DrAxe | Turmeric is the main spice in curry, and it is one of the most powerful herbs on the planet when it comes to fighting and reversing diseases. It provides many health benefits and currently there are 6,235 perr-reviewed articles and each of these proves its power, and also the benefits provided by curcumin, a renowned healing compound.
This is why turmeric is on the top of the list of most frequently mentioned healing herbs, and it is followed by garlic, cinnamon, ginseng, ginger and milk thistle.
If you take these studies into consideration, the most interesting finding is the fact that when compared to conventional drugs, turmeric is as effective as pharmaceutical medications. Moreover, some studies even report that curcumin is more powerful than prescription drugs.
As the research shows, turmeric is more beneficial than these 10 drugs:
- Anti-inflammatory drugs
- Anti-depressants (Prozac)
- Anti-coagulants (Aspirin)
- Pain killers
- Diabetes drugs (Metformin)
- Arthritis medications
- Inflammatory bowel disease drugs
- Cholesterol drugs (Lipitor)
Here is a deeper explanation regarding its benefits in reversing specific diseases:
10 Drugs that cannot be compared to turmeric
The list is much longer, but these 10 drugs pale in comparison to turmeric when it comes to reversing diseases. Keep in mind that the lack of side-effects in the use of curcumin is probably one of its most important advantages.
These medications are commonly used to slow and prevent blood clots:
- Clopidogrel (Plavix)
- Enoxaparin (Lovenox)
- Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others)
- Warfarin (Coumadin), and others
These drugs are not the smartest option for people who need them, usually people who deal with deep-vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism. They cause excessive bleeding and hemorrhage, and other side-effects, ranging from back pain and headaches to difficulty breathing.
Turmeric has no side-effects, unless it is consumed in extremely excessive amount.
Since the great groundbreaking studies in the mid-1980s, researchers have suggested curcumin as a much better option for people with vascular thrombosis.
Although there are not many studies conducted on humans, dozens of scientific research trials have confirmed that turmeric effectively corrects depression symptoms in laboratory animals.
Last year the journal Phytotherapy Research publishes the results of an innovative study. It involved 60 volunteers diagnosed with major depressive disorder (MDD). Scientists divided the group in order to determine the effect of Prozac, curcumin and a combination of the two.
It was discovered that patients tolerate curcumin well, and it was also found that curcumin is as effective as Prozac when it comes to managing depression.
The authors explained, “This study provides first clinical evidence that curcumin may be used as an effective and safe therapy for treatment in patients with Mild Depression.”
3. Anti-Inflammatory Drugs
The most powerful benefit provided by turmeric is its ability to control inflammation.
A study published by the journal Oncogene evaluated anti-inflammatory compounds, and found that, surprisingly, aspirin and ibuprofen are least effective, and that curcumin is one of the most effective anti-inflammatory compounds.
Every single individual throughout the world should know this information, because inflammations increase the risk for almost every disease and disorder ever known.
Inflammation can lead to diseases like cancer, ulcerative colitis, arthritis, high cholesterol, and chronic pain. As many scientists would agree, turmeric’s power for disease reversal is in its ability to fight inflammation.
4. Arthritis Management
Curcumin is known for its strong anti-inflammatory and pain reducing properties. A study involved 45 patients diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, and scientists compared the benefits of curcumin to arthritis drugs, including disclofen sodium, responsible for the risk of leaky gut and heart disease.
Scientists divided the patients into three groups. The first group received curcumin alone, the second disclofenac sodium alone, and the third was given a combination of the two. The results of this trial are quite 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.”
In 2012, Phytotherapy Research published the results of this study and encouraged other human research in order to evaluate the effect of curcumin rich plants on people diagnosed with different types of arthritis.
5. Cancer Treatment
Cancer is probably one of the most thoroughly researched topics when it comes to curcumin and disease reversal. According to global authorities like Cancer Research UK:
“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 2007 American study that combined curcumin with chemotherapy to treat bowel cancer cells in a laboratory showed that the combined treatment killed more cancer cells than the chemotherapy alone. ”
In the US, the American Cancer Society stated:
“Laboratory studies have also shown that curcumin interferes with cancer development, growth, and spread. Researchers have reported that curcumin blocked the formation of cancer-causing enzymes in rodents.
Recently, curcumin has received a great deal of focus because of it’s ability to reduce tumor size and kill cancer cells.”
Bottom line: Turmeric is quite efficient in stopping cancer in its tracks and it works great in the treatment of breast, colon and skin cancer.
6. Diabetes Management
Adding turmeric to your daily menu is the best natural treatment for high blood sugar and reversing insulin resistance.
In 2009, a study published in Biochemistry and Biophysical Research Communications and conducted at the Auburn University evaluated the ability of turmeric to reverse diabetes.
It was found that turmeric is 400 times more potent than Metformin, a common drug prescribed to diabetics, in activating AMPK, which improves insulin sensitivity and helps in reversing type 2 diabetes.
Curcumin corrects the causes of diabetes and reverses issues related to insulin resistance and hyperglycemia.
For instance, let’s take diabetic neuropathy and retinopathy. Diabetes causes severe complications, and one of the most common is damaged blood vessels, which can cause blindness. Another study found that curcumin can delay this complication, due to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
7. Gastrointestinal Treatment
People with digestive and stomach issues can sometimes become intolerant to medical interventions, because their stomach flora is already compromised and drugs can actually cause more severe damage to the mucosal lining.
A thorough analysis of all studies based on the ability of curcumin to treat inflammatory bowel disease (IBS, Crohn’s disease, and Ulcerative Colitis) found that patients were finally able to stop taking their regular corticosteroids, because curcumin significantly improved their condition.
Corticosteroids can reduce pain symptoms, but they also damage the intestinal lining, and make the condition even worse.
Curcumin, on the other hand, has no side-effects, it has strong anti-inflammatory properties. It heals the intestine and supports the growth of probiotics, or good bacteria.
8. Cholesterol Regulators
In the US people develop pre-diabetes, or excessive blood sugar at a high rate. This is one of the reasons why heart diseases are such a great problem.
Diabetics and non-diabetics alike suffer from oxidative stress, a condition that damages the inside of blood vessels. When arteries are damaged, cholesterol builds up in order to patch up the damaged area, which results in high LDL cholesterol level.
Statin drugs like Lipitor harm kidneys and liver, and also cause a great number of deadly side-effects. They are able to reduce cholesterol, but these drugs never address the actual cause, or oxidative stress, caused by high blood sugar and inflammation.
Doctors are more aware of the dangers of statins and they prescribe natural alternatives like curcumin and fish oil more often.
Drugs in R&D did a study that showed how curcumin is equal of even more effective than diabetes drugs when it comes to reducing oxidative stress and inflammation in treating high cholesterol.
Studies like these make pharmaceutical companies design synthetic form of curcumin, but this form does not work as efficient as the natural option.
The ability to manage pain is one of the most widely accepted benefits provided by curcumin.
Last year the European Journal of Pharmacology published a research that confirmed how curcumin can activate the opioid system in diabetic rats. Often manipulated by drugs, this natural process is body’s inherent pain-relieving response.
Last year, journals published another study that was not limited to diabetic pain only. The results outlined the variety of pain conditions that can be treated with curcumin.
For instance, let’s take severe burns. In such cases, patients are treated with dangerous opioids and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. US Army Institute of Surgical Research suggested that curcumin, thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties, should be more used in the treatment of burns instead of such conventional medications.
It is more than clear, turmeric and curcumin-rich plants have already displaced many conventional medical treatments.
Last but not least, have a look at the effect provided by turmeric on different conditions treated with corticosteroids, including:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Chronic pain
In 1999, a breakthrough clinical study found that curcumin can cure chronic eye inflammation. This condition was regularly treated with steroids, but in functional medicine today, doctors prescribe curcumin.
The authors of this study conducted at K.G. Medical College explained, “The lack of side effects with curcumin is its greatest advantage compared with corticosteroids,” although curcumin is statistically “comparable” to steroids when it comes to managing and reversing chronic diseases.
Here is a sample of steroid side-effects, listed by National Health Services (NHS) in the UK:
- Delayed healing of wounds
- Diabetes onset
- Increased appetite (often leads to increased weight)
- Kidney and thyroid issues
- Mood issues (aggression, irritability, short temperament and rapid mood swings mimicking bipolar disorder)
- Muscle weakness
- High risk of infections
- Stunted growth (in children)
- Thinning skin (leads to easy bruising)
If you take into consideration the great number of deadly complications these 10 drugs expose you to, you would probably agree that curcumin is superior to most drugs.
If you suffer from any of the diseases we mentioned, you may want to trust nature instead of conventional medicine. If you are not sick, take turmeric to prevent these diseases from occuring.
What if you do have to take drugs?
If you must take prescription drugs, include large amounts of fresh, organic turmeric to your daily menu to reduce the side-effects of the medications you take.
The Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology published a study that described how the combination of curcumin and prednisolone, a steroid, can effectively reduce the side-effects caused by this medication.
Turmeric tea is the easiest way to include this natural cure into your diet. Patients who took curcumin noticed great anti-arthritic activity and marked reduction in steroid toxicity.
These studies are here to convince you, meaning there is no reason why you should not consume turmeric on a daily basis. Take it as a supplement or as a spice to flavor your dishes, and enjoy its benefits.