Turmeric is an ancient spice, a native of South East Asia, used from antiquity as dye and a condiment.
Turmeric is in fact one of the cheapest spices. Although as a dye it is used similarly to saffron, the culinary uses of the two spices should not be confused and should never replace saffron in food dishes.
The use of turmeric dates back nearly 4000 years, to the Vedic culture in India where it was used as a culinary spice and had some religious significance. The name derives from the Latin terra merita “meritorious earth” referring to the color of ground turmeric which resembles a mineral pigment. In many languages turmeric is simply named as “yellow root”.
Here, you’re going to read about a common question, ‘is turmeric good for gut health?’
Let’s start with some health benefits of Turmeric.
What Health Benefits Does Turmeric Have?
- Turmeric is high in antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds.
- Turmeric has been recognized as an alternative treatment for gastrointestinal issues.
- Curcumin is turmeric’s most active ingredient. It is believed to possess potent antiviral, antibacterial and anticancer properties.
- Traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine have used turmeric to regulate menstruation and relieve arthritis pain. It has also been shown to improve digestion and liver function.
- Turmeric is now an alternative treatment for heartburn, inflammation, stomach ulcers, and other conditions.
- Turmeric is a critical ingredient in curry. It is the ingredient that gives curry its vibrant color and spicy flavor.
- Curcumin is the most active ingredient in turmeric. It is believed to be primarily responsible for turmeric’s health benefits.
- Curcumin is an antioxidant polyphenol. Curcumin is believed to be powerful in antiviral, antibacterial, and anticancer properties.
How to Improve Your Health?
Researchers are showing time and again that the health of one’s stomach is vital for their overall health. It is possible to say that your gut health can make you more susceptible to various health problems.
Poor gut health has been linked to many conditions, including diabetes, rheumatoid and chronic fatigue, and depression. All of these problems can severely impact your quality of life. It’s essential to take care of your stomach and keep it healthy!
Is Turmeric Good for Gut Health and Digestion?
Turmeric, also known as Curcuma longa, has been used in traditional Asian medicine for centuries for its healing properties. It is now a popular ingredient in food and supplements to improve health. It can be added to many things, including “golden” lattes and yellow crisps to aromatic curries.
Curcumin is the compound responsible for the health benefits of taking turmeric. Curcumin, a beneficial plant compound (polyphenol), is what gives turmeric its bright yellow color. Its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant qualities have attracted a lot of attention. It has been suggested as a management tool to manage various chronic diseases, including diabetes and gastrointestinal disorders.
Mainly curcumin’s role in our digestive health has been extensively studied. The latest research shows that curcumin is a good choice for your digestive health. Curcumin may support the growth and development of beneficial gut bacteria.
Turmeric is broken down, and curcumin accumulates in the digestive tract. This is where the magic happens.
Recent studies have shown that curcumin can regulate your gut microbiome, the ecosystem of microorganisms in your stomach. Curcumin is believed to stimulate the growth of beneficial bacteria strains and microbial diversity. It also helps restore balance in the ecosystem.
A healthy and balanced gut microbiome is associated with better digestion and overall health and a lower risk of developing chronic illnesses.
Turmeric Protects the Gut Lining
Curcumin is further metabolized once it has been inside the body. Studies have shown that curcumin metabolites positively impact intestinal barrier function.
Your intestinal walls have tight junctions that regulate the flow of substances through them. This is called intestinal permeability. The gut becomes more porous if the tight junctions in your intestinal walls are broken down. This can lead to serious health problems as bacteria and toxins can pass into the bloodstream. This phenomenon is often referred to simply as “leaky stomach.”
Curcumin is a natural ingredient that helps strengthen and restore your gut lining. It also prevents unregulated cross-contamination into the bloodstream.
Turmeric Helps Relieve Irritable Bowel Syndrome
IBS, also known as Irritable Bowel Syndrome, is a chronic condition that affects the colon. Although the exact cause of IBS remains a mystery, it is believed to be caused by some gut inflammation or imbalance (called dysbiosis). Curcumin is an excellent remedy for this condition.
Turmeric’s unique anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and modulating ability to regulate the gut microbiome may play a significant role in IBS management.
A study published in 2018 showed that IBS patients who take turmeric powder in varying strengths for a month have lessening symptoms and a better quality of life.
Turmeric Helps Avoid the “Leaky Gut.”
A leaky gut is a result of current lifestyle choices. An overgrowth of harmful bacteria can cause a leaky gut. Once you have it, the body will allow pathogenic bacteria to roam free, leading to inflammation.
These autoimmune diseases are caused by the immune system’s natural inflammatory response. The inflammation can become out of control if your gut is leaky.
Inflammation out of control can cause damage to healthy cells and organs to find the toxins. A healthy gut won’t allow any material to escape, so our bodies don’t have anything to chase after it. There is no problem if there is no inflammation.
You can do many things to restore and maintain a healthy digestive system in terms of flora and barriers.
- Eliminate food toxins.
- Consume fermented foods such as yogurt, sauerkraut, and kimchee.
- Use a multi-strain probiotic with high potency. Find here the best over the counter probiotic for gut health.
- Consume plenty of fermentable fibers such as sweet potatoes and yams.
- Any intestinal pathogens should be treated.
- Manage stress levels by finding ways to do it.
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Turmeric Helps Reduce Inflammation in the Gut
Curcumin effectively prevents and treats inflammation in the digestive tract, both the colon and small intestine. Curcumin works by inhibiting inflammatory processes in the body. It is demonstrated in a study that it works in multiple ways to regulate and reduce inflammation in the gut.
It can also protect from metabolic disorders, which affect your body’s natural ability to distribute and process nutrients. This can harm your overall health and increase your chances of developing certain diseases.
It is wise to incorporate turmeric (curcumin) into your daily diet.
Turmeric is a superfood that’s ”golden” in color because it has many health benefits. Our organic Turmeric latte has all the above benefits and is pure without additives. Our organic Turmeric powder is rich in curcumin, making it an excellent medicinal spice. However, it can also be a super ingredient in making drinks, dishes, and desserts.
Turmeric Helps Relieve Inflammatory Bowel Disease
People suffering from constipation or cramping, as well as irritable bowel syndrome, will find turmeric very helpful. Curcumin, one of the active ingredients in turmeric, is responsible for this. It has powerful anti-inflammatory properties.
Curcumin reduces inflammation in the gut, which can lead to ulcers and bleeding. Patients suffering from inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s disease) should be advised to use turmeric.
A study by the University of Maryland Medical Center also found that patients with ulcerative colitis in remission had significantly fewer relapses when they consumed turmeric.
Finally, turmeric provides sufficient dietary fiber for smooth digestion.
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Benefits of Turmeric Extract
Clinical trials have demonstrated that turmeric and turmeric extracts are clinically useful despite their low bioavailability. This “turmeric paradox” could be explained by the possibility that the gastrointestinal effects of turmeric extracts may have more excellent reaching systemic effects.
Experimental research has shown that curcumin, one active component of turmeric, can significantly alter the microbiota. This may partly explain curcumin’s therapeutic benefits.
A study was conducted to determine if turmeric affects the gut bacteria of humans. It involved three things: turmeric (3000mg turmeric root plus 3.75m black pepper-derived extract piperine alkaloid [BioPerine]), curcumin (3000mg curcumin [Curcumin C3 complex] plus 3.75m BioPerine) twice daily for eight weeks.
DNA sequencing discovered that curcumin and turmeric affected the gut microbiota. The study investigators suggested that curcumin might be responsible for most changes seen in turmeric-treated subjects. Turmeric was found to increase the number of bacterial species.
Although the microbiota’s response to treatment was very individual, there was some consistency in response to curcumin/ turmeric. “Responsive” subjects had a similar microbial signature involving uniform increases in polysaccharide-degrading and hydrogen-consuming bacteria species.
The pilot study investigators concluded that “this pilot study in healthy subjects may have raised more intriguing questions than it has answered” and highlighted the complexity of human intervention studies to study the effects of these powerful herbal medicines. They suggest that variations in turmeric absorption could be responsible for the observed prebiotic-like effects.
They noted that future studies with a larger human cohort would clarify whether the “responsive microbiota” we identified here are representative or if less common response signatures may be defined with additional participants.
Research in this area may help to understand the role of the microbiome and individual reactions to curcumin and turmeric.
How Do I Get More Turmeric?
It is easy to include more turmeric in your diet. Fresh turmeric may be available at your local grocery store. You can buy powdered turmeric in your grocery store, but it may not be available at your local supermarket. You can make it at home once you have it:
- Make turmeric tea. It is easy to make. Boil some water and add 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric or freshly grated turmeric. Allow it to steep for 10 minutes, then strain the water. For more flavor, you can add honey or fresh lemon juice.
- Add it to a smoothie. Although you may not taste it, turmeric is so strong in pigments that it will add exciting color to your smoothie.
- Make your mustard by mixing 1/2 cup ground mustard with two tablespoons of white wine vinegar and a tablespoon of water. Add one teaspoon of each salt and turmeric to the mixture. You will get homemade mustard. Please keep it in the fridge.
Frequently Asked Questions about Turmeric and Gut Health
What Does Turmeric Do for Your Stomach?
Great for digestion, turmeric tea is wonderful. To lose weight, a healthy digestive system is vital. Turmeric tea can help relieve stomach problems like gas and bloating and improve bowel movements. This will assist you in losing weight.
Is Turmeric Good for Your Stomach?
Turmeric can aid in healthy digestion because of its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Ayurvedic medicine uses turmeric as a digestive healer.
Who Shouldn't Use Turmeric?
The following people should not consume turmeric:
- People with:
- gallbladder or bleeding problems,
- iron deficiency,
- liver disease, and
- Those who are hormone-sensitive, have arrhythmias, or have gallbladder disease.
- Pregnant women or planning to have surgery on their stomachs should not consume turmeric.
Is There a Way to Make Gas and Bloating from Turmeric?
However, some people may experience mild side effects when taking higher doses. These could include Digestive issues. Some people may experience mild digestive issues such as flatulence, acid reflux, diarrhea, and bloating if they consume more than 1,000 mg daily.
When Is the Best Time To Take Turmeric?
To kick start the day, most people succeed with turmeric at dawn to get them going or at night to reduce inflammation from the day. Because curcumin absorption is higher when paired with healthy fats, we recommend you consume turmeric with your meal.
What Is the Time It Takes for Turmeric to Start Working?
Turmeric is not a quick solution. You will need to use it every day to see results. It can take turmeric between 4-8 weeks to start working. This can vary from one person to another. You should see improvements within 4-8 Weeks if you take turmeric daily.
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Sources and References
At TipTop Gut, we rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We avoid using tertiary references.
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- Ukil I et al. Curcumin, The Major Component of Food Flavour Turmeric, Reduces Mucosal Injury in Trinitrobenzene Sulphonic Acid-Induced Colitis. British Journal of Pharmacology. 2003;139:209-218. doi:10.1038/sj.bjp.0705241
- Bundy R et al. Turmeric Extract May Improve Irritable Bowel Syndrome Symptomology in Otherwise Healthy Adults: A Pilot Study. The Journal Of Alternative And Complementary Medicine. 2004;10(6):1015-1018.
- Goel A et al. Curcumin as “Curecumin”: From kitchen to clinic. Biochemical Pharmacology. 2008;75(4):787-809.
- Atefi, M., et al. (2021). A systematic review of the clinical use of curcumin for the management of gastrointestinal diseases [Abstract].
- Di Ciaula, A., et al. (2018). Efficacy of bio-optimized extracts of turmeric and essential fennel oil on the quality of life in patients with irritable bowel syndrome.
- Hewlings, S. J., et al. (2017). Curcumin: A review of its’ effects on human health.
- Lang, A., et al. (2015). Curcumin in combination with mesalamine induces remission in patients with mild-to-moderate ulcerative colitis in a randomized controlled trial.
- Lior, O., et al. (2019). Treatment of irritable bowel syndrome with a combination of curcumin, green tea and selenomethionine has a positive effect on satisfaction with bowel habits. https://www.scirp.org/journal/paperinformation.aspx?paperid=92625