Turmeric has been spicing up the news as the latest natural ingredient with beneficial healing properties. Some claim it’s the hottest thing in natural medicine. Is there any truth to these bold claims?
What is turmeric?
Turmeric is grown in parts of Asia, Central America, and India and is related to the ginger plant. A spice commonly used in curry and known for its deep yellow color, turmeric is used as a dietary supplement for treatment of conditions such as arthritis, diabetes, cancer, and stomach ailments. Its primary active ingredient, curcumin, may decrease swelling and inflammation.
Is it effective?
While there are many studies on the effectiveness and safety of turmeric, there is currently not enough research to show conclusive evidence in the treatment or improvement of any condition. Many studies call for further research on its effectiveness.
Is it safe?
Turmeric in a normal diet is considered safe, although taken in high doses it could be hazardous as it may slow blood clotting as well as decrease insulin level, which could make blood sugar levels too low. Its use should be discussed with your doctor if you have bleeding disorders or upcoming surgery. In addition, turmeric worsened stomach symptoms, and caution is suggested for using it with gallbladder problems or hormone-sensitive conditions.
For more information on wisely using dietary supplements such as turmeric, visit https://nccih.nih.gov/health/supplements/wiseuse.htm.
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