Turmeric the golden elixir for the immune system

Turmeric, the Indian Saffron, has a long medicinal history. You can even track the origins of the Curcuma longa root back nearly 4000 years, establishing its presence in the natural medicine science in Southeast Asia. Thanks to the turmeric's brilliant yellow color and the curcuminoid content within it. Curcumin is a powerful compound with multiple health benefits and no adverse side effects. 

Turmeric for the immune system

Researchers have taken a keen interest in verifying the claims of our ancestors in the past few decades. Curcumin contains properties such as anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal activity. According to studies, it is also said that turmeric acts as an antioxidant as well. So, it's excellent news if you want to improve your immunity.

To understand better, let’s explore the antioxidants in more detail.

What are Antioxidants?

Antioxidants are substances that slow or delay specific types of cell damage. Among the most prominent antioxidants i.e. vitamins C and E, are rich in diets high in fruits and vegetables. There are a couple of terms we need to enlighten ourselves with before proceeding:

  • Free Radicals: These are highly volatile molecules that are generally formed within the body when we exercise or convert food into energy. Free extremists such as cigarette smoke, pollution, etc from external sources might also occur. These particles might result in oxidative stress or “oxidation” within the body.
  • Oxidative Stress:Oxidative Stress is responsible for triggering cell damage. Higher levels of oxidation might lead to cell damage. This process fiddles a very crucial role in the development of many age-related diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, diabetes, cancer, etc. 

There is a balance between antioxidants and free radicals to help maintain proper brain function. If free radicals overwhelm the body, there will be adverse alternations to DNA, lipids, proteins, and an increased risk of chronic inflammatory diseases such as arthritis or ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.

Is Turmeric Good for Your Immune System?

Even in lower quantities, curcumin has been shown that it can boost antibody responses. This feature suggests that turmeric reportedly benefits various diseases may be partially due to its aptitude to modulate the immune system. 

One study demonstrated turmeric’s effects on 32 rats. They were exposed to tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD). TCDD emerges from material contaminants which cause numerous metabolic disorders, immunological dysfunction, and even cancer. The final results say that curcumin was effective in the prevention and treatment of TCDD-induced toxicity.

There was a second animal study that was about testing the detoxification and antioxidant effects of turmeric in a group of rats exposed to heightened levels of mercury. The research said that curcumin consists of numerous defensive maneuvers against mercury‐induced oxidative stress. It further reverses mercury‐induced serum biochemical changes linked to kidney and liver damage.

How to Use Turmeric for Immune System

You can take turmeric in capsule form as a supplement. Adding this spice to food while cooking or smoothies won’t provide enough curcumin to have a real impact on immune system function. This is because turmeric powder contains an average of only 3.14% curcumin. Supplements overcome this crisis by adding more rate of curcumin to their product. Here are the different ways to take in turmeric:-

  • Take it with curry: You can add these yellow spices to curries while preparing chicken curry and lemongrass or also try roasted cauliflower and potato curry soup.
  • Make a rub: Sprinkle granulated turmeric with ground cumin, mashed ginger, garlic powder, sea salt, and black pepper and then rub it on chicken, fish, tofu, and beef before grilling. 
  • Add the spice to roasted root veggies: You can add a little spice to potatoes, squash, parsnips, and carrots before roasting.
  • Sip some golden milk: Take a warm cup of milk and add some powdered turmeric to it. Later add a few freshly granulated ginger for a better taste.
  • Eat it with crushed eggs: Add some golden spice to an omelet, frittata, quiche, or scrambled eggs. This will give the fold a little boost of color and also a pleasant flavor. 

Dosage Recommendations

How much turmeric should one mist intake a day for immunity? 

Knowing the quantity of curcumin per day you need for immunity is pretty simple. For daily use, you can take between 150 and 250 mg of curcumin once per day. Research says that this is a safe and effective proportion for daily consumption.

Potential Side Effects

What are the negative effects of turmeric? 

Usually, there is unlikely to be less chance of turmeric side effects when using the recommended dosage. Negative reactions are mild and rarely reported, but you should still know and understand the following:

If you’re diabetic and monitoring your blood sugar level, use extra caution as curcumin may lessen your glucose levels even further. Too much turmeric, if higher than 150-250 mg per day, can lead to nausea, headaches, or stomach discomfort. Curcumin present in turmeric might thin the blood naturally and interfere with other blood thinners that you may be taking.

Who should not use turmeric?

Don’t consume turmeric and curcumin supplements while you are pregnant or nursing. To avoid inconveniences with blood clotting or postop recovery, don’t use this spice for at least two weeks before a scheduled surgery.

Final Thoughts on Turmeric for Boosting Immunity

Does turmeric improve the immune system with its antioxidant properties? 

The answer is, yes. Although it’s not meant to be an elixir for all types of diseases, it does demonstrate significant antioxidant and radical scavenging activity in the body. 

The best part is, turmeric is very safe and its side effects are rare and usually mild. If you’re thinking of considering using turmeric for immunity, please consult with a certified healthcare professional to make sure curcumin can be utilized with any preexisting medications that you may be consuming.

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