Black turmeric is a lesser-known relative of the more common Curcuma longa, or turmeric. Though it is not popular and as widely used as its orange counterpart, black turmeric has a long history of use in traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine.
Like orange turmeric, black turmeric is a potent anti-inflammatory agent and has several other health benefits supported by scientific research. It is known by many names, such as black zedoary and Kali haldi in Hindi, and is usually grown in the Northeast of India.
If you want to try a new herb with many Ayurvedic benefits, black turmeric may be the right choice.
In this post, I have compiled a list of the 10 health benefits of black turmeric.
But before getting to the list of benefits, let’s make yourself a bit more familiar with black turmeric.
Also read: Top 7 Benefits of Turmeric for Men
What is black turmeric?
Native to northeastern and central India, black turmeric is a rare herb that has long been used in Indian rituals and traditional medicines. It has the highest levels of curcumin of any Curcuma species.
Black turmeric offers many of the same benefits as the more common orange variety but in higher concentrations. It is also grown similarly to orange turmeric and is available in fresh and powder form.
Additionally, it’s root has been used medicinally for ages to cure a variety of conditions like arthritis, asthma, and migraine symptoms.
10 Benefits of Black turmeric
It is high in Curcumin
Curcumin is one of the key nutrients found in black turmeric. As per studies, curcumin can help improve conditions like cognitive function, oxidative stress, metabolic syndrome, arthritis, anxiety, and hyperlipidemia.
It may also shorten recovery times and enhance performance in athletes by reducing inflammation and pain brought on by exercise.
However, curcumin is not well absorbed in the body. Therefore, study suggests consuming it alongside black pepper, which contains piperine that increases the absorption of curcumin by 2000%.
Note: Some sources suggest that black turmeric has more concentration of curcumin than orange turmeric, making it more powerful.
It has anti-inflammatory properties
Inflammation is a natural and essential process. However, it can sometimes become chronic and lead to various conditions such as:
- Heart disease
Black turmeric is a potent anti-inflammatory agent that has been used for years to fight a variety of inflammatory conditions.
Also, adding black turmeric to your diet can decrease the risk of obesity, heart disease, diabetes, depression, cancer, and other conditions.
It is packed with antioxidants
Turmeric, in both its orange and black varieties, is known for its high antioxidant content.
For those who don’t know, antioxidants are substances that prevent or slow damage to cells caused by free radicals or harmful molecules.
Antioxidants also play many other vital roles in your health, such as:
- Preventing cancer
- Helping your eyes
- Boosting your heart health
- Improving your skin and hair
- Protection against aging
It may benefit people with arthritis
Black turmeric has been widely used for its medicinal properties, one of which is helping people with arthritis.
It is rich in curcumin which, as per studies, can reduce joint inflammation and alleviate pain symptoms, mainly due to its anti-inflammatory and cartilaginous protective effects.
In addition, many preclinical or clinical researchers have studied its effect on arthritis, producing promising results such as reducing pain and improving physical function and quality of life.
However, due to limited data, curcumin is not yet approved as a treatment for arthritis. However, if you still want to incorporate it into your diet, you can do so by eating black turmeric.
It may be helpful in asthma
As suggested by WHO, it is estimated that 15-20 million people in India have asthma and 100-150 million people worldwide. Asthma is a chronic lung condition that causes difficulty breathing.
However, it would be quite helpful to include black turmeric in your diet. All thanks to curcumin again.
One study published in 2014 found that curcumin supplementation can help lessen airway blockage and may be an effective complementary treatment for asthma.
In the end, the study concluded that curcumin is effective and safe as an add-on therapy for the treatment of bronchial asthma.
If you or someone you know has asthma, black turmeric may be worth trying.
It poses anti-aging effects
It is believed that applying turmeric, or haldi, to the body helps improve its texture and quality.
According to an article published in Nutritionsight, black turmeric has been found to activate SIRT1, a protein involved in keeping cells healthy and regulating the aging process.
SIRT1 is the most crucial gene for ageing. When it’s turned “off,” people age more rapidly. Turning it “on” slows down the effects of aging.
For years, researchers have been looking into ways to increase SIRT1 activity in people to help slow biological aging. It was previously believed that resveratrol, found in grapes and red wine, was the most potent botanical for activating this protein.
However, recent discoveries have shown that black turmeric is actually the most potent SIRT1-activating botanical ever studied, with a potency five times that of resveratrol. This makes black turmeric a key contributor to beauty effects on the skin and human longevity.
It may prevent cancer
Curcumin in black turmeric is known for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Because of this, it is believed that black turmeric may also help prevent or treat cancer.
The findings of laboratory research have suggested that curcumin may play a role in cancer prevention and slowing the spread of cancer. Additionally, some other studies has been reported that curcumin has the potential to increase patient survival rates and decrease tumor marker concentrations.
However, it is important to note that these studies were primarily conducted on animal subjects. As such, additional studies and clinical trials involving human subjects are necessary in order to validate the efficacy of curcumin as an anticancer agent.
It helps to fight depression
While there is still much research to be done on the subject, preliminary studies have shown that curcumin found in black turmeric may be effective in treating symptoms of various neuropsychiatric disorders, such as depression.
The findings also suggest that if added to standard care, curcumin might also improve anxiety symptoms in people with depression.
It may heal wounds
Besides anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, black turmeric is also known for its healing properties.
When applied to a wound, it can help to speed up the healing process by reducing inflammation and preventing infection. Additionally, the antioxidant properties can help to improve the appearance of scars.
So, If you’re looking for a natural way to heal your wounds, black turmeric may be worth a try.
It may soothe pain
Our ancestors have undoubtedly been using turmeric to relieve various types of pain such as toothaches, rashes and menstrual pain.
In fact, in recent studies, turmeric has been found to be as effective as Ibuprofen for post-surgical pain.
So, If you want a natural way to soothe pain, try adding some black turmeric to your diet.
Is black turmeric good for weight loss?
While more research is needed, some studies indicate that turmeric might be helpful in weight loss.
Here are some reasons that make turmeric a great herb to include in your weight loss diet.
- Studies have found that turmeric can help reduce inflammation in the body, which is one of the factors causing obesity.
- Curcumin, in studies, has been shown to boost metabolism and significantly reduce overall Body mass index (BMI).
- Turmeric has been shown to help regulate blood sugar levels and aid in weight loss.
While turmeric may be a helpful addition to your diet, it is unlikely to be a magic bullet for weight loss. A healthy diet with regular exercise is what you need in order to lose weight.
Are there any side effects of black turmeric?
According to reports, very little information is available regarding the potential side effects of black turmeric. However, it is recommended that one should limit its consumption to very low. Otherwise, it might cause mild effects such as stomach upset, dizziness, or diarrhea.
While it may be challenging to find, black turmeric is worth seeking for its many health benefits.
In a nutshell, it is a potent anti-inflammatory that can relieve your pain in arthritis and help improve heart health, cognitive function, and blood sugar levels. Moreover, it is also a powerful antioxidant that can help protect your cells from damage and prevent cancer.
Make sure to add black turmeric in your diet but in limited amount. You can use it similarly to yellow turmeric.
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