Curcumin is a component that comes from turmeric , which is a plant that is normally used in cooking as a spice and has a very strong yellow color, so it is implemented mostly as a natural coloring, this is precisely what gives mustard its color.
However, curcumin is not only good for its coloring power or its contribution to the culinary arts, but it has also been an important part of natural medicine for a long time due to its powerful medicinal properties.
L to curcumin has been implemented in medicine for thousands of years because it was discovered that has great power as antioxidant, anti – inflammatory, antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial. As well, this compound is excellent for treating diseases such as arthritis, diabetes and various types of allergies, as well as many other types of diseases.
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What other names does it receive?
This yellow spice is not only known as Turmeric, since due to its characteristics it tends to be called by different names around the world. The most commonly used names to denote this spice are : root saffron, yuquilla, Arab saffron or Indian saffron, and also toothpick.
Similarly , the word Turmeric derives from the Arabic kourkoum , which means saffron, but the word in Arabic in turn derives from the Sanskrit harida , which means yellow. We can see that both names have to do with the characteristics of this spice.
The fact that this spice and saffron are called in the same way on certain occasions is due to the fact that turmeric is considered the most accessible substitute in case of not being able to use saffron.
In the European continent in medieval times turmeric was known as Indian saffron , and it was used instead of saffron since it had a very high cost and was in great demand, so it was difficult to get it.
Well, today, in countries like India, you can still get turmeric under the name saffron. However, these spices bring the same color to the food, but the taste and smell are totally different from each other.
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Origin of curcumin
Turmeric is a plant, which can be called under the name of Curcuma longa, this plant develops rhizomes very similar to ginger, from these rhizomes the turmeric is extracted that is used as a spice, which is the one that contains curcumin in its composition.
The species of the turmeric plant is from the same family as ginger and cardamom, which is why they bear a certain similarity in terms of the rhizomes they produce. Even when plants are in their freshest state and before being cut, turmeric and ginger can easily be confused.
As for its appearance, turmeric, like many aromatic and medicinal plants , has been implemented in India for just over four thousand years, specifically at the time of the Vedic culture of that country. However, turmeric is from the southeast of the Asian continent, it is cultivated in much of China, Taiwan, Indonesia, Australia, Sri Lanka, Peru and the Antilles.
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How much to consume per day?
If you want to implement turmeric as part of a natural treatment, you should first consult your trusted doctor to tell you whether or not there is a problem with carrying out this action.
However, the measures to be used depending on the treatment needed are the following:
- Upset stomach: 500 milligrams of turmeric, four times throughout the day.
- Osteoarthritis: To treat this problem, 500 milligrams of turmeric extract should be ingested twice a day, preferably in the morning and at night.
- Rheumatoid arthritis: In the same way as the above, it is best to take 500 milligrams of turmeric twice a day, it is best to do this in the morning and at night.
What is its chemical structure?
The chemical structure of curcumin has a lot to do with it and demonstrates its medicinal power, since its properties have to do largely with the bioactivity of its components in the metabolic pathway . Curcumin works especially with two compounds: phenolic compounds and volatile oils.
Phenolic compounds are a specific group of polyphenols, which are curcuminoids and are the ones that mainly give turmeric its characteristic yellow color. For their part, volatile oils occupy five percent in the composition of the rhizome, and these are of the terpenoid type and give the spice its peculiar smell.
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Curcumin, as a powerful medicinal substance , has many proven healing properties. Among them the most important include: anti-inflammatory power, prevents gastritis, prevents arteriosclerosis, improves respiratory and gastrointestinal problems, as well as significantly improves skin problems and has a great antioxidant power.
Curcumin, due to its substances , also performs a great action on liver function , since it has a considerable effect on the action against toxins and free radicals. In the same way, curcumin and its antioxidant power can influence the production of enzymes.
In the case of cancer prevention , curcumin can reduce the development of tumors and is also able to avoid the symptoms secondary to the disease, such as depression, fatigue and insomnia.
Mechanism of action in the body
Curcumin acts in our body in different ways, thanks to the properties it contains, it can attack different parts of our body and thus heal and prevent certain conditions. The most important mechanisms of action of curcumin are the following:
- This compound increases the production of something called glutathione , which acts as a protector against toxins and is a great benefit to the liver and its function.
- Curcumin can treat problems such as rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis since it can influence a molecule called cytokine, which is the cause of inflammation.
- Another method of action that curcumin has in the body is through its antimicrobial properties , which can prevent pathogenic bacteria from developing and growing, as well as viruses and fungi.
- Curcumin prevents the activation of several key factors in the gastrointestinal process, which prevents gastritis and inflammation.
- In the same way, curcumin can increase the production of mucosa in the stomach, thus avoiding acidity and better protecting the stomach walls.
- Curcumin can improve the passage of bile flow , this is a very important factor for more optimal fat digestion.
- Beta-amyloid plaques are a factor closely related to Alzheimer’s disease and curcumin can prevent the accumulation of these plaques, which is a very feasible method to prevent this disease.
- Lastly, curcumin modifies certain cellular signals, so it can prevent stress, anxiety, depression, and irritability from developing.
Curcumin benefits and uses
Curcumin, as we have already mentioned, has thousands of benefits that it can bring to our body in terms of health, both internally and externally, that is, both to the health of our internal organs and to external factors of our body . Below we will show you in more detail the most outstanding benefits of curcumin and how you can use it:
It serves to lose weight
Curcumin is an excellent product to improve the weight loss process, since it can prevent the division in adipocytes , which are fat cells. Curcumin makes this possible since it reduces the amount of blood that is handled between these cells, so fat cells do not increase their amount due to the low amount of nutrients that are provided to them.
Curcumin can also act in another way on our body to lose weight , this other mode of action is by leveling the sugar in our blood and also prevents the development of a problem of insulin resistance, in this way the body does not stores excess fat.
Now, how do we take advantage of this potential of curcumin? You can achieve this by including turmeric in your diet and this you will be able to achieve in the following way:
- Spices and supplements : Turmeric is a spice, so adding it to your meals will not be a serious problem, all you have to do is add a little turmeric to your spice preparation and that’s it. You can see how the powerful yellow color of turmeric will act in your meals. Another way to ingest turmeric is through a tea or infusion of this plant. If none of these options work for you, you can choose to purchase a turmeric supplement from a pharmacy.
- Drink: In addition to tea, you can also have turmeric as part of a smoothie, this can be cabbage or kale. In India, they even put turmeric in babies’ milk to provide strength and improve their development.
- Soups and creams: You can add turmeric to your creams or soups, a good option is a carrot and turmeric cream, it is a very tasty food and can help you in the problem of weight, as well as it will provide you with the other benefits related to turmeric .
Used as a natural anti-inflammatory
Turmeric, when ingested, can provide us with great anti-inflammatory power due to its properties. This power of curcumin can be used in the best way to prevent and cure different diseases, such as: rheumatoid arthritis, colitis, osteoarthritis, joint pain, back pain. In addition to these conditions related to arterial inflammation, curcumin can also improve us in terms of external skin problems.
To enjoy these anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin, you can ingest it in the following way:
- 1 liter of water
- 1 teaspoon of ground turmeric (5 g)
- Honey or lemon (optional)
- Boil the water
- When it is boiling, add the turmeric and lower the heat
- Cook for ten minutes
- Remove from heat
- Strain the tea and add honey and / or lemon if you wish
- Drink a cup or two of this tea daily and the joint problems will disappear in no time.
Good for people with diabetes
Curcumin is capable of regulating sugar level and prevents insulin intolerance , making it an excellent option for people who may develop diabetes or people who already have the disease. Turmeric can achieve this since it directly influences the pancreas and keeps it in the healthiest way, curcumin can prevent you from suffering from a high level of glucose in the blood, which makes the pancreas can function in the best way, regulating and maintaining insulin production in a good balance.
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It is considered beneficial against cancer
Turmeric is a plant that contains many properties in its rhizome, of which at least ten are considered anticancer , among the anticancer components that turmeric has, the most notable are: curcumin, curcuminoids, cetacarotenes, curcumenol, curdione, turmenone, respineol and limonene.
As well , turmeric thanks to these components has great power to prevent and treat cancer. The latest research carried out on the effect of this rhizome on the human body has shown that curcuminoids have a great protective power against various types of cancer, such as skin cancer, duodenal cancer, breast cancer and cancer. colon.
The method of action of turmeric against cancer is through the development of apoptosis of cancer cells , but without producing secondary or toxic effects in this action. Another detail that is taken into account for this treatment is that turmeric and its anti-inflammatory action also contribute to improving the patient’s condition.
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Sensitizes the tumor for treatment
We all know how complicated a treatment to fight cancer is, chemotherapy and radiation cause quite serious damage to the body and that is why many people cannot endure that battle against the disease.
However, the body can be pre-treated to better support cancer treatments and this is something that can be achieved very easily with curcumin, since it can improve the acceptance and effectiveness of the common treatment against cancer. Cancer.
When a body is pretreated with curcumin, sensitization to radiation therapy and chemotherapy can be increased , so that cells and / or tumors are easier to eliminate and the body accepts the therapy in a better way, so the The effectiveness of the method is greatly increased.
Can be consumed by people with rheumatoid arthritis
Curcumin, due to its anti-inflammatory properties, can be an excellent treatment for joint conditions , especially if it is a type of arthritis such as rheumatoid arthritis.
Curcumin applied as a treatment for rheumatoid arthritis is highly more effective than any other conventional medicine to treat this condition, since it also attacks the problems of swelling and tenderness in the joints.
In addition to being able to alleviate the effects caused by rheumatoid arthritis disease, if it is treated with curcumin, side effects to the treatment can also be avoided , which can be shown when this disease is treated with medications such as diclofenac sodium.
The anti-inflammatory power of curcumin resides in that its influence extends to more than 700 genes and can prevent the excess and the synthesis of enzymes that are a fundamental part of the inflammation process, these enzymes are known as cyclooxygenase-2 and 5-lipoxygenase .
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Did you know that it is considered an antidepressant?
Turmeric can also work as a great antidepressant , since it does not produce any side or unfavorable effects in the body at all. Turmeric has been used for thousands of years in cooking, in the same way as in natural medicine, especially in Asian areas and India.
In this way , it is still being studied and used today due to its favorable effects on the human body. Thus, recently, the Department of Pharmacology of the Government Medical College, Bhavnagar in India, has done a study comparing the effects of curcumin in contrast to the effects of prozac or fluoxetine. The study consisted of a sample of 60 people who suffered from a major depression problem.
The results of this study were presented in the journal Phytotherapy Research and in them you can see how patients reacted better when they were treated with turmeric extract than when they were given the conventional medicine (Prozac).
The difference in treatment mainly affected two factors : 1) Prozac was better accepted when it was given together with curcumin and 2) curcumin could also act very well on the problem of depression. So well, in conclusion it was concluded that curcumin can be used perfectly for the treatment of people with depression problems.
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What is its bioavailability?
Curcumin has a low bioavailability, as it can be metabolized very quickly, it is processed quickly in the liver and is eliminated in the faeces, thus limiting the amount of bioavailability. For this reason, curcumin must be consumed together with other foods, or compounds, that can improve the way it is absorbed and therefore its bioavailability can be increased. The compounds that can help the most to improve this activity are phospholipids.
Can it cause allergies?
Curcumin can cause allergies of several types , since people can experience unfavorable reactions from consumption or contact with this spice. One of the most common allergic reactions is undoubtedly turmeric contact dermatitis, since the powder of this spice when having some type of contact with the skin can cause unfavorable skin reactions, such as itching and pinkish spots.
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Contraindications and side effects
We all know that excesses are bad and no food or product escapes from there, well, curcumin can also cause damage if it is consumed in the least recommended way. The contraindications and side effects that this plant can cause are the following:
- It is preferable to use the completely natural product to buy a supplement, since it may have exogenous substances to the compound.
- Do not overdo the dose, it is recommended to use only 500 mg daily, no more than that amount.
- Turmeric can cause allergic reactions in people. In those cases, you can suffer from topical reactions such as inflammation and itching. Although more serious episodes can also develop where diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain and nausea can occur.
- If turmeric in skin products gives you some kind of unfavorable reaction, don’t choose to consume it either.
- Turmeric influences the production of bile, when the production exceeds the limits it can cause the appearance of stones in the gallbladder or in its ducts.
- In some cases, turmeric can cause stomach acid to rise and make heartburn worse.
Curcumin Effects and Pregnancy
The studies that are had so far prove that the consumption of turmeric during pregnancy is not harmful , but as long as it is consumed only in the form of spices and food, since if it is taken in the form of supplements or as an alternative medicine it can cause harm to pregnancy. On the other hand, if you notice any kind of allergic reaction during turmeric intake, you have to avoid ingesting it again throughout the pregnancy.
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Curcumin is good for memory
Turmeric has been the subject of study by the Jülich Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine in Germany. In this place, this spice has been studied and it has been discovered that it contains a bioactive factor , which they called “ar-turmerone”.
This compound has great power, it can increase the development of stem cells in the brain , which can make a very noticeable improvement when suffering from a neurological problem, as well as it can help in case of strokes and diseases like Alzheimer’s.
Thus, the studies showed very promising and hopeful results , since the effect of curcumin was estimated and the reproduction of stem cells was increased, which represents a great advance in the area of brain health.
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Curcumin and alopecia
Turmeric can not only give us benefits at the level of internal health, since it also has a great contribution to people’s aesthetics. In this case, we will tell you that turmeric can be an excellent hair treatment.
Thus, if we use the use of turmeric together with other ingredients, we can create a potential treatment for the nutrition of our hair . Thanks to turmeric we can increase the growth of our hair and we can also eliminate scalp conditions such as dandruff and hair loss.
Scalp problems can be developed by various factors , such as stress, poor diet or some other disease. That is why to have radiant, silky and problem-free hair we have to take into account all the details of our life and also apply a treatment that helps us to do so.
Turmeric is perfect for treating these types of problems since it has a power that prevents the development of unfavorable substances and factors that cause hair follicles to die, which is the main cause of hair loss.
If you want to use turmeric for this purpose, you can use it by mixing it with honey and milk to apply it to your hair, let it act for a few minutes and then rinse. If you do this a couple of times a week you can get good results in your hair, such as softness, better growth and you will eliminate hair loss and dandruff.
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Curcumin vs turmeric
Curcumin is a component of turmeric , therefore there is no differentiation between the two. If we want to take advantage of the power of curcumin in our body, we can only absorb it through the consumption of turmeric in any of its presentations. In the same way, turmeric contains other components in addition to curcumin, which can also have beneficial effects on our body.
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Curcumin Nutrition Facts
The nutritional information that we will present to you below was obtained thanks to the information provided by the National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference. So well, we can say that turmeric is a plant that is mainly low in fat and composed mostly of carbohydrates. As for its minerals and vitamins, turmeric is rich in minerals such as phosphorus, magnesium and potassium, as well as vitamins of complex C and E.
Turmeric is a plant that has a low glycemic index , which is why it is recommended for people prone to diabetes or diabetics themselves, since it can also regulate the amount of sugar in the blood and promote insulin production.
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Kathie Sand always saw the world of beauty as the terrain on which to build her professional career, a goal that was clear to her when she was only 15 years old. Her great concern to expand knowledge led her to settle in Paris where she studied hand in hand with the best beauty professionals and with the most advanced techniques for skin care.