Turmeric is an effective nutritional supplement that doesn’t get the respect and recognition it deserves. Studies show that Turmeric might just be the most effective nutritional supplement in existence today, as it comes with major benefits for the body and brain. It also has a surprising use you’ve never thought of.
What Is Turmeric?
Turmeric is a spice that comes from the root of the Curcuma longa plant, which is a perennial in the ginger family. It gives mustard and curry its golden, vibrant coloring, thanks to its major active ingredient known as curcumin.
Registered dietitian Nicole Hopsecger told the Cleveland Clinic, that the value of turmeric comes from the benefits of curcumin because it has antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties that benefit your health.
The Health Benefits
Adding turmeric to your daily diet via smoothies and curries comes with some major health benefits, according to scientific research. One study showed that it lessens chronic conditions like inflammation if taken regularly.
Another clinical trial found that regularly taking turmeric twice a day helped improve the memory of adults without dementia.
“Researchers thought that the reduction in brain inflammation and curcumin’s antioxidant properties led to less decline in neurocognition, which is the ability to think and reason,” Hopsecger said. “Curcumin may also have a role in preventing the development of Alzheimer’s disease—however, that’s an area where we need more research.”
Research has also shown that turmeric lessens pain, fights free radicals, lowers the risk of heart disease, helps fight depression, and even helps prevent cancer.
Hopsecger recommended taking 500 to 1,000 milligrams of turmeric a day—either as a dietary supplement or using it as a spice—to get the most benefits. For optimal absorption, she recommended taking it with heart-healthy fats like oils, avocado, or nuts and seeds.
Turmeric isn’t a miracle drug, though. Talk to your doctor about it, especially if you notice any kind of side effects. Turmeric has been known to cause bloating. And, it’s possible it could have a bad interaction with blood-clotting medications. You’re also supposed to avoid turmeric if you have gallbladder disease.
“No dietary supplement can replace medications or even a well-rounded diet,” Hopsecger warned. “If your diet is poor, taking a curcumin supplement isn’t going to do anything miraculous.”
You’ve Never Thought Of Using Turmeric Like This
In addition to having major health benefits, turmeric can also be used in your dental routine for the purpose of whitening your teeth.
According to some dentists, using all-natural turmeric as a teeth whitener is completely safe. It doesn’t even have the potential side effects of commercial teeth whiteners, like gingivitis, gum pain, receding gums, and tooth enamel problems.
In fact, using turmeric to whiten your teeth has added benefits. In addition to whitening the teeth, turmeric can also reduce the risk of gum pain and inflammation and reduce the risk of gum disease.
As Healthline pointed out, there haven’t been any official studies about turmeric’s ability to whiten teeth. All of the evidence so far is purely anecdotal. However, there has been plenty of research about the oral healthcare benefits of the spice. And the facts don’t lie.
The results from a 2012 study back up the claim that turmeric can prevent gingivitis, aka gum disease. When used properly, turmeric helped remove plaque, bacteria, and inflammation compared to traditional mouthwashes.
A 2013 study found that turmeric can relieve dental pain. It also showed promise as a treatment for periodontitis, as well as a way to help prevent different types of oral cancer.
How To Use Turmeric To Whiten Your Teeth
Currently, turmeric is not considered a replacement for medical cosmetic teeth whitening treatments. And using the spice is definitely not a replacement for general oral healthcare. But there are a few different ways that you can add turmeric to your daily dental routine and get some benefits.
The easiest is to add it to your tooth-brushing regimen once per day. But this method will leave your toothbrush bristles yellow. And its taste in the raw form can be a bit much. To help with that, you can add a drop of peppermint or spearmint extract.
Simply dip your wet toothbrush bristles into some high-quality pure turmeric powder and then brush your teeth like you normally would. Spread the powder all over your gums and teeth, then let it sit for five minutes. Rinse out your mouth with water, then brush again with regular toothpaste.
You can also make homemade turmeric toothpaste by mixing the powder with high-quality coconut oil. If desired, you can also add a dash of baking soda and a drop or two of mint flavor.
We should warn you once again, though, that doing this will turn your toothbrush bristles yellow. That part of the process is simply unavoidable.
The bottom line here is that turmeric does work as a teeth whitener when used properly. It’s a safe option that’s less expensive than other methods. But, at this point, these claims are purely anecdotal.
You can’t argue with the oral health benefits, though. Turmeric definitely has those in spades, and the science proves it.
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