Turmeric has gained very wide popularity in recent years and for good reason. It is a powerful anti-inflammatory that has been shown to be similarly effective with some painkillers in some studies (but with fewer side effects). Many health professionals rely on turmeric or curcumin (the active ingredient in turmeric) supplementation to help their patients fight inflammation and reduce pain. Although I don’t personally see turmeric as a top hormone supporting food or herb, for some women it can be hugely beneficial when added safely and correctly (and with the assistance of a health professional). While adding turmeric to foods like curries, lattes and various other dishes is beneficial for everyone, taking turmeric therapeutically may prove to be beneficial for a few different female concerns: From the research available to us, it seems that turmeric is most beneficial for women suffering from period pain or primary dysmenorrhea, endometriosis and estrogen dominance.
1. Period pain (dysmenorrhea). Turmeric is well known for its pain-relieving abilities. It helps to lower pain in the body through its active component curcumin. Curcumin assists the body in suppressing inflammation by depleting the neurotransmitter responsible for pain – neuropeptide substance P. This creates analgesic affects. Turmeric is also a powerful antioxidant that has the ability to help the body fight free radicals, which helps lower inflammation and reduces tissue damage leading to less overall pain. Turmeric has been studied specifically for period pain in combination with metafamic acid ( a prescription pain medication for period pain) this combination helped reduce pain greater than any other group studied. Many women find improvements in period pain by adding turmeric to their diet 3 days before expected menstruation and the first 1-2 days of a menstrual bleed.
2. Endometriosis. Endometriosis is a common condition affecting women of reproductive age. It is characterised by the growth and presence of endometrial tissue growing outside of the uterus often causing extreme and unbearable pain. Turmeric has found to be supportive for women with endometriosis due to the same anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effects mentioned above but also due to the action of turmeric on the liver. Turmeric helps to support phase 2 estrogen detoxification in the liver. This is important as endometrial tissue is sensitive to estrogen. An excess of estrogen can cause endometrial tissue to grow larger and therefore lead to more pain. Once the body has used the estrogen secreted by the ovaries, it must be metabolised and packaged in the liver and send to the gut and kidneys for excretion. If this process is compromised, unwanted and already used estrogen can recirculate in the body leading to estrogen excess or estrogen dominance which can exacerbate endometrial growth. Turmeric therefore it helpful at combatting both pain and excess estrogen.
3. Estrogen dominance: Estrogen dominance is often confusing to understand. Estrogen dominance does not usually refer to an overproduction of estrogen but too much estrogen in relation to progesterone. This can occur due to a lack of ovulation (progesterone is only produced once ovulation has occurred) but can also be due to the compromised ability of the liver to metabolise estrogen properly and also compromised gut function which is needed to move estrogen out of the body. For regularly ovulating women, estrogen dominance symptoms occur in the second part of the menstrual cycle (the luteal phase) when there is too much estrogen in relation to progesterone. This is one of the most common hormonal imbalances even in women that suffer from low estrogen. This can lead to symptoms of PMS, headaches, heavy and painful periods and breast tenderness. Turmeric is both a liver and mild digestive support, helping to clear out excess estrogen and reduce premenstrual symptoms. Evidence also suggests turmeric can interfere with estrogen and androgen signalling molecules. These properties in turmeric are likely why turmeric has been found beneficial in preventing estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer.
Even if you do not suffer from the above conditions, turmeric is a great addition to the diet. I don’t personally experience period pain but I still love to incorporate a turmeric latte a couple of times a week during my ovulatory and luteal phase. I do this to help aid my liver in removing the estrogen that has already been used in the previous phase and help reduce symptoms of PMS. Although the liver is wonderful at doing its job a lot of things can interfere with estrogen metabolism, like stress, overeating or undereating, malnutrition and nutrient deficiencies, eating sugar and refined grains, excess of saturated fat in the diet and various environmental toxins. It is easy to see why most women will suffer from a little estrogen dominance and therefore get at least some PMS. Even if the diet is perfect, stress and environmental toxins can be hard to avoid.
Turmeric latte is only of my most favourite hot drinks It is what I always order if I am out at a cafe. I would actually choose it over a hot chocolate any day, which is a huge thing for me to say as I am a massive chocoholic. I think the best turmeric latte I’ve ever had is this one that I make at home. I love to add some cacao butter buttons to my latte to make it extra rich and creamy and give a hint of white chocolate flavour. I love this turmeric latte from DHOW nature foods. it is perfectly balanced with other spices to help assist better absorption, and not overpowering or too strong. It also serves a delicious base to flavour other meals like porridge, chia pudding and smoothies.
|Turmeric for period pain, endometriosis and estrogen dominance plus White Chocolate Turmeric Latte with DHOW|| |
- 1½ cups soy or macadamia milk
- 2 tsp DHOW turmeric latte blend
- 1 TBSP maple syrup
- 2 TBSP cacao butter buttons
- Add all ingredients to a saucepan and heat until cacao butter has completely melted. Pour into a mug and sprinkle with cinnamon. Enjoy.