Does turmeric thin or thicken the blood?

Turmeric is a popular spice that has been used for centuries in traditional medicine. It is known for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, among other benefits. One of the most common questions about turmeric is whether it thin or thicken blood because people are often concerned about excessive bleeding during surgeries or injuries.

What is Turmeric?

Before diving any deeper, let’s talk about what turmeric actually is. Turmeric, scientifically known as Curcuma longa, belongs to the ginger family Zingiberaceae and has a bright yellow-orange color. Its primary active component, called curcumin, gives it many medicinal properties.

In ancient times, Indians used turmeric to treat various ailments such as digestive problems and infections. Nowadays, it’s still widely used in Ayurvedic medicine and traditional Chinese medicine.

The Blood-Thinning Myth

There has been much debate over whether consuming turmeric can make your blood thinner or thicker than usual (neither option being especially good). Some may have heard from doctors not to take turmeric before undergoing surgery due to an increased risk of bleeding.

However…
It turns out that this rumor was all based on insufficient evidence!

While there are some studies on the effect of curcumin on blood clotting factors such as platelets and fibrinogen; these findings do not necessarily indicate a significant impact on human physiology except when taken at EXTREMELY high doses with extended usage thanks pharmacokinetics.

Studies done by Chirayath M et al., 2015 have found that although low doses of curcumin had no effect on coagulation activity compared with placebo over eight weeks-long study[1], higher levels might pose antithrombotic effects which helps prevent heart disease.

In general though -^(and remember NOTHING IS ABSOLUTE)-the use of ^moderate curcumin dosages should not result in blood thinning or increased risk of excessive bleeding.

Controversy Over Curcumin’s Effects on Platelets

Now, let’s talk about platelets. Platelets are tiny cells in the blood that are essential for clotting and stopping bleeding. Some studies have suggested that curcumin can affect platelet function leading to thinner blood, others contradict this finding completely.

This controversy is mostly due to the fact that different methods were used by various research teams in vitro (outside a living organism) as well as samples studied had many variations; so their findings aren’t comparable nor conclusive.

However^(keep repeating it):

A review article published by P.J. Koenig and T.R. Goehler pointed out there exists no strong evidence currently available on how turmeric consumption alone affects platelet kinetics and coagulation activity[2] . Therefore , we need more human-based clinical trials with standardized protocols to understand better how much effect does turmeric indeed have before making any definitive statements.

So What About Turmeric & Heart Health?

Despite ongoing debates regarding its involvement in thinning or thickening of the blood…

Numerous observational studies indicate that populations consuming curry (with lots of turmeric) appear less likely than those who don’t consume it regularly, at having high incidents rates associated with heart disease.

Some folks speculate- Using moderate doses of 3-9 grams daily ^(be careful if pregnant), grounded or fresh turmeric root may help maintain healthy cardiovascular function and reduce inflammation through oxidative stress reduction means[3] ..and who doesn’t love an antioxidant-rich spice?!

Additionally !

In particular, several other constituents found within Turmeric can be tied specifically[4] :

• Curcumene
• Turmaquino
• Bisacurone
• Turmerine

all linked to potentially decreasing inflammation as well, and potentially enabling an impact in heart health.

Is Turmeric Right For You?

While scientists are still trying to figure out the concrete ways that turmeric impacts your body, much preliminary data suggest that regular consumption ranging between 1-3 grams daily may offer critical potential therapeutic effects.

Nonetheless! Consulting a doctor before starting to take anything which impacts blood clotting is essential—especially if you have pre-existing conditions (or under anticoagulant medications).

But don’t forget…

Turmeric alone can’t work miracles!

Supporting healthy overall lifestyles through socially active living^(outside of COVID restrictions) combined with smart food choices^[5] and plenty of restful sleep truly make all the difference.

So with that – happy spicing everyone

[1] Chirayath M et al., Cohort study on complementary treatment with whole extract of Curcuma longa Linn versus metformin hydrochloride in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Journal of Traditional Complementary Medicine.

[2] P.J. Koenig & T.R.Gehler . Effect of curcumin on platelet kinetics related to colon cancer prevention American Society for Nutrition

[3] Wu JC et al., Molecular mechanisms underlying curcumin-induced inhibition in arterial thrombosis responses Planta Medica .

[4] Wong SHY et al., The dual role buffet: polyphenols alongside other phytochemicals modes deliver primary protection against cardiovascular risk factors Jounal Food Biochemistry

[5] Yoo S.H. et al . A Place On My Plate Matters: Personal Eating Areas Impacts Diet Quality & Risk Of Selected Nutrition – Related Diseases Journal Social Sciences

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