The world has long recognized the healing properties of turmeric. Turmeric has been an essential cosmetic and medicinal agent since ancient times. It has a high place in Ayurveda and has been used in preparations to cure multiple internal and external ailments.
Its importance grew as Turmeric slowly traveled from the East to the West. Today, many products use turmeric in various forms for cosmetic and medicinal purposes. While the effects of using turmeric have been discussed repeatedly in the aesthetic community and amongst medical practitioners, one is left wondering how turmeric affects our hormone systems. Specifically, how does turmeric affect our estrogen levels? Is it healing or harmful?
The link between turmeric and estrogen levels
Turmeric is a root plant belonging to the family of ginger. Turmeric does bear similarity to ginger in looks but can be distinguished by smell, taste, and color inside.
It is used among the older and younger generations alike for its properties. Turmeric contains a chemical called curcumin, responsible for its distinctive properties. Though there are other sources of curcumin, it is found in higher concentrations of turmeric. This chemical is responsible for the medicinal and aesthetic properties of turmeric. Hence, today turmeric and curcumin are widely accepted as ingredients in modern medicine and dietary supplements.
Estrogen is a hormone found in high concentrations in women. It is primarily produced in the female reproductive organ and is responsible for a woman’s physical attributes and sexual characteristics. It also plays an essential role in the reproductive development of a woman. Estrogen is vital in regulating the menstrual cycle, and it affects multiple parts of the body. A change in estrogen level causes drastic changes in the human body.
Turmeric is a commonly consumed ingredient, both internally and externally. Hence, it is crucial to find the link between turmeric and the hormones in our body. Multiple studies have recorded the connection between turmeric and hormones. This is specifically in the case of hormonal imbalance, inflammation, and immunity. Turmeric has a proven effect on inflammation and immunity, among other properties.
Since hormone imbalance is prominently caused due to fluctuations in estrogen levels, among other factors, turmeric and its active ingredient, curcumin, has a direct impact on the same. The link between turmeric and estrogen is that of an inhibitor. The curcumin found in turmeric helps regulate estrogen in cases of high estrogen production.
Understanding the effects of turmeric on hormone balance
Hormone imbalance is prevalent among women these days. They may be caused due to several factors such as stress, unhealthy lifestyle, medications including steroids, tumors, autoimmune conditions, menopause, pregnancy, and many other factors.
These imbalances can severely affect our daily life and bodily functions. Turmeric is anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and detoxifying. Further, curcumin in turmeric also has pain-inhibiting properties. As the above are some causes and symptoms of hormone imbalance, turmeric is an excellent relief for people who suffer from the same. It boosts immunity and repairs the body at a molecular level.
Turmeric can be consumed internally in daily cooking or as a supplement to increase hormonal balance. It is highly efficient in women with endometriosis, PCOD, PCOS, and other hormonal and reproductive conditions. Further, recent studies have also explored the anti-tumor properties of curcumin.
Turmeric and its potential impact on estrogen-related health Conditions:
As mentioned before, fluctuations in the level of estrogen significantly impact the body and mind. It contributes to hormonal imbalances, resulting in drastic bodily changes and multiple adjoining illnesses. Polyps, fibroids, endometriosis, PCOD, PCOS, ovarian tumors, etc.
This results in weight gain, fatigue, decreased sex drive, acne, depression, mood swings, and irregular periods. The general treatment in case of low estrogen is to boost estrogen production and absorption in the body with the help of hormone medications.
Nevertheless, these medications also contain specific side effects in the long run. Managing estrogen levels by de-stressing and following a healthy, fit, and mindful lifestyle is possible. However, this is only sometimes possible. Estrogen dominance or high estrogen in the body can be tackled similarly with hormone medications and a healthy lifestyle.
Curcumin found in turmeric has been studied for its anti-estrogen properties. This helps turmeric in regulating estrogen dominance and bring it under control. Turmeric is found to be especially helpful in cancer caused due to high levels of estrogen. Further, turmeric also helps combat symptoms of menopause and irregular periods in women by regulating estrogen production. Regulating estrogen production also helps protect the liver and the female reproductive system.
Combining turmeric with other ingredients for optimal hormonal balance
While turmeric in isolation provides many benefits to the body, its properties significantly enhance when taken with other herbs. Most of these help in the better absorption of curcumin or aid in regulating estrogen.
Black pepper contains a unique chemical called piperine. Turmeric and black pepper are mixed to create a unique mix of curcumin and piperine.
Curcumin helps the body to boost its immunity and to heal through its anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, anti-microbial, anti-fungal, and anti-tumor properties, to name a few. On the other hand, Piperine helps improve the absorption of curcumin in the body.
Further, black pepper in isolation also contains anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, and other immunity-boosting qualities. Despite its status as a golden medicine, turmeric or curcumin in turmeric is not well absorbed by the body. Hence, it takes a long time to see any results. Most supplements and medicines that target hormonal imbalance include black pepper and turmeric to enhance absorption rate. This helps the curcumin to be easily absorbed into the body and shows quick and effective results.
Piperine found in black pepper helps the absorption of curcumin by facilitating its travel into the bloodstream and also by slowing the breakdown of curcumin in the liver. The liver makes all chemicals water soluble so that they are easily excreted from the body. Piperine slows down this process and ensures that the body optimally absorbs curcumin. This combination helps quickly relieve inflammation, joint pain, hormonal imbalances, immunity-related illnesses, digestion, and other illnesses.
Cinnamon is a bark spice found very commonly in Southeast Asian kitchens. Cinnamon, with its unique texture, flavor, and smell, is not only an enticing spice that will enhance the flavor of your food but is also an excellent medicine having many unique properties.
It is commonly used with other ingredients or spices to provide multiple health benefits and flavor. Cinnamon is rich in anti-inflammatory and antioxidant qualities. It slows down the food absorption rate in the intestine, thereby regulating insulin levels. It also helps maintain hormonal health and can effectively combat illnesses such as PCOS that result from hormone imbalance.
Further, cinnamon stabilizes blood sugar and also cholesterol. It has anti-infectious properties and can also be used to treat infertility. It is effective for combating menstrual pains and also boosts overall immunity. The chemical in cinnamon helps in decreasing testosterone levels in women and increases progesterone levels. This helps persons with fertility issues and helps the reproductive system by maintaining hormonal health and balance.
Cinnamon and turmeric are a very common combination that is highly flavourful and powerful. Cinnamon and turmeric water has gained much attention from health and fitness specialists as an ideal fitness drink that aids in weight loss. It is rich in antioxidants and helps detoxify the body and eliminate toxins. Daily consumption of this mixture helps improve immunity, detoxification, and pain relief and provides much-needed energy and an internal glow. Further, it also has antiseptic properties and hence can keep you healthy. It can even be taken as a latte, smoothie, or tea.
Ginger is a rhizome that bears a physical similarity to turmeric. It has been a staple in cuisines all over the world. The sweet, savory taste of ginger not only alleviates the flavor and aroma of food, but its medicinal properties make it a humble hero in the kitchen.
Multiple studies have proven the effect of ginger in treating hormonal imbalances. Ginger in various forms can be consumed internally, and ginger oil can be applied by mixing it with sesame oil to treat hormonal imbalances in the body.
Ginger water and ginger tea have all been around for many years and have proven benefits in combating hormone imbalance and its consequent illnesses such as PCOS. Ginger is an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant ingredient that alleviates the body’s immunity and helps regulate hormone production.
When added to turmeric, its properties are enhanced; further, it soothes the body and heals it from within. Ginger significantly increases estrogen levels and helps maintain balance in persons with low estrogen.
The combination of ginger and turmeric is a classic and elegant pairing. It combines two humble yet very powerful ingredients. This combination is a warm, soothing combination that heals and protects the body from the inside. The ingredients work like superheroes to fight diseases and improve immunity. The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of both work in tandem to eliminate the body of toxins and to help in inflammation and relieve pain. Various studies have considered turmeric and ginger’s combined therapeutic efficacy and found it highly effective.
Honey is a staple in all kitchens. It has proven medicinal and cosmetic uses by people of all ethnicities and ages. This sweet and flavourful ingredient packs a punch as it is a powerhouse of goodness. One of the most unique aspects of honey is that it never spoils.
Honey is anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antimicrobial, antiseptic, and antifungal and is a one-stop medicine for any illness. While honey increases immunity and alleviates bodily distress and diseases, it is a beautiful ingredient to combine with others for maximum benefits. These days there are many different qualities of honey with different flavors. These are extracted by specifically conditioning the bees to harvest pollen from specific plants or infusing the desired flavor into the honey.
Turmeric and hiney have well-documented use as an antibiotic. It is most commonly used to treat skin problems, burns, colds, coughs, etc. Further, turmeric and honey in water or milk is an excellent combination that improves the body by healing it from the inside.
Honey also helps balance the testosterone levels in the body and thereby helps maintain hormone balance. Turmeric and honey help heal the skin, brain, and digestive system. It promotes good digestion and gives much-needed energy. Further, the combination of the two is excellent in combating PCOS, depression, mood swings, weight gain, and other hormonal problems.
The benefits of cloves in hormonal balance and as medicine still need to be explored. Cloves are usually mixed with cinnamon and spices to impart a unique flavor.
The use of cloves as an anti-inflammatory and antiseptic agent is quite known. Cloves are even used in toothpaste due to their cavity-fighting and pain-alleviating properties. An active ingredient in clove called eugenol is an anti-inflammatory agent. The effect of the same in persons with endometrial pain relief has been documented in multiple studies.
Further, cloves also can modulate and ameliorate the immune system. This can help both men and women in their sexual health. Cloves boost testosterone and hence are beneficial to men with low testosterone counts. Further, it also helps in regulating estrogen by converting testosterone to estrogen.
Additionally, cloves have antimicrobial properties and also improve metabolism and digestion. This helps significantly in weight loss. Further, the manganese in cloves also aids in hormone production and regulation. Cloves and turmeric together form a flavourful and potent combination. Both act to regulate the hormone system and keep illnesses under control.
Besides these, turmeric can also be mixed with cardamom, milk, and lemon to derive benefits and regulate hormonal imbalances.
Turmeric’s Effects on Menopause and Estrogen Levels
Most women go through menopause between the ages of 50 and 55. It’s the end of the woman’s period. This leads to a vast fluctuation of hormones, particularly estrogen, in the female body and results in physical and psychological distress to women.
Turmeric, with its many properties that we have discussed, helps in regulating the effects of menopause.
- Curcumin in turmeric helps prevent hot flashes that are commonly associated with menopause. Studies have combined turmeric with vitamin E to get favorable results.
- The anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric help in pain management, joint pains, arthritis, osteoporosis, and other illnesses commonly seen in menopausal women.
- The antimicrobial and antioxidant properties of turmeric help to soothe the body and heal from within. This slows down aging and keeps the skin young and glowing.
- Curcumin helps in tackling cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and tumours.
- It improves blood flow and boosts brain function, thereby helping the body fight against dementia, Alzheimer and such illnesses.
- Turmeric regulates the estrogen level in the body so that symptoms of menopause get delayed and are more manageable.
- It also targets the psychological changes in menopausal women, such as depression and mood swings.
🟢 As far as estrogen is concerned, turmeric helps manage and regulates estrogen production in the body. Especially for people with estrogen dominance or a high estrogen level, turmeric helps regulate estrogen production.
Precautions and Risks Associated with Using Turmeric for Hormonal Health
While turmeric is generally safe to be used internally and externally, it has to be taken in moderate quantities. Below mentioned are some of the risks associated with turmeric.
- Digestive issues: Consuming turmeric in large quantities can affect the digestive system. It can cause digestive irritability, bloating, nausea, and ulcers.
- Persons with liver or bile problems, gall bladder problems, and kidney stones must take precautions while using turmeric. While it is generally safe, it is best to consider the advice of a physician.
- Using turmeric in large or concentrated quantities, such as in supplements, can affect fertility in women. Hence, pregnant, gestating, and lactating mothers and women intending to conceive may avoid these.
- Turmeric supplements may also lower blood sugar. Hence persons with diabetes may be susceptible to low blood sugar.
- Also, it is safe for people on blood thinners and anti-coagulants to exercise caution when using turmeric supplements.
- Also, turmeric acts as a blood thinner, so consuming it immediately before surgery is unsafe.
- Turmeric may also interact negatively with drugs that reduce stomach acid.
- If consumed in high and concentrated amounts continually, turmeric can cause liver damage.
- For some people, turmeric may cause skin allergies.
- Adulterants in turmeric also cause multiple health issues in the long run.
Turmeric is often called the golden goddess for its unique color and medicinal properties. It is an old-fashioned and proven remedy for many ailments. The full effects of turmeric still need to be explored in modern medicine.
Nevertheless, like all good things, turmeric must be consumed in limited quantities. However, in these instances, turmeric is combined with other spices and ingredients, which helps balance the risks. Using large quantities of turmeric or concentrated use must be done with caution.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’S)
Turmeric is naturally found in Southeast Asia and is a popular and staple ingredient in their cuisines. It is a tropical plant and provided that it gets the necessary environment and nutrients, it can be cultivated anywhere.
Usually, turmeric that is used in cooking may contain preservatives and adulterants. It is not advisable to consume these for their medicinal benefits. However, organic turmeric may be bought or cultivated and used without worry.
Turmeric can be used in making different meals, or it can be consumed as turmeric water, turmeric tea, or turmeric milk.
Turmeric milk has been dubbed golden milk by the internet. Off late, it has captured worldwide interest. Turmeric milk can be consumed daily. It is a healthy and excellent beverage during winter and alleviates pain and inflammation.
Turmeric can be applied directly on the skin to heal the skin from wounds, burns, acne, etc. However, it is advised that a patch test be done to ensure that there are no allergies.