Turmeric and Black Pepper A Natural Remedy with Many Health Benefits
Medical practitioners in the field of naturopathy know the power of turmeric and black pepper. The usefulness of natural products like turmeric, tulsi, black pepper, honey, etc, that possess medicinal properties has been discovered and studied in labs.
Since ancient times, humans are using traditional ways to treat and cure numerous illnesses. These have employed the use of natural herbs, spices, and condiments.
Amongst these spices, belong Turmeric and Balck Pepper, which have shown to possess miraculous power and numerous beneficial properties to treat many illnesses and ailments.
What is Turmeric and Black Pepper
Turmeric is well known for its therapeutic properties and has been most commonly used to treat different types of conditions in humans namely inflammatory conditions, rheumatoid arthritis, cardiovascular disease, dementia, and so on. These beneficial properties possessed by turmeric are due to a natural compound found in it, curcumin (1) (2).
But the human body does not absorb this natural compound well. Due to less absorption of Curcumin in the body, its effects cannot be fully experienced. Therefore, Turmeric is often taken in combination with Black Pepper (4).
Black Pepper, which consists of Piperine as one of its constituents, helps in increasing the absorption of Curcumin in the human body. The absorption levels can be increased to an astonishing 2000% when turmeric is taken in combination with Black Pepper.
Elements and Health benefits of Turmeric
Turmeric belongs to the ginger family and can be found widely throughout India, Central America, Asia, and other parts. It is mainly used to enhance the color and flavors of food preparations.
The active ingredient responsible for the various properties is Curcumin. This is obtained from different parts of the plant namely from its stem and herb. It is well known for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties for which it is taken to treat various conditions.
The properties of turmeric play an important role in treating inflammation, arthritis, and various problems associated with the stomach, skin, liver, gallbladder, etc. It also has shown incredible use in the prevention of certain types of cancers (5) (6) (7).
Turmeric and Anti-Inflammation Properties
Many researchers have found that various chemicals obtained from botanical sources have higher efficacy in the reduction of diseases and the prevention of various health conditions. Among such disease conditions comes Inflammation.
It is a condition that helps the body to heal any injury, irritation, infection, etc. The results of turmeric tea in curing infections like sore throat is well known. But it can also affect the patient, for which anti-inflammatory compounds are put in use.
Curcumin has shown promising results in its anti-inflammatory action in the reduction of the symptoms of inflammation. It is also useful in the treatment of conditions such as diabetic retinopathy, nephropathy, and cardiomyopathy (8) (9).
Curcumin is the active ingredient present in Turmeric is only about 5% of the total constituents present in it. In Black pepper too, Piperine constitutes about the same percentage of all the rest natural compounds as of Curcumin.
Piperine instills the rich flavor of black pepper and also shows the property of inhibition of drug metabolism. By inhibiting drug metabolism i.e. chemical reactions to convert substances in more absorbable forms, Piperine is able to increase the absorption of many substances, including Curcumin.
Another way to increase the availability of turmeric in the human blood or increasing its uptake in the blood is by taking turmeric with a fat source. Fat sources include Avocado, Nut butter, buts, fishes, etc. Consuming turmeric with such sources helps in enhanced uptake of curcumin and thereby showing increased activity.
Elements and health benefits of Black Pepper
Black Pepper is regarded as the ‘King of Spices’ due to its presence in almost every dish prepared. In older times, it was used as a currency and later on came to be used in cooking and medicinal purposes.
It is believed to help in the process of digestion by stimulating taste buds and also help in weight reduction and also in controlling body weight.
Because of the high concentration of dietary fiber with a small amount of protein and carbohydrate, it is a rich source of nutrition, It also contains numerous minerals namely calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and sodium, all found in moderate levels.
It is also a source of vitamin B6, vitamin E, K, and folate as well as black pas niacin, riboflavin, and thiamin.
Loaded with Antioxidants
Because of the high concentration of antioxidants found in Black pepper, the damaged cells of the body can be repaired and the risk of occurrence of different diseases including cancers can be prevented.
Helps Get Rid of Gas
It helps in removing the gas from the body which is a sign of healthy digestion. If it is not expelled from the body, it can cause discomfort, pain, and other ailments by putting a strain on the vital organs such as the upper chest cavity, blood vessels, brain, etc.
Treats Coughs and Colds
It has shown to possess miraculous powers of providing relief from nasal congestion and various other conditions such as sinusitis. It helps by breaking up phlegm and mucus in the respiratory tract so it can be eliminated easier for a faster recovery.
Enjoy a bowl of chicken noodle soup seasoned with black pepper to help treat your cough or cold.
It has been in use from time immemorial in the treatment of different types of infections, insect bites, etc. It shows similarity in its anti-infective activity as that of fiber to remove excess cholesterol from the walls of arteries, thereby helping in treating atherosclerosis also.
Speeds Up Absorption of Drugs
As mentioned before, by inhibiting the process of drug metabolism in the body, several drugs get bypassed and their absorption rate gets increased. This aids in higher uptake of the drugs in the blood which helps in increasing the efficacy. Because of this, the recovery rate of any condition can be greatly reduced.
By helping in the reduction and inhibition of the death of cells, black pepper shows its anti-inflammatory action. This property is very promising and helpful in providing treatment of Parkinson’s disease wherein the ability of physical movement in the body is severely affected.
Benefits of Turmeric and Black Pepper Combination
When you add both these magical ingredients together, the mixture becomes more beneficial for your health.
Better absorption of curcumin
Curcumin, the key natural product present in turmeric, is the most active ingredient from the rest of the compounds found in it. Most of the beneficial properties linked to turmeric are due to Curcumin.
The Piperine compound, found in the black pepper as one of the main natural compounds, helps in increasing the uptake of Cucurmin inside the body.
Therefore, in order to obtain the most efficient benefits of turmeric, it should be mixed with black pepper so as the body is able to absorb it in enough quantity (12).
A powerful remedy for inflammation
The combination of turmeric and black pepper has been shown since forever due to its well known anti-inflammatory properties. This is a very powerful combination and has been in use by people of different ages groups.
Since most of the inflammatory agents are affecting individuals during the winter season, this combination is mostly consumed during the winter season. It has also shown to be useful in the treatment of arthritis in certain individuals (13).
This mixture can also help in boosting the process of digestion. A combination of these two spices helps in the promotion of a healthy gut. Numerous studies have been conducted which have highlighted the uses and usefulness of this combination for better digestion.
Taking this combination in small quantities has shown improves gut motility and an improved digestion process.
Helps in the Prevention of Cancer ( probably even treats)
Curcumin has not only shown to help in the treatment of cancer (along with other cancer treatments), it sure does help in the prevention of the development of cancer in the body.
It shows this beneficial property by killing the cancerous cells and inhibiting their development at a much smaller level. Piperine has also shown to play a crucial role in killing the cancer cells, thereby reducing the risk of occurrence of tumors.
Studies have found out that a combination of curcumin and piperine has been shown to inhibit the recurrence of breast cancer cells in the body. They have also shown to provide a protective effect against prostate and pancreatic cancers.
Recipe containing Turmeric and Black Pepper
1. Turmeric-black pepper preparation
- Take turmeric powder in a small bowl and add ⅛ tsp of black pepper to it.
- Add 1tsp of melted ghee to the same bowl. Instead of ghee, one might add coconut or olive oil.
- Mix the preparation well.
- The preparation is very beneficial as an anti-inflammatory agent. This must be prepared fresh and served to the person immediately.
2. Turmeric and Black pepper Latte
- Heat 1 cup of unsweetened milk for about 2 to 3 minutes until it starts to boil.
- Pour boiled milk into a blender and add 1 tbsp honey, 1 tsp turmeric, ¼ tsp cinnamon, ⅛ tsp ginger, ⅛ tsp black pepper, ⅛ tsp cayenne, and ¼ tsp vanilla extract. Blend this mixture for 10 to 15 seconds, initially at a high speed followed by slow speed.
- Pour into a mug and garnish the prepared drink with star anise and a sprinkle of black pepper.
Precautions to take while using Turmeric and Black Pepper
Though the mixture has tons of benefits, consuming it in excess quantity can lead to various health issues. Here are some of the symptoms of side effects due to turmeric black pepper overdose.
Nausea and vomiting
Turmeric is mostly safe to use. However, a few side effects have been seen to surface. When taken at a higher dose or higher amounts, people have been seen to experience nausea and vomiting with slight diarrhea also.
Taking turmeric can increase gallbladder problems and make it a bit worse. If the person is suffering from any gallstones or a bile duct obstruction, one must refrain it from using it.
Taking turmeric is seen to reduce the blood clotting process. This invariably increases the risk of bleeding in people who already are patients with certain bleeding disorders. Piperine might also slow down the blood clotting process.
Consuming black pepper in amounts larger than the usually prescribed amounts, might increase the risk of bleeding in patients with bleeding disorders.
Curcumin might help in the reduction of blood sugar levels in people suffering from diabetes. But it can cause a reduction in blood sugar levels to a very low level. Therefore, be cautious while consuming it.
Black pepper is said to affect the blood sugar levels when taken in higher quantities than the usual ones. Therefore, the dose must be adjusted accordingly.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease(GERD)
Turmeric can lead to an upset stomach condition in some of the people who are already having a gastrointestinal problem. The person must refrain from consuming this combination since it can worsen the situation.