Curcumin, the main active ingredient found in turmeric, is well-known for its powerful healing properties. In the last few decades, many researchers around the world have studied this amazing plant. In fact, there are more than 5,600 biomedical studies regarding turmeric. The majority of those studies have found that turmeric has approximately 600 applications to prevent illnesses and act as a therapeutic medicine. In addition to this, it has also been discovered that turmeric has 175 physiological effects.
Due to its almost endless list of health benefits, many researchers have compared turmeric with many prescription and over-the-counter drugs. The results have shown that turmeric has the same (in some cases even better) effects than the following medications:
1. Metformin– According to a 2009 study published in Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, curcumin can help treat diabetes and increase glucose sensitivity in the body more effectively than metformin, a common medication for the treatment of type 2 diabetes.
2. Drugs for Glucose Production– Some recent studies suggest that curcumin has the ability to suppress the production of glucose in the liver of patients who suffer from hepatocellular carcinoma, a very common type of cancer.
3. Oxaliplatin– A study published in the Internal Journal of Cancer in 2007 has shown that curcumin has stronger therapeutic effects in the treatment of colon cancer when compared to oxaliplatin, a platinum-based antineoplastic drug used in chemotherapy.
4. Ibuprofen– According to a study published in Oncogene in 2004, curcumin is a better alternative than ibuprofen in the treatment of pain, fever, and inflammation because it has stronger anti-inflammatory properties.
5. Anti-Inflammatory Drugs– The same study suggests that turmeric can also replace other anti-inflammatory drugs.
6. Aspirin– Back in 1986, a study published in Arzneimittelforschung (nowadays known as Drug Research) has shown that curcumin has medicinal properties that can provide the same effects when compared to aspirin. It was discovered that turmeric has the ability to control platelets and prostacyclin by modulating their effects. For that reason, turmeric can be used in the treatment of severe blood clotting and arthritis.
7. Prozac– According to a study published by Acta Poloniae Pharmaceutica in 2011, turmeric has the ability to treat depression more effectively than psychotropic drugs such as Prozac.
8. Imipramine– This is another antidepressant medication that can be replaced by turmeric.
9. Fluoxetine– Many scientists agree that turmeric can provide the same healing benefits as fluoxetine, an antidepressant drug that is used in the treatment of major depressive disorder, bulimia nervosa, panic disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
10. Steroids– According to a study published in Phytotherapy Research in 1999, curcumin is a safer and healthier alternative than steroids in the treatment of chronic anterior uveitis, an eye disease that results in inflammation.
11. Corticosteroids– One recent study has shown that curcumin has the ability to act as a replacement therapy for injuries related to lung transplantation. This means that turmeric has the same effects as dexamethasone, a corticosteroid drug. The only difference is that turmeric does not cause side effects.
12. Lipitor– A 2008 study published by Drugs in R&D has shown that curcuminoids can be used in the treatment of endothelial dysfunction. This particular malfunction affects how the blood vessels work.
13. Drugs for diabetes– The scientists in the study mentioned above believe that curcumin can also treat inflammation and oxidative stress in patients who suffer from type 2 diabetes.
14. Atorvastatin– Some recent studies suggest that turmeric can reduce (LDL) bad cholesterol more effectively than statin drugs such as atorvastatin.