Certain diseases are more prevalent in women than in men.
Exactly why such gender differences exist when it comes to the prevalence of a certain disease is not understood.
This article is focused on how turmeric can benefit female health concerns including female reproductive health problems as well as diseases which affect women more than men.
Table of Contents
- 10 Benefits Of Turmeric In Female Health
- 1) Turmeric reduces menstrual problems
- 2) Turmeric is a powerful anti-cancer agent
- 3) Turmeric reduces progression of arthritis and osteoporosis
- 4) Turmeric protects from heart disease
- 5) Turmeric is a natural antidepressant
- 6) Curcumin for treating polycystic ovary syndrome
- 7) Turmeric fights Urinary tract infection
- 8) Turmeric benefits in Sexually Transmitted Disease
- 9) Turmeric reduces Irritable bowel syndrome symptoms
- 10) Turmeric helps in maintaining thyroid level
- 11) Curcumin helps in managing menopause
- Research Studies
- Study 1: Curcumin can help reduce the severity of premenstrual syndrome
- Study 2: Topical curcumin reduces breast inflammation
- Study 3: Curcumin can help reduce the severity of premenstrual syndrome
10 Benefits Of Turmeric In Female Health
Curcumin helps in treating various health conditions of the female. Curcumin helps in treating polycystic ovary syndrome, urinary tract infection, and skin infection. It also has antidepressant and anti-anxiety properties, which help women tremendously during menopause and menstrual period.
1) Turmeric reduces menstrual problems
A premenstrual syndrome is a number of symptoms that occur prior to a woman’s menstrual cycle. It includes depression, pain, gastric symptoms etc.
A clinical trial reported that curcumin supplementation prior to menstrual cycles for three months brought about a significant decrease in pre-menstrual syndrome score.
Traditionally turmeric is also said to help in regularizing menses. (Read 8 Ways Turmeric Benefits In Menstruation)
Vaginitis is an inflammatory and infective condition that affects the vagina. Research shows that curcumin can inhibit the growth of bacterial and yeast infection that causes vaginitis.
Endometriosis is a condition in which the uterine lining grows outside the uterus.
Menopause is a natural change in female health marking the end of her reproductive ability. It is marked by hormonal changes, hot flashes, depression, weight gain, impairment of bone health.
Turmeric is a natural phytoestrogen which may help ease out hormonal imbalances in menopause.
Tumeric also works an anti-depressant, it can preserve heart and bone health and also aid in weight management. (Read 11 Ways Turmeric Benefits In Menopause and Post Menopause)
What does this mean?
Turmeric’s anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-microbial and phytoestrogenic property benefits in common female reproductive health problems like PCOS, uterine fibroids, endometrosis and vaginitis. It can also help in easing out menopause.
2) Turmeric is a powerful anti-cancer agent
Few cancer types other than those that affect specific female organs are more prevalent in women than men.
Colorectal cancer is cancer affecting the large intestine.
Curcumin is found to be therapeutic in triple negative breast cancer. It exerts anti-tumor and anti-cancer effects in breast cancer and also is recommended as an adjuvant to conventional breast cancer therapy.
Overall curcumin has potent anti-cancer activities, in fact, it manipulates over 20 biomolecular targets to cause cell death in cancer cells.
Topical application of turmeric is also found to be beneficial in external cancerous lesions and cancer of the vulva. (Read 6 Benefits Of Topical Turmeric In Cancer)
Curcumin act as a therapeutic agent for treating cervical cancer
The article published in Open Access Journal of Clinical trials assessed the safety, tolerability, and pharmacokinetics of curcumin for cervical cancer.
Thirteen subjects in the age range of 18-45 years were administered curcumin powder intravaginally for 14 days. The results suggested that curcumin was well tolerated and proved to be safe.
Gynecologic Oncology published an article demonstrating a novel curcumin based vaginal cream Vacurin selectively eliminated apposed human cervical cancer cells.
Curcumin-based cervical cream was tested against Human papillomavirus (+) cervical cancer cells (HeLa, ME-180, SiHa, and SW756).
What does this mean?
Curcumin’s anti-cancer and anti-tumor property is useful in treatment of various cancers that are more prevalent in women like colorectal cancer or cancer that affects specific female organs like ovarian cancer. Curcumin shows a significant effect in eradicating cervical cancer cells. It seems safe for the use and proves to be safe for treating cervical cancer.
3) Turmeric reduces progression of arthritis and osteoporosis
Osteoporosis or weakened bone strength is very common in women.
enopause and age-related changes increase the risk of developing osteoporosis.
Chandran et al. reported that turmeric supplements were more effective in reducing tenderness and joint pain in patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis than diclofenac sodium, a medicine prescribed in conventional arthritis treatment.
What does this mean?
Curcumin benefits in bone related conditions like osteoporosis and arthritis due to its ability to protect and preserve bone mineral, pain killer properties and anti-inflammatory properties.
4) Turmeric protects from heart disease
Heart diseases cause 1 in 3 deaths every year in women. Coronary heart disease or atherosclerosis is one of the most common heart disease affecting women.
Curcumin offers protection against many cardiovascular diseases. Its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-thrombotic properties help in protecting heart health.
Atherosclerosis is when blood lipids forma plaque and clog the arteries. (Read 9 Ways Turmeric Can Help In Atherosclerosis)
Oral curcumin is found to reduce blood lipids and cholesterol and thereby help in the management of atherosclerosis.
In fact research shows that long term curcumin treatment reduces blood lipids and atherosclerotic lesions similar to that of lovastatin, a drug used to lower cholesterol.
Curcuminoid supplementation is proven to reduce the frequency of heart attacks in patients who have undergone heart surgery.
Nirmala C et al. analyzed the protective effect of curcumin against isoproterenol (ISO) induced myocardial infarction in rats.
Oral administration of curcumin at a concentration of 200 mg/Kg was given after giving ISO.
The results showed that curcumin treatment decreased the effect of lipid peroxidation and the severity of pathological changes.
American Journal of Hypertension published a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study assessing the effect of curcumin intake on age-related left ventricular afterload in postmenopausal women.
The outcomes suggested that regular exercise combined with curcumin intake on daily basis may reduce left ventricular afterload to a greater extent in postmenopausal women.
What does this mean?
Curcumin protects heart health and can help in treatment of atherosclerosis and cardiac repair after heart attack.
5) Turmeric is a natural antidepressant
Women are twice likely to be diagnosed with depression than men.
Hormonal changes, premenstrual issues, pregnancy and postpartum depression are few factors that cause mood changes in women. These factors can affect the brain chemicals that control the mood.
In this double-blind cross-over trial, subjects were randomized to receive curcumin or placebo for 30 days.
Beck Anxiety Inventory and Beck Depression Inventory scales were used for assessment. The mean score was significantly reduced after curcumin treatment in anxiety scale than the depression scale.
This concludes that curcumin has anti-anxiety potential and can be used to treat people suffering from anxiety.
Journal of Ethnopharmacology published an study discussing the antidepressant activity of aqueous extracts of Curcuma longa in mice.
The curcumin longa extract was orally administered to the mice for 14 days.
The treatment showed a significant reduction in immobility in the tail suspension test, which proves the antidepressant effect of Curcuma longa extract.
The anti-depression activity may be mediated by the monoamine oxide A inhibition in the mouse brain.
Adrian L.Lopresti reported that curcumin influences potential biomarkers of antidepressant mechanisms.
A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study administered curcumin extract for eight weeks to reduce the depressive symptoms in people with major depressive disorder.
Curcumin supplementation was found to be influential over several biomarkers, which are associated with antidepressant mechanisms of action.
Curcumin shows significant anti-depression activity and seems to produce a dose-dependent treatment outcome.
What does this mean?
Curcumin has anti-depressant and anti-anxiety properties which can be effective in treatment of depression in women.
6) Curcumin for treating polycystic ovary syndrome
The Asian Pacific Journal of Reproduction published an study investigating the beneficial effect of curcumin in letrozole induced polycystic ovary syndrome in female Wistar rats.
Letrozole administered for 21 days, followed by curcumin intake for 15 days, was done as part of the experiment.
Letrozole induced abnormal levels of sex steroid profile, lipid profile, and glucose, and also a reduction in antioxidant activity.
Curcumin restored the abnormal levels of these parameters and also led to the disappearance of cysts in ovaries.
Shima Mohammadi et al. demonstrated the protective effect of curcumin against hepatic inflammation in polycystic ovary syndrome induced rats.
PCOS induced adult Wistar rats were treated with curcumin for 14 days. Blood and liver samples were analyzed for the inflammatory markers. Liver health was analyzed through histological and serological analyses.
The outcome showed a reduction in liver inflammation and liver cell death.
The anti-inflammatory property of curcumin plays an essential role in the protective effect exhibited.
What it means?
Polycystic ovary syndrome causes many health problems in women. They lead to hormonal imbalance, acne, menstrual problems, and even pregnancy issues. Curcumin is found to have a therapeutic effect in curing the condition and also exhibits a protective effect against the damages caused by PCOS.
7) Turmeric fights Urinary tract infection
Research shows that curcumin aids in the treatment of various kidney disorders like diabetic nephropathy, chronic kidney failure and kidney toxicity occurring as a result of various medicines or compounds.
Urinary tract infection is a common complaint in women.
It is characterized by a burning sensation during urination, cloudy, dark or strange smelling urine and frequent urge to urinate.
Curcumin has a broad spectrum anti-microbial property.
A study was conducted where different turmeric extracts were assessed for their anti-bacterial activity against 65 bacterial strains that cause urinary tract infection.
It was observed that turmeric extracts had significant antibacterial activity against the following strains- S. Saprophyticus, S.aureus, S.pyogenes, S. epidermidis, E.faecalis, B.subtilis.
Turmeric’s anti-bacterial activity was compared to standard antibiotics and the results demonstrated that turmeric was 100% effective against gram-positive bacterial strains which are usually drug resistant.
Xue WY et al. analyzed the effect of curcumin in chronic urinary tract infection in rats.
The chronic urinary tract infection model rats were randomized, and a group received 150 mg/kg of curcumin for 14 days.
Curcumin significantly reduced the infection, showed a protective effect towards renal tubular function, and also lowered the inflammatory response. It shows a curative effect on chronic urinary tract infections.
International Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences published an article demonstrating the antimicrobial activity of Curcuma longa and Curcuma aromatic in uropathogens of diabetic patients.
The rhizome extracts were used to find minimum inhibitory concentration against the isolated pathogens from the urine sample collected from the patients.
The results showed that turmeric extracts exhibit a protective effect against the uropathogens, and this can be used as an efficient therapeutic antimicrobial compound to treat the urinary tract.
Also, turmeric’s anti-inflammatory activity can help in reducing pain and inflammation in urinary tract infection.
What does this mean?
Turmeric is effective in clearing out bacteria that cause urinary tract infection. It is also renoprotective or kidney protective agent which safeguards kidney from disease and damage.
8) Turmeric benefits in Sexually Transmitted Disease
STDs that are in common in women include Human Papilloma Virus, Herpes Simplex Virus, Chlamydia infection etc.
It presents with symptoms like abnormal vaginal discharge, inflammation in the genitals, rashes, and sores etc.
A polyherbal cream containing curcumin is found to treat infections of the genital tract. This cream is effective against drug-resistant strains of N.gonorrhoeae, Candida species, human papillomavirus and HIV.
Overall this cream acts against bacterial, fungal and viral genital infections.
Curcumin works as a non-steroidal contraceptive and kills microbes that cause genital infections.
Turmeric exerts an anti-viral effect of human papillomavirus, even in case of drug-resistant strains.
What does this mean?
Curcumin’s anti-microbial activity is effective in treating infections in STDs like HPV, HSV, gonorrhoea and trichomonosis.
9) Turmeric reduces Irritable bowel syndrome symptoms
An irritable bowel syndrome is a number of gastric symptoms like cramping, abdominal pain, diarrhoea or constipation etc.
Since women are likely to face IBS, it is suggested that probably hormones play a role in the development of irritable bowel syndrome.
Animal study reveals that curcumin supplementation can improve brain chemicals and reduce anxiety and depressive symptoms in IBS.
Turmeric supplementation is effective in the treatment of various digestive disorders like GERD, IBD, peptic ulcer etc. (5 reasons why Turmeric can help in Heartburn, Can Turmeric cause acidity? ,Turmeric for Stomach, Can Turmeric Ease Bloating? )
A clinical trial was conducted where individuals suffering from IBS were treated with 1 or 2 tablets of standardized turmeric extract for 8 weeks.
A 53% and 60% drop in irritable bowel syndrome symptoms was observed in 1 and 2 tablet group respectively.
Abdominal pain reduced by 22% and 25% in 1 and 2 tablet group respectively.
Approximately two-thirds of the study population showed improvement in IBS symptoms with turmeric treatment. Read Turmeric and Irritable Bowel Syndrome
What does this mean?
Turmeric supplementation for 8 weeks reduces IBS symptoms and improves digestive health.
10) Turmeric helps in maintaining thyroid level
Indian Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism published an article assessing the use of turmeric, resulting in reduced goitrogenesis.
A total of 2335 residents of Pakistan and Punjab were interviewed.
The result showed that the population has a high prevalence of hyperthyroidism, and turmeric use is found to have an association with the reduced number of goitrogenesis.
Goiter was less common among people who consumed dairy products, spices, chilies, and turmeric daily.
Chemico-Biological Interactions Journal published an article that discussed the effect of curcumin in alleviating the oxidative stress caused in the hyperthyroid rat model.
The rats were orally administered with curcumin and vitamin E for thirty days.
The results showed that curcumin influences different stages of mitochondrial respiration and protective role against oxidative stress caused by hyperthyroidism.
What it means?
Thyroid level abnormality results in menstrual problems in women, and curcumin seems to have influence over maintaining the level by regulating the molecular pathways. It also shows a protective effect against the damage caused by hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism.
11) Curcumin helps in managing menopause
Journal of Phytomedicine published an animal study ASSESSING the efficiency of curcumin in managing postmenopausal osteoporosis is analyzed.
Ovariectomized rat model administrated with curcumin showed an increase in bone strength and beneficial changes in bone turnover.
The Journal of Natural Medicine analyzed the effect of turmeric in mood swings, behavioral characteristics, anxiety, restlessness, depression, and feeling of isolation.
Seventy healthy premenopausal women received 100 mg turmeric capsule every 12 hours for seven days before menstruation and three days into menstruation for three cycles.
Curcumin shows an increase in norepinephrine, dopamine, and serotonin, which may be the reason for its positive effect in managing PMS behavioral and mood symptoms.
What it means?
Curcumin helps in managing symptoms during the menopause period and also helps in maintaining the menstrual cycle. It also controls mood swings, anxiety, and restlessness during the menstrual cycle.
You can start by taking ½ to 1 teaspoon of turmeric in your diet. Include it in smoothies, rice preparations, curries, soups etc.
A really effective way of taking turmeric is The Golden Paste.
However, start with a small dose say 1/4-1/2 tsp and gradually increase the dose as to how it suits you. (Read 10 Easy And Awesome Ways To Use Turmeric Or Golden Paste)
Some of the health conditions may require you to take turmeric supplements. Consult your doctor before taking turmeric supplements.
If you need help with finding trusted brands of turmeric please check this link.
Dietary turmeric is safe. But anything in excess can pose health problems. Slight gastric discomfort initially is possible.
Turmeric supplements should be avoided in case of:
• Pregnancy and lactation
• Prior to surgery
• If suffering from gall bladder problems
• If taking medications like blood thinning medicines, stomach acid lowering drugs, blood sugar lowering drugs and certain antidepressants
Please consult a doctor before taking turmeric supplements.
Quite a number of health conditions are more prevalent in women than men. Starting from pre-menstrual syndrome ranging to breast cancer and Alzheimer’s, these diseases are becoming the prime health concerns of women worldwide.
Any health condition poses economic and emotional burden. Something as simple as including a natural spice, turmeric can benefit in female health and safeguard from a number of diseases.