Turmeric is a perennial plant abundantly grown in India. Fresh turmeric (rhizome root) and dried turmeric powder are commonly used in India and other Asian countries to enhance taste and color of dishes. Adding a pinch of turmeric to a spicy dish helps increase the nutritional value of the dish. Ancient Ayurveda demonstrates healing properties of turmeric.
Turmeric Health Benefits
The health benefits of turmeric are attributed to curcumin, the main component of turmeric. Apart from curcumin, turmeric contains volatile oils which also carry certain medicinal properties. Curcumin in turmeric exhibits anti-allergic, carminative, diuretic, anti-inflammatory, anti-arthritic and antioxidant properties.
- The anti-aging properties of turmeric help you enjoy smooth and glowing skin.
- The diuretic properties of this spice help get rid of the toxins from the body, fast.
- It helps improve complexion, and hence is present in face packs, face creams and skin lotions.
- Antiviral properties of the spice help relieve symptoms of a sore throat, throat irritation and chronic cough.
- It is believed that it works great for gynecomastia, excessive development of breasts in men.
- Antiseptic properties of turmeric enable us to make use of this spice as an easily available first aid material.
- Its anti-inflammatory properties help fight arthritis. It helps lower the symptoms like joint pain, restricted movement, and overall discomfort.
- Pharmacological and toxicological properties of the spice have made it an important ingredient of herbal cosmetics, antiseptic creams and various medicines.
- It has anti-diabetic and hypo-lipidaemic properties. It helps prevent high blood glucose and blood lipid levels, thus promoting weight control. It helps prevent progression of diabetes.
- Study reports show that it is helpful in preventing cardiac hypertrophy and can prove to be beneficial if consumed post heart attack or at the time of onset of hypertension.
- Antibacterial and antifungal properties of the spice ensure a healthy digestive system. It inhibits the growth of H. pylori in the gut, which helps prevent digestion problems, including stomach and colon cancer. It prevents gas and indigestion.
- It is believed that it carries anti-tumor and antioxidant properties, which can cancel the harmful effects of free radicals on the body, and can help prevent and cure various types of cancer. It can inhibit the growth of cancer cells. Although, more studies are required to prove the anti-cancer properties of turmeric.
How to Use Turmeric
- You can add a pinch of turmeric to salads, salad dressings, boiled vegetables, boiled eggs, omelets, cooked food, etc.
- Turmeric, being one of the spices that cure, you can add it to curries, chutneys, and pickles. Pickled fresh turmeric roots are tasty.
- You can gargle with warm water after adding a pinch of turmeric to it. This helps relieve throat problems.
- Apply turmeric powder to raw fish, chicken or meat, and keep it aside for half an hour. Then cook it the way you like.
- Sprinkle a little bit of turmeric over soups. This will help improve your digestive health.
- You can add dry turmeric powder to water or buttermilk and drink it to reap the health benefits of the spice.
- You can directly apply dry turmeric powder to cuts and bruises. This will stop the blood flow and will prevent any infection.
- Regular consumption as well as application (topical) of this spice helps get rid of pimples and blemishes.
- You can regularly take a teaspoon of honey with a pinch of turmeric powder. This works great for anemia.
- You can apply its paste (turmeric powder with milk or water) on boils. This will accelerate ripening of boils and will help you get rid of boils faster.
- Drinking steamed milk with a pinch of turmeric in it works great for coughs and throat irritation. People diagnosed with bronchial asthma should drink this twice or even thrice a day.
- Regularly apply the paste on the skin instead of using soap, face wash or body wash (which contain chemicals). You will notice the difference within a few days.
- A tablespoon of turmeric juice with a little bit of salt in morning helps get rid of stomach worms and skin infections. You can apply the juice on the affected skin in case of ringworm and scabies.
- Add a pinch of turmeric to the flour or dough instead of yellow or orange color. This natural food additive comes with no side effects. It is used as a coloring agent in confectioneries, and food and pharmacy industries.
The information about turmeric healing properties and its uses does not end here. It is just impossible to describe all health benefits of turmeric. It is true that certain medicinal properties of this spice are not scientifically proved, but turmeric being a natural food additive, does not affect your health adversely, in any way.
Because of the strong taste and flavor, excessive consumption of turmeric spoils the taste of the food. Regular consumption of small amounts of turmeric, as mentioned earlier, helps improve the overall health and looks of an individual, significantly.