Turmeric is a yellow spice and is believed to have many health benefits. It belongs to the ginger family and is native to Southeast Asia and the Indian subcontinent. The ideal temperature condition for its growth is between 68°F and 86°F as well as considerable rainfall. The roots are boiled in water and dried in ovens and then ground into powder. The mustard-colored spice is used as a flavoring and coloring agent in Asian cuisine. Curcumin is a bright yellow component in turmeric and used as a herbal supplement and food flavoring and coloring. Chemically, curcumin is responsible for turmeric’s yellow color.
Benefits of Turmeric
Although the side effects of turmeric and curcumin are many, in many parts of Asia, they are used for treating various health conditions. Some of the benefits include are as follows:
- Medicinal Benefits
Due to the presence of curcumin, turmeric is believed to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
- Anti-inflammatory Component
Chronic inflammation is responsible for many diseases in western countries. Curcumin can destroy many molecules that contribute to inflammation.
- Antioxidant Capacity
Free radicals in our body have an urge to react with important organic substances such as fatty acids and proteins. Curcumin boosts the activity of antioxidant enzymes that protect the body from free radicals. Owing to their chemical property, curcumin can neutralize free radicals.
Arthritis is a common sickness associated with joint inflammation. Curcumin, due to its anti-inflammatory properties, helps treat symptoms of arthritis.
- Skin Benefits
Applying turmeric helps ace marks and blemishes to fade away.
Side Effects of Turmeric and Curcumin
Along with the health benefits, there are some side effects of turmeric and curcumin, which occur when they are consumed in large amounts. These can be as follows:
- Kidney Stones
Turmeric comprises around 2% oxalate. When consumed at high doses, these can increase the chances of getting kidney stones.
Most of the commercial turmeric powders are adulterated with cheaper ingredients such as cassava starch, wheat, or rye flour. These are not tolerated by individuals with an intolerance to gluten or celiac diseases.
- Lead Content
Some turmeric powders contain an excess amount of lead, which may cause many health concerns in the long run.
- Skin Coloration
Long-term use of turmeric on the skin may contribute to a permanent yellow color on the skin. Excess turmeric in cuisines can also give a yellow color to the teeth.
Since the adulterated powders are difficult to identify, it is recommended to buy from certified reputed agencies or grind turmeric at home. Similarly, curcumin supplements must also be purchased from certified dealers to avoid any kind of side effects of turmeric and curcumin.