The Amazing Benefits of Turmeric
Turmeric is one of the most famous, and widely researched of all the spices. It comes from the root of the Curcuma longa plant and is a major part of Ayurvedic medicine, one of the oldest holistic healing systems in the world which was developed in India over 3000 years ago; long before modern medicine was discovered.
The sages of India encouraged the use of turmeric, which is known in Sanskrit as the “Golden Goddess”, because it has the ability to enable one’s purifying and cleansing nature. Its use was especially directed in yogic traditions; hatha yogis used it to reinforce and strengthen ligaments and joints.
For thousands of years, turmeric has been used both fresh and as dried powder spice. Only recently, scientific evidence has shown that the active component of turmeric – curcumin, displays many health-promoting properties.
The Multiple Health Benefits of Turmeric
Turmeric is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, which helps prevent and cure many types of diseases, infections, pains and aches. It is well-known to improve most organs in the body, here are some of its greatest attributes:
Improves digestion and reduces heartburn
Boosts the nervous system and brain
Sustains healthy joint movement
Regulates blood sugar levels
Promotes healthy liver functions
Boosts the immune system
Maintains a healthy heart and circulatory system
Lowers triglyceride levels (the “bad” cholesterol)
Decreases risk of leucemia
Reduces menstrual cramps
Helps reduce skin problems, such as eczema and psoriasis
Speeds up healing of wounds by reducing bacterial infections
Helps cure asthma and promotes healthy lungs
What is Turmeric used for?
This pungent, lively yellow spice can be found in powder, liquid extract or tablet form. It is mainly used in:
As a supplement
For cosmetic purposes.
Cooking with Turmeric
Most Ayurvedic recipes and Indian dishes contain turmeric. It should be used with wisely and in the right quantity. If it is directly poured on hot oil or butter, it will burn, produce a harsh odor and lose its beneficial qualities. Using turmeric in excess can give food bitter and give it a dark, golden color. However, using it with moderation in most meals – about a third of a teaspoon – will make it a great way to add a healthy boost to a daily diet. It can be added to roasted vegetables, rice dishes, soups, smoothies, teas, muffins, a hot glass of milk, etc. The list is endless.
Taking turmeric as a supplement provides the body with all the qualities of curcumin, the main ingredient in turmeric. It can be taken in powder form, added to some warm water or milk, with honey to sweeten.
It can also be used in its liquid form, which may make it easier on the palate. Some people take turmeric tablets or capsules, which may make it more convenient, but is somewhat less healthy. It is always best to use fresh or powdered organic turmeric.
Turmeric Face Mask
Adding a few drops of warm water to a tablespoon of turmeric will turn it into a simple paste which can be used as a facial or full body mask. The water can be replaced with milk or even yogurt.
DIY Turmeric Face Mask
Here is a DIY Recipe for a Turmeric Paste which can be used as a face mask:
2 tsps flour
¼ tsp turmeric powder
½ tsp honey
a few drops of an essential oil (rose, lavender, coconut or almond)
Mix all the dry ingredients, the honey and the oil. Then add the milk and mix until it gets the consistency of a thick paste.
These beauty recipes have been used in Asia for centuries. Before applying turmeric on the face, it is best to test it on a small portion of the arm to test for any allergic reactions. Also, Turmeric will stain towels and clothing.
Side Effects of Turmeric:
It is advisable to consult with a physician before taking turmeric as a supplement. It may create contraindications in the following cases:
Pregnancy (even though it’s safe to take turmeric in small doses when used in cooking)
If taking blood-thinning medication