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Gastrointestinal problems and rheumatism: Turmeric helps with various ailments
It is no longer a secret that turmeric is an effective remedy. It helps with digestive, joint problems and pain. The curcumin contained, like other secondary plant ingredients, strengthens the immune system. A study by the University of Tsukuba in Japan found that curcumin is as effective for vascular health in some patients as aerobic exercise.
Turmeric has been known as a spice and remedy in Asia for thousands of years. In this country too, the root bulb is becoming increasingly popular. Turmeric, also called yellow ginger or turmeric, is considered a medicinal plant - but what does curcumin, the strong yellow main ingredient of the plant, actually do?
Proven improvement in symptoms
“There is definitely proven improvement in symptoms through turmeric, for example with inflammatory rheumatism. The calming, antispasmodic effect of curcumin in stomach and intestinal complaints is also recognized by the WHO, ”explains Gisela Horlemann, ecotrophologist at the Consumer Service Bavaria in the KDFB e.V. (VSB) in a message.
Different areas of application
As the VSB writes elsewhere, Indian Ayurveda teaching and Chinese medicine (TCM) have long used turmeric as a medicinal plant. The plant has anti-inflammatory, anti-infectious and immunostimulating effects.
According to the Consumer Service, turmeric is recommended for various complaints, such as digestive problems, joint problems and pain. And curcumin - like many other phytonutrients - strengthens the immune system.
But yellow ginger can do even more: As researchers from the University of California reported in the journal "American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry", the bulb also strengthens the memory and mood of people with mild, age-related memory impairments thanks to the ingredient curcumin.
"It is not certain how curcumin will work, but it may be due to its properties in reducing brain inflammation associated with both Alzheimer's disease and severe depression," said author Dr. Gary Small in a press release.
But that's not all: A study by the University of Tsukuba in Japan found that curcumin is just as effective for vascular health in some people as aerobic exercise.
As a rule, the maximum daily amount is not exceeded
When consumed in large quantities, turmeric may cause symptoms such as stomach pain, nausea, or diarrhea.
Turmeric is usually used in small quantities as a spice. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has set the maximum daily amount of three milligrams of curcumin per kilogram of body weight. This means that for an adult with a body weight of 70 kg, taking 2.1 g of curcumin, which corresponds to around five grams of turmeric (1TL), is completely harmless.
When used as a spice, there is only a risk of overdosing if the consumption is very high. The body only absorbs curcumin, which the food industry uses as dye E 100, in conjunction with fat.
Take dietary supplements only in consultation with a doctor
The Consumer Service points out that there are also numerous curcumin-containing supplements on the market with very different dosages. Unlike medication, dietary supplements are not used to prevent or alleviate a disease because the necessary evidence of effectiveness is lacking. Disease-related advertising statements are therefore generally prohibited and untrustworthy.
Such products should generally only be taken in consultation with a doctor, who also determines the duration and dosage and takes into account possible drug interactions. Products containing curcumin are not suitable for pregnant and breastfeeding women and for people with gallstones.
Despite all the health benefits of turmeric: a single ingredient or food alone does not guarantee a healthy diet. In addition to vitamins and minerals, the numerous secondary phytonutrients that are found in all types of vegetables, fruits and nuts, but also in whole grain cereals, are required for health.
Delicious and healthy drink: golden milk
Turmeric is not just a spice for sweet and savory dishes. Delicious and healthy drinks can also be conjured up with it. The consumer service has a recipe for "golden milk", also called "golden latte":
- 200 ml milk or vegetable milk
- 1 tsp turmeric or 1 cm turmeric bulb
- 1 pinch of pepper, cinnamon and cardamom
- 1 tsp coconut oil or ghee (clarified butter)
Mix all the ingredients in a saucepan and warm up slowly. Simmer for about four minutes and sweeten with honey, for example. (ad)
Author and source information
This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.
- Consumer Service Bavaria: What turmeric really does (accessed: November 13, 2019), Consumer Service Bavaria
- Consumer Service Bavaria: Turmeric - versatile but not a panacea, (accessed: November 13, 2019), Consumer Service Bavaria
- American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry: Memory and Brain Amyloid and Tau Effects of a Bioavailable Form of Curcumin in Non-Demented Adults: A Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled 18-Month Trial, (accessed: November 13, 2019), American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry
- University of California: Curcumin improves memory and mood, new UCLA study says, (accessed: November 13, 2019), University of California
- Nutrition Research: Curcumin ingestion and exercise training improve vascular endothelial function in postmenopausal women, (accessed: November 13, 2019), Nutrition Research