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What Does Turmeric Do For the Body?

 turmeric root and turmeric powder

The bright yellow color of turmeric is a prelude to its warm, bitter taste, which complements many Southeast Asian and Middle Eastern dishes. However, for centuries the peppery culinary turmeric spice has also doubled as a traditional remedy, first being used within Indian Ayurveda practices to supplement a variety of respiratory, digestive and skin problems.

Today, turmeric is touted as a dietary supplement that can promote health, vitality and longevity. But what does turmeric do for the body, exactly? Read on to learn more about the health benefits of taking turmeric and how it can impact your body and overall health—and its limitations.

#1 Improve Memory

The turmeric extract contains a component called curcumin, a natural anti-inflammatory compound that’s also a very strong antioxidant. A recent study by UCLA researchers found that daily consumption of curcumin may improve the memory and mood of those experiencing mild, age-related memory loss. 

While researchers are unsure of the exact cause of improved memory and mood, they theorize that turmeric may reduce brain inflammation, which has been linked to age-related memory loss.

Another study found that daily consumption of curcumin led to a significant reduction in mental fatigue, as well as higher levels of calmness.

As such, it’s believed that taking turmeric on a daily basis can significantly improve your cognitive function.

#2 Enhance Mood

While turmeric can improve your mood, it may also have significant effects on those who experience persistent feelings of sadness or loss of interest that can greatly affect one’s everyday life.

In fact, numerous clinical studies have been conducted to uncover how turmeric affects those experiencing sadness. Within those studies, it was found that turmeric/curcumin supplementation significantly reduced symptoms of those experiencing an angry, irritable or melancholy state of mind. 

While researchers are unsure of the exact cause of improved memory and mood, they theorize that turmeric may reduce brain inflammation, which has been linked to age-related memory loss.

However, this was not noted until four weeks into the study, theorizing that those experiencing poor mental states should dedicate themselves to long-term turmeric supplement diet. Yet, the yellow supplement should not be a replacement for any medications. 

#3 Boost the Immune System

A study by the University of Texas also found that curcumin can act as a long-term immunomodulatory agent, meaning it can stimulate or suppress elements of the immune system to potentially help your body fight viral infection and improve:

  • Joint health
  • Respiratory health
  • Heart health
  • Memory
  • Cholesterol

Additionally, curcumin was also found to enhance antibody responses at low doses. 

#4 Reduce Inflammation and Joint Pain

As stated, turmeric has powerful anti-inflammatory effects that can aid joint health.

A study in which individuals suffering from knee discomfort were given three daily doses of 500 mg curcumin capsules found that they experienced an improvement in knee tenderness after two and three weeks of taking the curcumin supplement. 

As such, turmeric was found to be a natural and efficient supplement that may help the body stay healthy and strong.

#5 Ease Cramps and Bloating

Many women experience physical and emotional symptoms throughout the month, causing feelings of fatigue and irritability. Some women may also experience physical symptoms such as head tension, cramps or bloating.

In a double-blind, placebo-controlled study, it was found that daily supplementation of curcumin — over the course of 10 days — significantly reduced the severity of emotional, behavioral andphysical symptoms that often accompany cramps and bloating, such as:

  • Mood swings
  • Sadness
  • Soreness
  • Head tension
  • Mental fatigue

#6 Promote Oral Health

The anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties of turmeric may also help promote good oral health through:

  • Plaque removal
  • Teeth whitening
  • Gum protection

More specifically, some people experience chronic inflammation and thickening of the tissues around the tooth, which may cause aches within the mouth; turmeric may be able to help with those experiencing oral discomfort.

Recent studies have shown that oral administration or injection of curcumin can ease certain symptoms of oral discomfort, including burning sensations or an inability to open the mouth fully. 

#7 Promote Skin Health

For those experiencing skin issues, such as dryness, inflammation, wrinkling, discoloration or texture changes, turmeric may effectively reduce unhealthy skin-related symptoms.

Furthermore, turmeric may offer many benefits to your skin, such as:

  • Healing cuts or scrapes
  • Reducing the appearance of scars
  • Diminishing wrinkles
  • Aiding dry skin

When incorporating turmeric into your skincare routine, do not apply it directly to your skin if your face is sensitive. An oral supplement may provide more effectiveness. This is because turmeric has poor solubility, poor stability, and a high PH level making it less suitable for topical application to your skin. 

If you do choose to craft a turmeric face mask, test a bit of the mixture on your arm to make sure it does not cause burning or discomfort to your skin. Most often, a turmeric powder face mask will be most beneficial to those who have oily skin. 

Also, be sure not to keep it on for too long (no longer than 15 minutes) — its bright yellow color may stain your skin.

Limitations and Side Effects of Turmeric

What does turmeric do to the body? While turmeric can have an antioxidant property and anti-inflammatory property that may promote your body’s overall wellness and longevity, there is one drawback — its poor bioavailability when ingested orally. 

In other words, the entirety of the supplement is not absorbed fully by the body and may accumulate within your body’s gastrointestinal tract, making it less effective. 

However, the good news is that there are relatively no side effects when ingesting turmeric. Generally, those wishing to incorporate turmeric into their daily routine should take no more than one gram a day. 

If you opt for a turmeric supplement instead of the turmeric spice, there will be a larger curcumin content. When consuming larger doses, people may experience:

  • Upset stomach
  • Acid reflux
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Head tension
  • Gut issues

Additionally, turmeric is a blood thinner, meaning it should not be ingested if you have a bleeding affliction. Women who are expecting should also steer clear of turmeric supplements (although the spice is typically okay) because it may stimulate uterus contractions and possibly cause complications to the fetus. 

For a holistic and healthy lifestyle, incorporate turmeric into your diet, alongside fresh fruits and green vegetables. Turmeric is not a cure-all, but it can optimize your health in many ways. 

Balance a Healthy Lifestyle With Zebra CBD

Turmeric is just one way to bolster your overall health, wellness and vitality. CBD is another.

With Zebra CBD, you can supplement your lifestyle with premium CBD products made with third-party, lab-tested hemp extract. Like turmeric, CBD can help promote a good mood and a general sense of calmness.

We offer a lineup of products — from CBD oil to CBD topicals — to enhance your overall well-being. Additionally, Zebra CBD has a Label Accuracy Guarantee™ so you know that our label claims are 100% accurate. If you’re looking to improve your lifestyle and wellness routine, you’re in the right place. 

For more on natural alternatives, visit Zebra CBD today for information on elderberry health benefits, what is l-theanine and how they both benefit your body.


Healthline. Turmeric for Skin.

Co-founder of Copycat Copywriters, Adam has written for dozens of CBD and cannabis companies on a wide array of topics, including regulations, economics, farming practices and biochemistry.

About the Author

Adam Biederman Image

Adam Biederman

As co-founder and lead writer of Copycat Copywriters, one of Adam’s primary areas of expertise is within the budding CBD and cannabis space. He has written for dozens of CBD and cannabis companies, producing a collection of white papers, press releases, blog posts, articles and ebooks about a wide array of industry-related subjects, including regulations, economics, farming practices and biochemistry.

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