Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Turmeric may be the answer for indigestion

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Did you know that in the realms of Indian, Chinese and Eastern herbal medicine, turmeric has a rich history of addressing digestive issues?

Recent research shows the increasing worldwide popularity that this rustic spice provides from being an antiseptic, a powerful anti- inflammatory to providing relief for stomach problems comparable to omeprazole, (a medication used to manage excessive stomach acid.) The active ingredient in turmeric, curcumin, is a natural phytochemical found in the vibrant yellow spice commonly known for its use in curry.

If you frequently experience stomach ailments, incorporating turmeric into your daily routine might be the solution to all your digestive problems.

Turmeric and indigestion- the link

Turmeric is a natural wealth of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds and boasts an extensive history of application in alternative and traditional medicine, especially in Ayurveda, due to its digestive advantages and its role in nurturing a well-functioning gut. One of the key factors linking turmeric to relief from indigestion lies in its capacity to prompt bile production. Curcumin, a component of turmeric, triggers the gallbladder to release bile, which, in turn, aids in digestion, thereby reducing bloating and discomfort. Indigestion frequently involves inflammation of the stomach lining or the digestive tract. Curcumin has the potential to mitigate this inflammation and foster a more conducive environment for gut health.

In recent times, turmeric has earned recognition as an alternative remedy for addressing heartburn, inflammation, and stomach ulcers. In fact, it is often considered a substitute for proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) like Omeprazole, which are primarily used to reduce excess stomach acid production, with the advantage of fewer negative long-term side effects.

Pros of turmeric

Is opting for increased turmeric consumption a favorable choice over chemical drugs if you have stomach issues? Read on to know more…

  1. Relieves heartburn

If you’re still experiencing heartburn despite steering clear of alcohol, caffeine, fatty foods and cigarettes, consider turmeric as a natural solution. Consuming a teaspoon of turmeric twice daily can enhance esophageal and colon functionality, expedite indigestion relief, and harness the potent compounds in turmeric to address the root causes of excess acid and bile production, thereby supporting overall bodily well-being. Additionally, it can foster a healthier balance of beneficial and harmful bacteria while enhancing nutrient absorption in the colon.

  1. Anti-inflammatory in nature 

Curcumin, the primary active component in turmeric, endows it with potent anti-inflammatory properties, effectively managing and regulating inflammation.

  1. Beats indigestion

Turmeric is effective in preventing indigestion by promoting bile production in the gallbladder, thereby enhancing the digestion of food. Many physicians recommend turmeric for common digestive issues, as the digestive process involves multiple organs and functions, making it susceptible to disruption, particularly in the absence of essential vitamins and minerals. Instead of immediately committing to significant dietary changes, consider incorporating a tablespoon of turmeric into your daily meals. Its rich content of vitamins, minerals, anti-inflammatory compounds, antioxidants and fiber can aid in acid production, muscle contractions and nutrient absorption, which facilitates smooth digestion.

  1. Stimulates bile production

By promoting the production of bile, fresh turmeric can effectively bolster the digestive system. This enhanced bile secretion from the gallbladder not only improves food digestion but also aids in the absorption of essential fats and nutrients. Moreover, it helps alleviate the strain on the stomach, particularly when it’s experiencing discomfort and ulcers. 

  1. Reduces stomach pain

If you experience persistent stomach pain, it’s crucial to consult your doctor, as it could be indicative of a severe medical issue. However, if you occasionally suffer from mild stomach discomfort, your dietary choices or lifestyle may be the underlying cause. In such instances, turmeric’s anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties can provide relief from pain associated with the consumption of fatty or spicy foods, alcohol, or a sedentary lifestyle. 

  1. Reduces bloating

Given its natural detoxifying properties, turmeric is commonly employed to alleviate abdominal bloating. You can consume turmeric by mixing it with water or opt for turmeric tea as an alternative to eating plain turmeric. 

  1. Provides relief from gas

Excessive gas in the stomach can frequently lead to discomfort and, at times, embarrassment. When experiencing stomach pain, symptoms often present as bloating, gas and belching. Turmeric has been scientifically demonstrated to eliminate bacteria residing in the stomach lining, providing relief to the digestive system and effectively addressing symptoms of bloating and belching. Consider blending turmeric with lukewarm water and a pinch of salt; it might be the flatulence remedy you’ve been seeking. 

  1. Increases digestive hormones

Incorporating turmeric into your diet on a regular basis can contribute to the maintenance of a robust and well-functioning digestive system. Turmeric aids in the stimulation of essential digestive hormones like gastrin and secretin, as well as pancreatic enzymes. 

  1. Slows down stomach spasms and ulcers

Many of us encounter stomach discomfort, spasms and the development of ulcers, which can be profoundly painful and exacerbate existing stomach problems. Turmeric has the potential to mitigate and impede intestinal spasms and ulceration. The presence of curcumin in turmeric, with its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant attributes, facilitates the healing of ulcers. Turmeric is recognized as a valuable remedy for ulcer recovery, decreasing the likelihood of new ulcer formation, and alleviating stomach irritation. 

  1. Reduces nausea and diarrhea

Addressing nausea and diarrhea can be challenging due to their various potential causes, including dehydration, spoiled food, infections, and stress. Natural remedies are an excellent choice due to their gentle yet effective nature. Curcumin, for instance, can combat the inflammation, bacteria, and viruses contributing to your queasiness. Additionally, turmeric’s phytochemicals, vitamins, and minerals synergize to create antioxidants that promote healthy brain chemistry, potentially alleviating mental triggers of diarrhea and nausea such as stress and anxiety. In cases where improper eating habits or food contamination result in unexpected diarrhea and stomach discomfort, consuming a teaspoon of powdered turmeric up to three times daily, combined with increased fluid intake and diligent hand hygiene, can provide relief.

Cons of turmeric 

  1. Turmeric possesses natural blood-thinning properties, making it unsuitable for use alongside blood-thinning medications warfarin or aspirin.
  2. Turmeric can also interfere with other medications and supplements like antidepressants so be sure to consult a health care professional before adding it to your diet. .
  3. Furthermore, it’s important to note that turmeric may lead to gastrointestinal irritation and some individuals have experienced digestive discomfort when consuming high doses of curcumin. Consuming turmeric in moderation is key!
  4. Individuals with diabetes should exercise caution when considering the use of turmeric, as it has the potential to significantly lower blood sugar levels, posing a risk of hypoglycemia.
  5. Lastly, some individuals have reported that turmeric exacerbates symptoms of acid reflux.

How to safely consume turmeric 

Turmeric can be easily integrated into your diet by making turmeric tea, “golden milk”, mixing it in soups, curries, or by taking it in supplement form.

If you take turmeric supplements look for supplements with piperine (black pepper extract) to enhance curcumin absorption.

Did you ever imagine that turmeric could serve as a solution for a variety of stomach ailments? 

Vinita Alvares Fernandes
Vinita Alvares Fernandes is an Economics graduate, a writer and a Trinity College certified public speaker and communicator

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