10 Health Benefits of Turmeric
Turmeric is a plant in the ginger family, native to South Asia, but is now available cheaply around the world, notably here in the United States. Turmeric is primarily used as a key seasoning ingredient in Indian dishes (where it is commonly referred to as Haldi) to add flavor to curries and stir fries. It is also known as saffron. It comes in form of a yellow powder, which is obtained by grounding the root of the turmeric plant. However, it can also be used in its root form, similar to ginger.
When people speak of herbal medicine, turmeric cannot possibly be ignored, as it brings along a wide range of health benefits. So without further ado, let’s name several of these benefits.
Health Benefits of Turmeric
General Skin Care: You might have already encountered the use of turmeric within the Indian women communities. Indian women use it as a paste onto their skin, to help reduce the appearance of scar tissues. Today, beauticians over the world are waking up to the amazing skin care powers embedded in this plant. It helps the pigmentation and evens out the tone of your skin. Mix it up with a little bit of lemon juice before applying it to your face. Leave it on for about 10-15min and wash it thoroughly, as the yellow color is tough to get off. Keep in mind that a one off application of turmeric will be of little help. If you want to see results, you may want to use it for an extended period of time.
Tumor Treatment: Turmeric has a powerful anti-inflammatory compound called curcumin. Curcumin has an anti-angiogonesis impact on the human body. This is the scientific terminology for its ability to impede on the growth of tumors. It can accomplish this thanks to its remarkable aptitude to halt the development of new red blood vessels inside of the tumor.
Cancer: Turmeric also possesses antioxidant qualities, and together with its anti-inflammatory functions, helps prevent or reduce the spread of cancer cells. As a preventative tool, get in the habit of drinking tea mixed with turmeric, ginger, brown sugar, and a little bit of lemon juice or milk. This tea is excellent in treating any internal inflammations you may (or may not) be aware of.
Weight Loss: In a recent study, curcumin was found to help fight obesity. This is the same concept as in the case of tumors; the anti-inflammatory property of curcumin helps prevent the maturation of fat cells. In addition, it helps reduce bad cholesterol and blood glucose levels, both of which are intimately related to obesity.
Multiple Sclerosis: For those who don’t know this, Multiple Sclerosis (also known as MS), is a chronic inflammatory autoimmune disease of the central nervous system. The anti-inflammation and neuroprotective effects of curcumin, help inhibit the passage of a certain type of white blood cell (commonly known as macrophage) into the brain, hence preventing the degeneration of tissues linked to MS.
Facial Hair Removal: For women who suffer from above-normal facial hair growth, turmeric can come to the rescue. Make sure you rinse your face regularly with the product, and your facial hair should progressively recede.
Stomach Problems: People who suffer from stomach ailments, especially ulcer, are typically fighting a bacteria called H. pyroli. Using antibiotics may not necessarily be the right solution, as they kill both good and bad bacteria. Studies from the Indian equivalent of the National Institute of Health (NIHFW), determined that turmeric was highly effective in eradicating the H. pyroli bacteria, while leaving the good bacteria unharmed.
Antiseptic Functions: When you get a bump, apply turmeric on the affected area, similar to how you would use an ice pack (minus the discomfort). It should help shrink the swelling within days. Similarly, applying turmeric on a bruise will help restore the skin over time, as it acts as a powerful natural antiseptic, and speeds up the healing process. If you’ve accidentally burnt your hands in the kitchen (which I’m sure has happened to the best of us at one point), mix a teaspoon of turmeric with a little bit of aloe gel, and apply it to the burn.
Treatment of Depression: If you have ever used modern medicine to combat depression, you know that it most certainly has unwanted side effects. No pharmaceutical drug is without side effect. The Journal of Psycho-pharmacology has published a report in 2008, suggesting that curcumin helps boost the natural production of serotonin, and has an antidepressant function on lab mice. Another study from Scientific World Journal believes that curcumin may regulate human brain neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin, and prevents the formation of a certain enzyme responsible for depression.
Growing Turmeric – As you can see, turmeric boasts numerous health benefits, all of which are critical to our well-being. If you prefer growing your own plants rather than buying them, you will need some patience when it comes to this super-food, as turmeric takes roughly 9 months to reach a mature stage of growth. However, your wait will be rewarded, as it produces a beautiful flower. Keep in mind that it can only be cultivated in warm climate, as frost destroys it. Plant the seed approximately 6 centimeter deep, in warm soil. Once it is time to harvest, the lower leaves should begin to turn yellow. Besides the beautiful flower it generates, together with its many health benefits, the plant is also an excellent way to get rid of ants, as the spicy smell is a huge deterrent for them.
One great thing about turmeric is that it’s an excellent excuse to eat Indian food. If you have not yet embarked on the Indian dish ban wagon, you should give it a chance. Indian curry has become so popular that it is today, one of the most widespread dishes in the United Kingdom. When you cook at home, make sure to use turmeric powder as a seasoning agent. It can be found in most grocery stores, in the spice aisle, in root or powder form. So now you have absolutely no excuse not to use this powerful product.