attention in determinate cases:

  • People with occlusion of biliary routes: turmeric should only be taken after consulting the doctor.
  • People with cistifellea problems: turmeric could worsen the situation; this is why those who suffer from these problems should avoid taking it in the form of food supplements.
  • People with blood coagulation problems: turmeric has an anticoagulant effect, care must be taken.
  • Pregnant women and women that breastfeed.
  • Gastric problems: taking large amounts of turmeric or continuing to use it in the long term might cause indigestions, nausea or diarrhea.