Turmeric is everywhere. Whether in the form of a juice shot or latte, curry or face mask, there’s no denying that turmeric has some excellent health benefits. A relative of ginger, turmeric is a vivid yellow-orange spice commonly found in Indian, Southeast Asian, and Middle Eastern cooking. Used as a medicine in places like India for centuries it is one of the most well-known, widely researched, and commonly used Ayurvedic spices in the world.
Turmeric is one of the most commonly used spices in curries and it adds a rich, warm flavour to dishes as well as the Three Spirit Nightcap elixir. Turmeric can be used in a multitude of ways including, but not limited to, medicinal purposes, skincare, and even in dyeing fabric. It’s famous for its health benefits and is commonly consumed or used as either a juice, fresh paste, or dried powder. Read on to learn all about this amazing spice and the health benefits of drinking turmeric.
The health benefits of turmeric
The main active compound in turmeric that’s believed to provide turmeric’s amazing health benefits is called curcumin. This is what gives the turmeric its incredible yellow colour and is thought to have many antibacterial, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties.
Ginger, a close cousin of turmeric, is well-known for its benefits to your digestive system. It helps to ease nausea and regulate digestion so it’s no surprise that turmeric itself is also thought to be good for your stomach. Whether you put it into tea, add it into a curry, or enjoy it in a Three Spirits drink, turmeric can help to keep your tummy feeling soothed and happy.
Inflammation is a natural bodily response to injuries, tissue damage, and infections. Commonly, inflammation raises blood flow to the area of injury or infection where it can cause redness, warmth, and even swelling. It’s a natural protective response and usually subsides when the injury or infection has been treated, however long term inflammation can be responsible for triggering or exacerbating some chronic health conditions. The curcumin in turmeric has proven strong anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce the intensity of the inflammatory response in the body, helping to soothe and ease symptoms associated with conditions such as asthma, arthritis, and IBD.
Because curcumin is thought to help fight inflammation and keep blood sugar levels steady, it’s possible that it could be a useful tool to prevent or treat type 2 diabetes. One study followed 240 adults with prediabetes and found that taking a curcumin supplement over 9 months lowered their odds of developing diabetes. Research is still ongoing, and results aren’t conclusive as a lot of the studies have been on animals, not people.
Another benefit that turmeric boasts is the ability to help get rid of free radicals in your body. These chemically active molecules are created by pollutants, man made chemicals, and simply by the natural products of metabolism. This is the reason why your body needs antioxidants - to prevent the damage they can cause to your cells. Your body produces its own antioxidants but plenty of fruits and vegetables also contain them to give it a helping hand. Curcumin can mop up the damaging free radicals that are thought to contribute to premature ageing and cellular damage.
A few laboratory studies on cancer cells have also shown that curcumin may have anti-cancer effects. In studies, it showed the ability to kill cancer cells and prevent more from spreading and had the best effects on breast cancer, bowel cancer, stomach cancer and skin cancer cells.
While most of the current research into the benefits of turmeric is still ongoing, the results are encouraging that this wonderful spice will continue to be useful as a powerful tool in improving our health. And it’s a great excuse to make a drink!
Best way to consume turmeric for health benefits
The most effective way to take turmeric is in liquid form or blended within a drink or smoothie.
According to scientists, when you take a vitamin or supplement in solid form (such as in a tablet or within food) your body first needs to break down the solids before the active ingredients can be absorbed. Solids take 20-30 minutes to break down before the nutrients can be assimilated whereas liquids can be absorbed in just one to four minutes! Sipping on a drink allows your body to gain the benefits from turmeric faster than if you were to eat it in another form.
What are the negative effects of turmeric?
There’s no denying that turmeric and curcumin both feature plenty of excellent health benefits and they seem to be generally well tolerated by most people. Turmeric does not have any adverse effects in the majority of people - however, if you have a medical condition we recommend consulting your doctor before consuming it.
Turmeric is one of the shining stars of our Nightcap. This soothing, gently spiced elixir is the perfect way to unwind at the end of the day and features mellowing ingredients such as valerian root, ashwagandha and hops.
At Three Spirit we are passionate about ingredients that taste great and make you feel good inside and out. For more information about our Nightcap elixir, check out the product page where you can find everything you need to know - including a detailed ingredients list and how to make a delicious drink to enjoy. For more information about the beneficial ingredients we use, don’t hesitate to browse our ingredients section as well as the findings from our first scientific paper on myrcene!