The main spice in curry is called turmeric, and arguably, turmeric health benefits have more disease fighting properties than any other plant on the planet. In fact, when this article was written, 6,235 peer-reviewed articles were available to evaluate curcumin, which is the main curcuminoid within turmeric. In other words, curcumin is one of the phytochemicals that is most frequently mentioned in science. Mike Adams is a natural health researcher, and he claims that:
“Based on a statistical analysis of over three million published scientific studies, curcumin is the most frequently mentioned phytonutrient, followed by resveratrol (found in red grapes and watermelon), flavonoids (a class of phytochemicals), quercetin (found in onions) and genistein, commonly found in soy.”
Over 6,000 studies reference curcumin, and out of all of these studies, the biggest finding is that research shows turmeric health benefits can essentially reverse diseases better than conventional medicine. Actually, numerous studies have even shown that curcumin can be more helpful than many conventional drugs.
10 Conventional Drugs That Cannot Stand Up to Turmeric Health Benefits
The list is extremely long, but we’re looking at the top 10 specific drugs that simply cannot stand up to curcumin in order to control disease. Read over this report, and remember that one of curcumin’s most powerful advantages over other types of conventional medicine is the fact that curcumin does not have any side effects. Numerous diseases have shown that curcumin is actually equal to drugs when it comes to managing the processes of certain diseases. At the same time, when you look at how harmless curcumin is, it’s easy to see how dastardly most traditional medicines truly are.
Antiplatelet and Anticoagulants
In order to slow or prevent blood clotting, some of the following medications may be used:
- Clopidogrel (Plavix)
- Diclofenac (Voltaren, Cataflam, others)
- Enoxaparin (Lovenox)
- Naproxen (Anaprox, Naprosyn, others)
- Dalteparin (Fragmin)
- Warfarin (Coumadin), and others)
- Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others)
Sadly, those individuals who have conditions that require treatment with these drugs, such as pulmonary embolism or deep vein thrombosis, do not have the best options before them. There are numerous common side effects of traditional medicines, such as hemorrhage and excessive bleeding. Moreover, anticoagulants are known for having numerous risks associated with them, including difficulty breathing, back pain, and severe headaches.
On the other hand, you probably know that turmeric does not have any known side effects unless it is taken in huge amounts, which is rare. In the mid-1980s, groundbreaking studies also showed that curcumin, the main curcuminoid in turmeric health benefits, should be recommended by doctors as being preferable for those who are prone to diseases that require anticoagulant treatment.
There has not been a lot of studies conducted on humans in this regard, but numerous research trials have shown that turmeric health benefits can be particularly helpful at reversing depression symptoms in lab animals. When looking at depression in people, the journal Phytotherapy Research released a study last year that looked at 60 individuals who had been clinically diagnosed with MDD or major depressive disorder. The group was split in order to see how curcumin would stand up as an antidepressant against Prozac or fluoxetine.
There was also a group that took a combination of both of these substances. In the end, it was found that all of the patients who took curcumin tolerated it very well. When Hamilton Depression Rating Scales were done on the groups, the scales revealed that all groups had comparable results. This is quite groundbreaking. It shows and proves that curcumin or the main curcuminoid in the plant turmeric is just as effective at treating depression as antidepressants prescribed by doctors like Prozac. The authors of the study said: “This study provides first clinical evidence that curcumin may be used as an effective and safe modality for treatment in patients with MDD” [emphasis ours].
Likely the strongest quality of curcumin is that it can help control inflammation in the body. The journal Oncogene recently released a study that looked at numerous anti-inflammatory compounds. They found that ibuprofen in the form of Motrin, Advil, and other brand names and aspirin by brand names, such as Bayer, were not potent at all. They were the least potent. On the other hand, curcumin was found to be the most potent compound used as an anti-proliferative agent and anti-inflammatory. After the release of the study, this news should have reached everyone in the world. Inflammation puts everyone at risk in various ways. Nearly every serious disease involves inflammation. Numerous natural anti-inflammation methods are available, and they can help with everything from cancer to heart disease, but nothing is as powerful as turmeric health benefits. You’ll notice below in numerous other articles that are related to chronic illnesses that turmeric health benefits are often successful because turmeric is one of the world’s most excellent anti-inflammatories.
It is already well-known that curcumin is great as an anti-inflammatory, so it makes sense that it has numerous anti-arthritic characteristics as well. That’s why a randomized clinical trial was done recently to look at curcumin’s powers in comparison to the powers of diclofenac sodium (Voltaren, Cambia, Zipsor, Cataflam, etc.). This is a drug used for arthritis that often puts people at risk for getting heart disease or gastrointestinal disease. In the study, volunteers were put into three groups: one group that took the diclofenac sodium dosage, one group that took the curcumin dosage, and the last group that took both of these dosages. Here are the results, which were extremely eye-opening:
The curcumin group showed the highest percentage of improvement in overall [Disease Activity Score] and [American College of Rheumatoid criteria] scores (ACR 20, 50 and 70) 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 to 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, the results of this study were released in the journal Phytotherapy Research, and as a result, it has encouraged more evaluation of curcumin as an anti-arthritic medicine in humans. As we move forward, we look forward to learning what the results of these new studies turmeric health benefits will be!
One of the most thoroughly evaluated topics in regards to how curcumin may be able to help with disease is cancer. We are looking at cancer prevention and reversal. Global authority, Cancer Research UK, had these words to say about cancer and curcumin:
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 America, the American Cancer Society said this about the same topic: Laboratory studies have also shown that curcumin interferes with several important molecular pathways involved in cancer development, growth, and spread. Researchers have reported that curcumin inhibited the formation of cancer-causing enzymes in rodents. Recently, curcumin has received a great deal more attention in studies than turmeric as a whole herb. Researchers are studying curcumin to learn whether it is an effective anti-inflammatory agent and whether it holds any promise for cancer prevention or treatment. A number of studies of curcumin have shown promising results. Curcumin can kill cancer cells in laboratory dishes and also slows the growth of the surviving cells. Curcumin has been found to reduce the development of several forms of cancer in lab animals and to shrink animal tumors.
So what is the bottom line? Turmeric can actually stop cancer completely. In line with the trends to study turmeric health benefits more within arthritis research, numerous studies are cropping up everywhere looking at natural approaches to cancer as well. As we move forward, we expect and hope to see larger amounts of studies on humans with cancer that look at the ways in which turmeric and other curcumin-rich foods can help prevent and reverse it. We are sure that the results from these studies will be groundbreaking as we move forward!
Turmeric health benefits are arguably the best natural techniques for reversing insulin resistance and lowering blood sugar levels. A 2009 study published out of Auburn University in the publication Biochemistry and Biophysical Research Communications looked at why this is true. Researchers looked at how curcumin activates constituent AMP– activated protein kinase, which lowers blood glucose levels. The findings showed that curcumin suppresses gluconeogenic gene expression. In other words, glucose production inside the liver is suppressed by curcumin. Amazingly, curcumin or the main curcuminoid in turmeric was shown to be 400 times more potent than a common diabetes drug called Metformin at activating AMPK as well as acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACC), its downstream target. There are very few things on earth that can offer these types of results. Curcumin was shown to do more than just correct the causes behind diabetes. It was also shown to help reverse numerous issues that are related to hyperglycemia as well as insulin resistance. Let’s look at diabetic retinopathy. This is a common complication of having type II diabetes, and it can severely damage blood vessels inside the retina. In some cases, it can even cause blindness.
Last year, a study was published in International Journal of Physiology, Pathophysiology, and Pharmacology that looked at how circumin may be able to use its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties to delay this disease complication. The results showed that it slowed down vascular endothelial growth as well as nuclear transcription factors that are in charge of gene expression regulation. Numerous other side effects of diabetes, such as diabetic neuropathy have been seen to improve with the use of circumin as well. Read more about turmeric health benefits below.
Much of the time, those who have stomach complaints and digestive problems cannot take medical interventions. The flora in the stomach is already compromised, so drugs worsen the state of the mucosal lining. On the other hand, it was revealed through a meta-analysis of every study that has evaluated how curcumin may be able to take care of inflammatory bowel conditions that curcumin can definitely decrease symptoms that are caused by this condition. In fact, some patients were even able to stop taking the corticosteroids that were being prescribed to them because the effects were so wonderful. Here’s something else that complicates things: those who struggle with illnesses like inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn’s disease, and ulcerative colitis often become resistant to commonly prescribed treatments such as corticosteroids, thiopurines (Azathioprine and Mercaptopurine), and Mesalamine.
St. Mark’s Hospital in London has been researching this problem, and many of the physicians there suggest using a strategy that involves curcumin. They published an article in Inflammatory Bowel Disease, which states: “Preliminary supportive evidence is emerging in relation to novel anti-inflammatory molecules such as curcumin, manipulation of the bacterial flora, enhancement of the mucosal barrier, and direct epithelial restoration. For patients in whom the disease is resistant to standard simple therapies, strategies are required to integrate these developing and new therapies into clinical practice.”
Hyperglycemia or excessive blood sugar is one of the reasons that heart disease is on the rise in the United States. Nondiabetics and diabetics are both suffering from the same complication: oxidative stress. Oxidative stress damages blood vessels by damaging their inner cell layer (endothelial dysfunction). As a result, atherosclerosis comes about, and this can lead to heart-related cholesterol problems. Statins are usually prescribed at this point, but they are well-known to harm the liver and kidneys and cause numerous other bad side effects.
Luckily, researchers are looking at how the turmeric health benefits of curcumin may be able to help. Drugs in R & D recently published a study that was produced in India by Nizam's Institute of Medical Sciences. The study looked at type II diabetics. There were 72 diabetics involved in the study, and they were put into three separate groups. The first group was a placebo group. The second group took atorvastatin once every day at an amount of 10 mg, and the third group took curcumin in the amount of 150 mg twice every day for a total of eight weeks. In the end, biomarkers of oxidative stress and endothelial function were looked at. It was found that the effects on endothelial dysfunction and oxidative stress were better when curcumin was used as compared to when atorvastatin was administered.
The markers of oxidative stress that were evaluated included tumor necrosis factor, inflammation, cytokines, and more. This news has the ability to possibly put “Big Pharma” out of business. Those who got do want to have to take deadly drugs for their entire lives can find hope in this research.
Curcumin is also widely known it to manage pain conditions. This is one of the more widely accepted properties of this natural ingredient. Researchers have been recently looking at why this seems to be the case. For example, a European Journal of Pharmacology article that was released with research by Kashan University researchers in Iran showed that the opioid system in rats who are diabetic is activated by curcumin. With that being said, the ramifications of this study means it's more than just an aid for diabetic neuropathy. Another interesting study that was released last year shows the numerous pain conditions that curcumin can possibly treat. Severe burns are one of the types of pain conditions that this natural substance may be able to help. Usually, those who are affected by burns are treated with non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, anticonvulsants, dangerous opioids, and antidepressants. But because we know that curcumin has wonderful anti-inflammatory powers, it has been suggested in U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research that the commonly unmet clinical needs of these patients may be able to be treated by curcumin.
You should see the trend clearly here. Curcumin-rich plants and turmeric health benefits can possibly oust traditional medication approaches to numerous serious illnesses and other medical conditions. The opioid system is one of the most powerful natural processes in our brains, and it is responsible for offering pain relief from noxious stimuli. It is usually manipulated by drugs. Of course, according to the study, curcumin was recommended as a possible therapeutic way to treat pain conditions such as the extremely common diabetic neuropathy.
Finally, let’s look at how well turmeric health benefits do against corticosteroids in the treatment of illnesses like:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Ankylosing spondylitis
Numerous studies have looked at the ability of curcumin to cure chronic anterior uveitis. A breakthrough trial conducted in 1999 was the catalyst for these studies because it proved that, “The efficacy of curcumin and recurrences following treatment are comparable to corticosteroid therapy which is presently the only available standard treatment for this disease.” One of the other studies published was released in 2008 in Critical Care Medicine. It looked at dexamethasone and curcumin and attempted to evaluate which was better for lung injury patients who had had transplantations.
Dexamethasone is a corticosteroid and is often used to treat organ disease and cancer. Chinese Zhongshan Hospital researchers found that both treatments help to prevent barrier disruption, decreased oxygen, tissue inflammation, and lung swelling. It was also found that, “Curcumin can be an alternative therapy for protecting lung transplantation-associated injury by suppressing the nuclear factor-kappa B-mediated expression of inflammatory genes.” This has great possibility and could mean reversing countless illnesses and diseases on a large scale. It cannot be said enough that even though these two substances are “comparable” in their treatment to manage and reverse chronic and serious disease, authors of this study out of K.G. Medical College, Lucknow, India emphasize how “The lack of side effects with curcumin is its greatest advantage compared with corticosteroids.” Curcumin can alleviate tons of suffering. Here’s something to give you a better idea. The following are side effects that the NHS (UK’s National Health Services) lists as common to steroid use:
- Stunted growth in children
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)
- Tachycardia (rapid heartbeat)
- Thinning skin (leading to easy bruising)
- Muscle weakness
- Mood disturbances (including aggression, irritability, short temperament and rapid mood swings mimicking bipolar disorder)
- Kidney and thyroid issues
- Risk of infection
- Delayed wound healing
- Diabetes onset
- Increased appetite (often times leading to increased weight)
In the end, when you look at the numerous severe complications that the 10 drugs above can put on your body, it’s simple to understand how taking curcumin in a therapeutic way can be much better than most of the medicines that are usually prescribed. If you have been struggling with the diseases listed above, consider changing tactics and going with a natural approach. If you aren’t sick right now, think of turmeric as a way to prevent getting sick and think about how it can serve you in the future.
What About Situations Where You Have to Take Drugs?
In some cases, you may be in a position where you simply have to be on medications. If this is the case for you, do not discount taking ample amounts of turmeric in organic, fresh form. Adding turmeric health benefits to your diet can help reduce the negative effects of your medicine. A study in the Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology was released at the beginning of this year describing how combining prednisolone, which is a steroid, and curcumin can greatly reduce side effects from glucocorticoids when it comes to managing arthritis symptoms.
In fact, when curcumin was involved, there was a marked reduction in toxicity from steroids and a marked reduction in anti-arthritic activity. The study said that this was “Evidenced by an increase in body weight, low toxicity to immune organs, reduction in leucocyte count, increase in spleen anti-oxidant enzymes and potent inhibition of cytokines in the combination group.” For this reason, you should start to implement curcumin-rich turmeric into your diet today if you are forced to stay on meds as well. You will start to see disease reversal effects with this amazing plant derivative of turmeric health benefits, and it will help to reduce the toll of the drugs that you are having to take and put in your body.
As you can see, the research basically speaks for itself here. We can’t think of a situation in which everyone should not be taking curcumin-rich turmeric each and every day. You can use it as a spice to flavor your food, or you can take it as a supplement. We know that the turmeric health benefit results will be very helpful.
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- Kuncha M, et al. Curcumin potentiates the anti-arthritic effect of prednisolone in Freund's complete adjuvant-induced arthritic rats. J Pharm Pharmacol 2014; 66(1): 133-44.
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- Sanmukhani J, et al. Efficacy and Safety of Curcumin in Major Depressive Disorder: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Phytother Res 2013; [Epub ahead of print].
- Sun J, et al. Preventive effects of curcumin and dexamethasone on lung transplantation-associated lung injury in rats. Crit Care Med 2008; 36(4): 1205-13.
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- Usharani P, et al. Effect of NCB-02, atorvastatin and placebo on endothelial function, oxidative stress and inflammatory markers in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus: a randomized, parallel-group, placebo-controlled, 8-week study. Drugs R D. 2008; 9(4): 243-50.
- Yasunari Takada, et al. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents differ in their ability to suppress NF-kappaB activation, inhibition of expression of cyclooxygenase-2 and cyclin D1, and abrogation of tumor cell proliferation. Oncogene 2004; 23(57): 9247-58.