If you spend any time online, especially on wellness and health blogs, you must have come across curcumin and all the health benefits it brings. Many studies show that curcumin is one of the most effective supplements in existence that affects human body from head to toe. But, what exactly is curcumin and how can it help your well being? Here’s a little guide that will make you coo coo for curcumin.

What is curcumin?

Curcumin is one of the major compounds contained in turmeric. Turmeric or Curcuma longa is closely related to ginger and has been used for thousands of years in medicine, art (it creates gorgeous yellow colors) and in cooking. Three types of curcuminoids are found on tumeric: demethoxycurcumin, curcumin, and bisdemethoxycurcumin. Curcumin contained in turmeric is a powerful antioxidant that has effective anti-inflammatory properties, so it’s often used in various supplements. Plus, it’s also what gives the spice its characteristic color you can see in many dishes in Asian cuisine.

How can it fight inflammations?

Most of the research done on turmeric and curcumin concentrates on one thing: inflammation. While it sounds very scary, not all inflammation is inherently bad. Actually, it is an important part of our immune system that keeps viruses and bacteria away from the body. However, complications occur when normal inflammations become chronic. These uncontrolled inflammations grow like a forest fire, burn constantly and cause a ton of health issues. Curcumin prevents inflammation by blocking NF-kB, a molecule that turns on genes related to inflammation in the nuclei. NF-kB is believed to be responsible for many chronic diseases Western people battle today. That’s why it’s important to fight these inflammations with every weapon you can find on the market.

What is curcumin used for?

Curcumin is known for its ability to tame inflammations and it can help with a long list of health issues. It’s effective in battle with autoimmune inflammations, brain inflammations, inflammatory bowel disorder, rheumatoid arthritis and many other diseases.

What else can I use it for?

The theory that neurons can’t divide and multiply after childhood has been proven wrong. Neurons can form new connections, multiply and divide thanks to brain-derived neurotrophic factors that boost this process. The most interesting thing is that, curcumin can increase the levels of  brain-derived neurotrophic factors (BDNF) in the brain and delay or even reverse various brain diseases and age-related brain function decrease.

Additionally, curcumin can also reduce and reverse many steps in heart disease. The main reason why curcumin is good for your heart is the fact that it improves the function of the endothelium, the lining of the blood vessels. It can also be helpful in fighting cancer because curcumin has a great contribution to the death of cancerous cells and reduces the growth of new blood vessels in tumors and prevents cancer from spreading. As you can see, curcumin has many beneficial effects on the body, however, further research is definitely needed not only to discover new uses for curcumin but also to understand how exactly it works.

How can I get a good dose of curcumin?

If you love to cook and prepare all sorts of meals and snacks, you can go old school and add turmeric powder to different soups, smoothies and dishes (it add a fantastic taste to just about any savory dish). You can also mix it into various homemade elixirs. They are easy to mix and are super effective and tasty.

However, if want to take a supplement route, there are plenty of great products on the market. You can search online and you’ll find beneficial curcumin supplements you can take with your breakfast and dinner. They are effective in fighting inflammations, swelling and pain. These pills contain a boosted dose of curcumin (which is still safe for everyday use) that will give your body a nice jump-start!

Are there any side effects?

In high doses, curcumin is not helping fight inflammations, but it contributes to diarrhea and even cellular damage. However, if you follow supplement guidelines, there are no unwanted effects. Additionally, it’s important to keep in mind that some things work for certain people while they have no effect on others. So, make sure to work with a qualified doctor who will help you determine whether curcumin is right for you and in what doses.

The evidence that shows curcumin’s role in inflammation inhibition and inflammatory diseases is constantly growing.  While additional research is needed, you can easily incorporate turmeric into your everyday cooking and grab some easy-to-use supplements. Your food will be more delicious and you’ll feel rejuvenated and pain-free!