Best Health Supplement: Curcumin and Kidney Health
Healthy kidneys are rarely a point of discussion, but kidney function is essential to good health and should not be overlooked.
What Kidneys Do
Kidneys are a pair of organs on either side of the spine that perform the essential task of cleaning waste and excess fluid from the blood. Kidneys are also responsible for controlling blood pressure, maintaining healthy bones and creating new blood cells, so they are worth looking after!
The best way to keep kidneys in tip-top shape is by limiting salt intake, and consuming alcohol in moderation. Smoking is also detrimental to kidney function.
The Use of Curcumin
Curcumin is a common herbal supplement which is used to support healthy kidneys and boost overall good health. It is better known by its culinary name – turmeric, or Indian saffron - which contains curcumin as an active component. It is widely used in traditional eastern cooking and is a member of the ginger spice family.
Turmeric or curcumin is a powerful antioxidant for countering free radicals in the body which can cause cell-damage leading to premature aging and disease. It is commonly used in Asia as a medicinal herb for treating colds, chest complaints and disorders of the liver and kidneys. This common Indian spice has also been used to lessen the chance of rejection after kidney transplant surgery. Researchers are continuing to determine its value and effectiveness in kidney disorders including kidney stones and inflammation of the kidneys. Its anti-inflammatory characteristics make it a natural pain reliever as well as reducing swelling.
Other Benefits of Curcumin
Recent tests on curcumin show that it may be helpful in treating bowel diseases such as Crohn’s disease, colitis and other chronic diseases. It is highly beneficial for the digestive system as it combines powerful anti-oxidant properties with anti-inflammatory effects.
Kidney cysts may occasionally form and may be filled with fluid. Although they are usually not serious and resolve without treatment, curcumin has been shown in clinical tests to help reduce cyst formation in the kidneys or elsewhere in the body. Researchers at Peking University conducted studies on curcumin’s effect on the development of kidney cysts and concluded that curcumin slowed the growth of kidney cysts by 62%. The herb also showed promising results in the treatment of polycystic kidney disease (enlarged fluid-filled cysts) that could cause kidney failure.
It is currently being worked on to use as a therapeutic drug. However curcumin is insoluble in water making it inaccessible to tissues and therefore hard to develop as a drug.
Powerful Effects of Curcumin
As turmeric or curcumin is a powerful natural herb it is not recommended to exceed the stated dose of 12 grams. In the long term, high doses can cause indigestion, nausea and diarrhea in some adults. It is not recommended for those suffering with gallbladder disease, as it may cause the gallbladder to contract, causing pain if gallstones are present. Those on blood-thinning medications should also consult their doctor before self-administering this effective natural herb as it may further thin the blood.