The Merits of Turmeric
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has caused problems in society worldwide. Anosmia and ageusia (or hyposmia and dysgeusia) is the loss of taste and smell which have been recognized as two common expressions of COVID-19 infection that linger for days to weeks, and in rare cases are thought to be permanent.. Time alone has proven effective in their restoration, but turmeric, long believed by some to have medicinal properties, may be a swifter and surer alleviator of anosmia and ageusia. A case series reports the speedy and consequential restoration of taste and smell in two subjects infected with COVID-19 following ingestion of one 1000 mg dose of a turmeric supplement. In view of this, we propose that turmeric be considered in the treatment of anosmia and ageusia caused by COVID-19 infection.
A subject who contracted Covid 19 and lost his sense of smell and taste was faced with most symptoms being resolved on day five, anosmia and ageusia persisted without improvement for 46 days. He tested positive for COVID-19 via polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing on day 15. Oral aspirin, diphenhydramine, prednisone, and famotidine taken early in the course of infection provided no relief. On day 46, the subject ingested a capsule supplement containing 1000 mg of turmeric extract (95% curcuminoids) and 10 mg of black pepper extract. He experienced complete restoration of smell and taste, with both senses rated 10/10, ten minutes after supplement ingestion. This is not a recommendation for a cure, just a report of one subject's experience. We are not recommending any treatment. What we can suggest to speed up the healing time of the COVID-19 is as follows:
Some of the things you can do to speed your healing are similar to how you might take care of the flu or a bad cold. Eat healthy foods. If you feel like eating, fuel your body with the vitamins and nutrients it needs to get better. Limit sugary or highly processed foods like cookies and sodas.
The active ingredient in turmeric, curcumin, is responsible for the bright yellow color of the spice. Turmeric generally contains 2–9% curcuminoids depending on the origin of the plant as well as soil and growing conditions. Curcumin has been used as an herbal medicine for hundreds of years especially in Asia and it is claimed to have antioxidant, anti-tumor growth, and anti-inflammatory activity. Due to its anti-inflammatory effects, curcumin has been proposed as a potential treatment for COVID-19. However, there is currently no published research regarding the correct dosage, duration of treatment, route of administration, or effectiveness of turmeric or curcumin for COVID-19.
A major limitation of curcumin is its poor absorption by the human body. Studies have shown that when curcumin is swallowed it is only detectable after large doses are taken. Curcumin is often marketed along with piperine (a derivative of black pepper) as this combination enhances the human absorption of curcumin by 2000%. Even after the addition of piperine, curcumin still has a limited presence in the human body after it is taken by mouth. Side effects of curcumin ingestion include stomach ache, nausea, and diarrhea. Curcumin has also been implicated in several cases of liver injury in patients who took the supplement chronically. Intravenous curcumin injection has been explored but has not been found to be effective. Additionally, major adverse effects including red blood cell breakdown (hemolysis) and death have occurred after intravenous injection of turmeric. Intravenous use of turmeric is very dangerous (even fatal) and is not recommended.
Golden milk — also known as turmeric milk — is an Indian drink that has been gaining popularity in Western cultures. This bright yellow beverage is traditionally made by warming up cow’s or plant-based milk with turmeric and other spices, such as cinnamon and ginger with honey or monk-fruit sugar to taste. It’s touted for its many health benefits as an alternative remedy to boost immunity and stave off illness. Golden milk is easy to make at home. For a single serving of golden milk or about one cup, simply follow this recipe:
1/2 cup (120ml) of an unsweetened milk of your choice (we suggest almond or coconut)
1 tsp of turmeric
1 small piece of grated fresh ginger or 1/2 tsp of ginger powder
1/2 tsp of cinnamon powder
1 pinch of ground black pepper
1 tsp of honey or monk-fruit sugar (optional)
To make the golden milk, simply mix all ingredients in a small saucepan or pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes or until fragrant and flavorful. Strain the drink through a fine strainer into mugs and top with a pinch of cinnamon.
Golden milk can also be made in advance and stored in your refrigerator for up to five days. Simply reheat it before drinking.
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