Since time immemorial, turmeric has been used as an alternative form of medicine. Stomach ulcers and acid reflux are the most common ailments treated by turmeric.
Even then, a considerable lot of people are still skeptical about using turmeric as alternative medicine, especially when treating acid reflux and ulcers. But does turmeric provide relief for acid reflux? Or is it all hype?
Turmeric has long been used to treat gastrointestinal issues like ulcers and acid reflux. The bioactive component of turmeric, curcumin, has a significant effect on your digestive system. It (curcumin) may help provide relief for gastrointestinal issues.
Is Turmeric Really Good For You?
Turmeric, like most natural spices, is good for you. It is excellent as food and also as a form of alternative medicine. However, you need to take it in moderation. Too much turmeric will do you more harm than good.
Although turmeric has been reported to have a range of benefits, it may not be as good and as potent as the benefits portray it. Here is why.
For one, turmeric is acidic and acidity is directly linked to disease.
turmeric will likely cause stomach issues such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Additionally, curcumin and all other compounds in turmeric are poorly absorbed in the body.
Curcumin’s poor bioavailability dampens its value. What’s more, the compound is unstable in both alkaline and acidic environments and disintegrates faster (rapidly metabolized) than the time needs to absorb it fully.
Furthermore, turmeric has some side effects. Whether taken orally or applied topically, prolonged use is likely to cause side effects such as dizziness, nausea, diarrhea, and even stomach ache. Luckily, most people don’t experience such effects.
Does Turmeric Help With Acid Reflux?
Curcumin in turmeric, as mentioned, has both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which may help relieve the symptoms of gastrointestinal issues, including acid reflux.
To treat acid reflux, ground turmeric into fine powder, then add it to water and drink. You can also use it in food, as a spice.
However, due to its poor bioavailability and rapid metabolism, it may be almost impossible to consume enough turmeric to treat acid reflux. You will have to add turmeric to all your food and drinks to get the required amount.
For this reason, it is best to consider organic turmeric supplements. Even then, absorption will still be minimal. To increase its bioavailability, take turmeric with piperine, a bioactive compound found in black pepper and cayenne pepper.
Does Turmeric Help With Ulcers?
Stomach ulcers can be on your stomach lining or part of your intestines. A lot of times, these ulcers are caused by H. Pylori bacteria. Surprisingly, you can also get ulcers from eating too much fast and spicy food.
Consider taking healthier food options, or follow a healthy diet like alkaline diet, to maintain healthy guts. Turmeric provides shield-like protection to your stomach lining.
Turmeric has polysaccharides that help relieve gastric ulcers. They do this by protecting the mucus lining of your stomach walls and preventing the growth of bacteria that cause ulcers.
Does Turmeric Cause Heartburn?
A side effect of taking turmeric is heartburn. This may come as a shock, given that we mentioned it helps relieve symptoms of GERD.
Well, in higher doses, prolonged intake or when people with already existing GERD conditions, turmeric will make heartburn worse.
A lot of people take turmeric in food, alongside other spices such as black pepper. The peppery qualities, together with curcumin in turmeric, increases your risk of getting heartburn.
When to Avoid Turmeric
Turmeric may be a wonder spice, but there are some instances where it is best to avoid it. Here are cases when you need to stay clear of turmeric.
Avoid turmeric if you have diabetes. Here is why. Curcumin present in turmeric has been found to reduce your blood sugar levels, especially if you have diabetes.
If you have to use turmeric, use it minimally.
- Problems with your gallbladder
Turmeric stimulates/increases the secretion of bile. Therefore, any gallbladder problem present will likely worsen if you consume turmeric. You should also avoid turmeric supplements.
People with gallstones and bile obstruction issues should also avoid taking turmeric.
- Iron deficiency
Avoid turmeric if you have iron deficiency. Turmeric will make the problem worse since it may interfere with iron absorption by close to 20% to 90%.
Turmeric may be portrayed as a phenomenonal spice, but it’s wise to use it with caution. Before using it, ensure you consult with your nutritionist, especially if you are on a restrictive diet such as an alkaline diet.
As well, if you have pre-existing conditions such as anemia which can be made worse by turmeric, avoid taking it altogether.