Is Turmeric More Effective Than These 5 Medications?

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Is Turmeric More Effective Than These 5 Medications? Turmeric is having a health food revival, and it may be for good reason! As one of the most studied spices, according to the National Institutes of Health, researchers have looked at turmeric as a natural alternative to treat a variety of common ailments.

With thousands of years of documented usage, turmeric has been used to treat everything from high blood pressure to arthritis and depression throughout the ages. This yellow orange root can be used in cooking or taken orally in capsule form. So what if this spice could eliminate the need for some of these common medications in your medicine cabinet?

The compound curcumin within turmeric is likely nature’s most powerful alternative to these five over-the-counter medications.

How Does Curcumin Compare to 5 Popular Medications?

1. Anti-Inflammatories

One of the most common anti-inflammatory names you might see is ibuprofen, but did you know one of the main functions of turmeric is reducing inflammation? Before turmeric takes the reins over this OTC medication, it must overcome the hurdle of how quickly it is metabolized and removed by the body. Some studies suggest pairing turmeric’s active ingredient curcumin, with a compound from black pepper, could solve this problem. Additional studies point to benefits of taking curcumin after vigorous workouts and its effectiveness in reducing exercise induced inflammation and improving recovery.

2. Blood Thinners

Aspirin is commonly used as a blood thinner but, taken in high dosages can cause degradation of the stomach lining. Turmeric is actually a more extreme ‘blood thinner’ but with a different mechanism that stops blood platelets from clumping altogether.

3. Statins

Many Americans are on statins, which are medications prescribed for cholesterol management. Curcumin works to keep arteries from hardening (atherosclerosis) while lowering LDL and total cholesterol numbers.

4. Chemotherapy Medications

The search for medications to treat cancer is never-ending but this research on curcumin and how it functions against colorectal cancer in conjunction with a chemotherapy medications called oxaliplatin shows promise.

5. Antidepressants

It’s a bold statement to say that turmeric may be more effective than depression medications. This study provides some of the first clinical evidence that curcumin could be a safe but also effective treatment for those suffering from depression (without additional psychotic disorders). Additional studies have found that curcumin may raise levels of serotonin and dopamine, the neurotransmitters known to elevate your mood.


Carlene Thomas RD,LD is a registered dietitian nutritionist who specializes in weight loss and wellness. She provides nutrition guidance to the public in a variety of ways including corporate wellness, private clients and contributes an expert nutrition voice to a variety of media.


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8 responses to “Is Turmeric More Effective Than These 5 Medications?”

  1. Ben Gundran says:

    What is the best way to take curcumin ?

    • Segen Tekle says:

      Ben,
      Curcumin is fat soluble, that means it dissolves in fat. Without fat, the active component in turmeric, curcumin, has a difficult time making it past the stomach, into the small intestine, and into the blood where it can offer the greatest benefits. In order to make the most of turmeric, it’s best to take it with a meal that contains fat. Hope this helps!

  2. Hilary Nathan says:

    If we just take one supplement this is the one.

  3. Susan says:

    Does this counteract AHCC, 3 grams daily, taken for cervical cancer? Or will they work together?

    Also have high blood pressure, treated daily with lisinopril and beta blocker atenolol, which I’d prefer to get off of, if the curcumin would treat instead.

    Thanks!

    • Segen Tekle says:

      Susan,
      To avoid any complications, it’s always advised you consult with your doctor prior to taking any supplements with your medications.

    • Greg says:

      Hello, I have high bp for 7 yrs now and for about last 5 been taking curcumin with black pepper in it for absorption from company stop aging now. The truth for me I haven’t been able to get off my 2 bp meds. I wish you the best !

  4. carla says:

    I swear by tumeric/curcumin, it is truly a miracle spice. From curing my mom’s dementia, to healing my knees it’s the best thing ever…..

    • Segen Tekle says:

      Hi Carla,
      Wow, that’s terrific news! We’re thrilled curcumin has worked so well for you and your mother, thanks for sharing!