Is There a Role of Turmeric in Ulcerative Colitis?
Ulcerative colitis is one of the autoimmune inflammatory bowel diseases. Before moving over to ulcerative colitis, let’s understand in brief what inflammatory bowel diseases are. Inflammatory bowel disease is a wide term which is used to refer to disorders that cause chronic inflammation in the digestive tract. In ulcerative colitis, there is a long-lasting inflammation and sores in the innermost lining of the colon (a part of the large intestine) and rectum. It is a health condition which must not be taken lightly as it can have many complications and can be life-threatening.
The common symptoms of ulcerative colitis are abdominal pain, cramping, diarrhea, rectal pain, bleeding, inability to defecate or urgency to defecate. It is also accompanied by fatigue, fever and severe weight loss. Some individuals affected by ulcerative colitis can have periods of remission where no symptoms are seen at all. The exact cause of ulcerative colitis is unknown, though some of the possible causes are malfunctioning of the immune system, heredity, unhealthy diet, and high-stress levels.
The normal course of treatment involves the administration of strong anti-inflammatory drugs and immune system suppressors which often have their share of side effects. One of the most reliable and trusted natural course of action to manage ulcerative colitis is turmeric. Surprised? Well, many people are because such a common thing having such superpowers is unbelievable till we get proof. There are many scientific research studies to prove the efficacy of turmeric in relieving symptoms of ulcerative colitis.
Turmeric is a common spice which is commonly used in Asian cooking. It is also a well known healing agent with numerous health benefits as per the ancient Ayurveda. What gives turmeric its healing prowess? It is nothing but the presence of curcumin which is a common curcuminoid found in turmeric.
Ways in which Curcumin is Beneficial in Ulcerative Colitis:
- Turmeric is an excellent anti-inflammatory agent which helps in curbing the root cause of ulcerative colitis i.e. inflammation. This can help in reducing inflammation and ulcer formation in the intestinal lining seen in case of patients suffering from colitis.
- It is also potent in protecting and improving the overall state of functioning of the stomach due to its gastroprotective function. Certain essential oils present in turmeric help reduce the formation of gastric ulcers.
- The antioxidant activity of turmeric helps to prevent lipid peroxidation and oxidative stress by reducing the activity of nitric oxide synthase and cyclo-oxygenase.
- Moreover, patients of ulcerative cancer have a higher risk of developing cancer in the long run. Turmeric is an excellent anticancer agent which helps to prevent the development of colon cancer in such patients.
- There are periods of remission seen in some patients of ulcerative colitis where no or fewer symptoms of the disease are seen. Regular consumption of turmeric helps in increasing these periods of remission which provide relief to the patients.
- As mentioned earlier, ulcerative colitis is an autoimmune disease in which the cells of the immune system start attacking itself. This happens due to aberrations in the immune system. Turmeric possesses immunomodulatory action which helps in modulating the activity of the immune system by regulating the expression of proinflammatory cytokines.
Therefore, we can say that Tummyric from Bagdara can help in complementing the other ways of treating ulcerative colitis by decreasing the number of their side effects.