Bright sun in the blue sky, blankets of fog, crisp days and cozy nights by a crackling fire; for many, winter is a time to rejoice. It’s that time of the year which allows one to enjoy its chills with a mug of hot coffee and gossips without rattling oneself. However, life in the capital […]
Turmeric is a super-spice that has a high antioxidant value and boosts the immune system. It is a powerful anti-inflammatory and is popular among those with arthritis and joint problems for this reason. Turmeric is antiseptic and kills yeast and parasites when used internally.
It is a member of the ginger family and it is what gives many Indian Foods their yellow colour. It is used in curries and in mustard. There is some evidence that it supports brain health and can help avoid Alzheimer’s disease.
Medicinal Uses for Turmeric
According to Mountain Rose Herbs: “Laboratory tests have found that turmeric is antioxidant and anti-mutagenic that is, it potentially helps prevent new cancers that are caused by chemotherapy or radiation used to treat existing cancers. Turmeric in the diet may help prevent the pain of arthritis, bursitis, and tendonitis. A volatile oil in the spice is as effective in relieving pain, under laboratory conditions, as equal amounts of steroids.
The antioxidants in Turmeric fight atherosclerosis by deactivating platelet-activating factor (PAF). This protein seals leaks in blood vessels by stimulating the growth of a protein “net” on which a cholesterol plaque can form. Curcumin in Turmeric helps prevent hardening of the arteries in people who have diabetes and also helps stop the loss of protein through the kidneys. In the laboratory, the antioxidants in turmeric kill cultures of cancer cells from the skin, bloodstream, and ovaries. Curcumin may stop the action of a liver enzyme that activates environmental toxins into carcinogenic forms and may be especially useful in deactivating the carcinogens in cigarette smoke and chewing tobacco. Turmeric in the diet increases the production of enzymes that digest fats and sugars, and stop cholesterol from forming gallstones. Turmeric prevents the release of histamine in the stomach, quelling nervous stomach and counteracting food allergies and it fights gum inflammation by halting the action of a gene that creates irritant chemicals. Without the irritation, bacteria cannot find a place to grow, and the absence of bacteria reduces both bad breath and gingivitis.”
Even mainstream medicine acknowledges Turmeric’s health promoting properties. According to Web MD: “Turmeric is used for arthritis, heartburn (dyspepsia), stomach pain, diarrhoea, intestinal gas, stomach bloating, loss of appetite, jaundice, liver problems and gallbladder disorders.
It is also used for headaches, bronchitis, colds, lung infections, fibromyalgia, leprosy, fever, menstrual problems, and cancer. Other uses include depression, Alzheimer’s disease, water retention, worms, and kidney problems. Some people apply turmeric to the skin for pain, ringworm, bruising, leech bites, eye infections, inflammatory skin conditions, soreness inside of the mouth, and infected wounds.”
Health Benefits of Turmeric:
Turmeric supports the stomach Lining
Lowers Lipid levels and prevents clogging of arteries
Supports healthy joints functions
Loosens and relaxes stiff joints and muscles
Boosts immunity to fight against a variety of microbes
Soothes Irritated and inflamed tissues
Helps to maintain controlled level of blood sugar
Promotes mental state by acting on communicators of the nervous system
Fastens wound healing and promotes blood circulation
Turmeric has potent anti-cancer properties
How to Use Turmeric for Better Health
Turmeric can be used externally in poultices to soothe skin and reduce inflammation. It is often used in lotions or preparations for skin with eczema or psoriasis.
Turmeric can be helpful for reducing inflammation, when incorporated into diet on a daily basis, in those with degenerative conditions such as arthritis.
Turmeric can be made into a paste with water or honey to make a skin scrub that reduces inflammation and helps stop acne.
Externally, a paste of turmeric and aloe Vera gel can ease pain and itching from burns, bites, Chicken pox, poison ivy, or eczema.
In a soothing Turmeric Tea to sooth during illness or improve sleep.
Turmeric is wonderful to add to grilled foods, vegetables, mashed cauliflower, sauces, and spice blends.
Turmeric’s high anti-oxidant content makes it beneficial for skin and it is used in some natural sunscreens and bronzers. A paste of Turmeric and strong brewed black tea will temporarily darken the skin and there is some evidence that it might also provide some sun protection.
Turmeric can cause hair to become less thick so it is often used my Indian women on unwanted facial hair but should be avoided on the head or by men on their faces.
Turmeric is a wonderful spice to add to soups and stews as it gives them a rich, warm flavour and a beautiful colour. If you make homemade bone broth, a couple teaspoons of Turmeric are a great addition.
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