Turmeric is the most effective and commonly used Indian spice. It is also known for its amazing health benefits. It has received a huge appreciation from scientific community for its protective and therapeutic properties. It is also known as “Queen of spices” amongst Indian spices used in cooking. It can be found in almost every Indian kitchen. It has golden colour, sharp taste and pepper like aroma. It is an excellent antioxidant agent. It is also known for its anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antimicrobial, antiviral and anti-cancer properties.
Turmeric is also one of the very important herbs that provide several benefits to women. Chronic inflammation contributes to major health problems in women. It inhibits inflammation at the cellular level. It is an excellent remedy for fighting chronic and low-grade inflammation.
Let’s start a discussion on turmeric benefits for women in detail.
Turmeric Benefits for Women
However, turmeric is beneficial for both men and women. There are several benefits of turmeric for women health. It acts on female primary and secondary sex organs. It reduces inflammation of breasts, vaginal canal, uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes and other organs. It is very useful for vaginitis, bacterial vaginosis, yeast infection and other female health problems discussed below:
Reduces Symptoms of Premenstrual Syndrome
A research study has concluded that taking curcumin capsules (turmeric extract) for 7 days before and 3 days after menstrual cycle reduces the severity of premenstrual syndrome and attenuates its symptoms. The course should be continued for at least 3 successive menstrual cycles.
Vaginal Yeast Infection
Yeast infection of vagina is also called candidiasis. It results from imbalance of bacteria and yeast cells. Yeast cells continue to grow and results in irritation, intense itching and swelling.
Curcumin in turmeric inhibits the growth of yeast cells and unhealthy bacteria due to its antifungal and antimicrobial properties. It also exerts anti-inflammatory action and reduces inflammation.
In a similar way, it also provides benefits in bacterial vaginosis.
Tip: No doubt internal intake of turmeric powder or curcumin capsule is helpful. For quick results, the vaginal area should also be washed with turmeric water. It acts as local antimicrobial and antiseptic and results in quick recovery from the vaginal yeast infection.
In endometriosis, endometrium grows outside the uterus and may continue growing in fallopian tubes and lining of the pelvis. It results in pain and cramps in the lower abdomen.
A research study has shown curcumin (turmeric extract) has anti-endometriotic action. It checks endometrial growth by regulating hormones. Furthermore, turmeric also attenuates pain associated with endometriosis.
Tip: For treating and preventing the progression of endometriosis, a woman can take turmeric powder 3 to 6 grams or curcumin 10 grams a day.
Polycystic Ovarian Disease (PCOS)
PCOS has no permanent cure in non invasive modern medicine, but we can manage it and reduces its symptoms and outcomes. Turmeric is a wonderful spice for reducing symptoms of PCOS. Women suffering from PCOS can include in their diet. It has potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-obesity actions. All these properties of turmeric help to reduce symptoms and health risks associated with PCOS.
Turmeric also plays a protective role to prevent health problems associated with PCOS. These problems include the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, atherosclerosis and weight gain, etc.
Around 70% of women in the USA develop uterine fibroid by the age of 50. Although sometimes, fibroids don’t show any symptom, it is still a huge population of women, who suffer from fibroids. Some women experience heavy bleeding, pain, cramps and frequent urination.
Curcumin (turmeric alkaloid) has shown antiproliferative potential by which it stops the growth of uterine tumour cells. It produces inhibitory effects by binding and activating PPAR-Ƴ receptors (peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor). The activation of these receptors stops the growth of tumour cells in the uterus and thus stops the growth of uterine fibroids.
In addition, curcumin also induces apoptosis of fibroid cells in the uterus and the fibroid cells start eating themselves.
Menopause is the part of woman’s life, but it can sometimes becomes very discomforting and irritating. It causes hot flashes, depression, bone loss and weight gain.
Turmeric contains natural phytoestrogens that help to reduces all these symptoms. It is also reported to have anti-depressant and anti-obesity actions, which also help to prevent all these symptoms. It replenishes the estrogen level in the body, which helps to reduce hot flashes and other symptoms of menopause.
Osteoporosis is a condition of weakened bones. In women, osteoporosis occurs during menopause due to a decrease in estrogen level in the body, which results in loss of bone minerals. Turmeric contains phytoestrogen, as discussed above and prevents the bone loss.
Curcumin also helps to restore bone mineral density. It further restricts loss of minerals from the bones, various studies concluded.
Tip: Well, including turmeric in the daily diet is highly beneficial for women. If you are not taking it in food, you should start taking it in form of powder or capsules daily at least after attaining the age of 40.
Urinary Tract Infection
Urinary tract infection (UTI) is a very common problem in women. It causes burning feeling while urinating, pain and pressure in the lower abdomen, frequent urination and sometimes fever.
Turmeric has antimicrobial and antibacterial properties. It also has an effective cleansing effect on kidney and urinary bladder. It also has antioxidant and nephroprotective actions.
Curcumin in turmeric reported to possess broad-spectrum antibacterial property. It is effective against several bacterial strains including S. aureus, S. epidermidis, B. subtilis, S. Saprophyticus, E. faecalis and S. pyogenes.
Due to these characteristics, turmeric is effective against urinary tract infections. In most cases, it can reduce the severity of UTI. Some patients may require medical treatment. However, it can prevent recurrence of urinary tract infections if it is included in food or taken as a supplement.
How to Take Turmeric
- The optimum dosage for turmeric powder is 3 grams twice a day. For curcumin, 500 mg twice a day. Curcumin is available in form of capsules. In some cases, dosage can be increased up to 6 grams for powder and 1000 mg for curcumin.
- For boosting the absorption of turmeric in the body, 5% black pepper powder can also be added to turmeric powder. In most cases, curcumin comes in combination with piperine. Piperine is also derived from black pepper or long pepper.
- You can include turmeric powder in your food. You can add turmeric when you cook food. It is an integral part of Indian cooking.
- You can add it in smoothies, curries and soups.
- Even you can put it in milk.
- You can make turmeric tea. Add a pinch of black pepper in it.
If you add turmeric while cooking food, it is likely safe and well-tolerated.
In a few cases, it can cause a mild gastric discomfort if its powder is taken with water.
Curcumin capsules are also less likely to cause any problem.
If you experience any discomfort taking turmeric, then you should include it in food or take it with milk or reduce its dosage.
Turmeric should be carefully used if you are taking any blood thinning medicines. Ask your doctor if you can take turmeric, especially curcumin supplement.
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