Turmeric is not only well-known because it is the main spice used in curry, but also for its health benefits. It has a number of medicinal properties that gave way to it being nicknamed as, “the spice of life.” Many researchers are intrigued by this plant, therefore allowing it to be the subject of more than 5,600 biomedical studies all around the globe.
There are some studies that revealed this plant to have more than 600 applications to prevent illnesses and act as a therapeutic medicine. It also has 175 physiological effects, making turmeric a remarkable spice.
Due to the overwhelming number of health benefits the plant offers, it is no wonder that researchers are able to compare turmeric to drugs that you can buy at the pharmacy. Turmeric is said to have the same effects as the following medications:
1. Metformin – According to the study in 2009 that was published in Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, curcumin – one of the main components of turmeric – can help treat diabetes while increasing glucose sensitivity of the body.
2. Drugs for Glucose Production – There are some researchers who believe curcumin has the ability to suppress the production of glucose in the liver of patients who have hepatocellular carcinoma, a very common cancer.
3. Oxaliplatin – Based on the study published in the Internal Journal of Cancer in 2007, curcumin can treat colon cancer, so patients don’t have to take the Oxaliplatin drug.
4. Ibuprofen – In 2004, there was a study published in Oncogene, which discovered that curcumin can be a good alternative to ibuprofen. Turmeric also has the potential to fight tumor cells, which means medications used for this purpose may no longer be needed.
5. Anti-Inflammatory Drugs – Other anti-inflammatory drugs might also be replaced by turmeric as the 2004 study above suggests.
6. Aspirin – Aspirin is used as a blood thinner. In 1986, there was a study published in Arzneimittelforschung (means Drug Research) which discovered that curcumin has properties that can provide the same effects as aspirin. In this case, it can control platelets and prostacyclin by modulating their effects. Turmeric can therefore be used to treat patients who have problems with severe blood clotting as well as those who need therapy for their arthritis.
7. Prozac – Back in 2011, there was a study published in Acta Poloniae Pharmaceutica in which it was discovered that curcumin can help in treating depression. It can potentially replace psychotropic drugs, such as Prozac.
8. Imipramine – This antidepressant medication may be replaced by turmeric, since the plant is said to have properties that can treat depression.
9. Fluoxetine – Also like imipramine, fluoxetine is used as an antidepressant drug. It is also used to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Scientists believe that turmeric can provide the same healing benefits without the side effects.
10. Steroids – The journal Phytotherapy Research published a study performed in 1999 where it is believed that curcumin has the ability to heal chronic anterior uveitis, which is an eye disease that results to inflammation. Turmeric could be the answer to this disease, since it is much safer and healthier than how steroids work.
11. Corticosteroids – There is also another study which showed that curcumin can act as a replacement therapy for injuries related to lung transplantation. This means it can work just as well as dexamethasone, a corticosteroid drug. The only difference is that turmeric offers no side effects.
12. Lipitor – Drugs in R&D posted a 2008 study in which curcuminoids can be used to heal endothelial dysfunction. This particular dysfunction affects how the blood vessels work.
13. Drugs for diabetes – The researchers in the study above believed that turmeric’s curcumin can treat inflammation as well as oxidative stress in patients who have type 2 diabetes.
14. Atorvastatin – This is a drug that lowers bad cholesterol, also known as low-density lipoprotein (LDL). Consuming turmeric can have the same benefits and is a natural way to lower cholesterol levels as well.
With these health benefits and abilities, it is not surprising that turmeric is at the top of the list when it comes to the most frequently mentioned herbs in science and medicine.