Brief Survey of the Health Benefits of Curcumin

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Medical Concerns Regarding Curcumin

“Powdered Turmeric Spice” by Cherrie Rhodes

Generally there is no problem eating turmeric as a spice in curry, or as the base for a tea. There are several counter-indications against taking large amounts of turmeric, or taking curcumin supplements or remedies.

People with gall-bladder or bile duct conditions should avoid turmeric since it stimulates bile production.

As noted above, people taking anti-coagulant drugs should not add turmeric to their diets. Those anticipating or recovering from surgery also want to maximize their blood’s clotting ability by avoiding turmeric.

Diabetics need to monitor their blood sugar levels more closely after eating a turmeric-laced curry. An unexpectedly lower glucose level is dangerous for diabetics.

Medline Plus advises pregnant and lactating women to avoid turmeric, largely as a precaution based on lack of evidence of safety.

Turmeric, a Long-Time Friend and Poorly Known Acquaintance

"Turmeric Flower" by jongela19

“Turmeric Flower” by jongela19

The situation with turmeric is similar to several other herbal remedies. Turmeric is a long-time friend with a sterling reputation for being helpful in a variety of situations. Yet modern medicine is only comfortable regarding it as a mere acquaintance, safe to invite for dinner but not overly welcome at a medical clinic. The best course of action is to research any claims thoroughly before taking chances on one’s health.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for educational purposes only and should not be used for diagnosis or to guide treatment without the opinion of a health professional. Any reader who is concerned about his or her health should contact a doctor for advice.

References:

Medical Xpress, “Curcumin compound improves effectiveness of head and neck cancer treatment“, published May 19, 2011, referenced May 21, 2011.

Curcumalonga.com, “curcuma longa“, referenced May 21, 2011.

Medline Plus, “Turmeric“, updated April 18, 2011, referenced May 21, 2011.

U. of Maryland Medical Center, “Turmeric“, referenced May 21, 2011.

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