From the surface, turmeric and ginger seem similar, but the difference is recognizable on the inside by a bright orange color for turmeric and brown color for ginger. Turmeric has been used for centuries in ancient Chinese and Indian Ayurvedic medicines. No doubt turmeric has been Southern Asia´s best-kept secret. This secret is reaching the corners of the earth. But what are the benefits of this golden spice?
The official name for Turmeric is Curcuma Longa, and its nickname is golden spice because of its color and host of healing properties. Turmeric also goes by other names such as Curcuma, Curcumin, and Indian Saffron. Let us take a closer look at the health benefits of turmeric.
Background and history
Turmeric is a spice from the ginger family. Originally turmeric was a relief from painful arthritis, bowel ailments, and digestive disorders. Today turmeric is a staple in nations of Sout East Asia. It is used in cooking and for skin care treatments. Black pepper and healthy oils such as olive and coconut oils; allow for better bioavailability (absorption). Curcumin is a major ingredient in curry powders.
India is the world´s largest producer and exporter of turmeric.
There are several varieties of turmeric.
Some Indian women use turmeric paste regularly to get rid of unwanted hair.
Turmeric has antibacterial and antiseptic properties and is known to disinfect burns and cuts.
Turmeric gives mustard its golden color.
Another use is as a dye in fabric and cosmetics.
There are many benefits of turmeric, and now science has proven many of its amazing healing properties. Turmeric activates your body´s antioxidant mechanism and enhances your immune system. Scientific research shows that turmeric can prevent brain disorders such as Alzheimer´s and depression, as it increases Brain-derived Neurotrophic factor (BDNF).
Some other health benefits of turmeric:
- improves upper respiratory tract disorder
- improves digestive system ailments
- protects DNA from damage
- antiinflammatory and antioxidant properties
- acts as a natural pain killer
- can speed up recovery after surgery
- treats bowel diseases
- treats allergies
- treats arthritis
- can heal bone fractures
- helps in oral health (gum wounds, tooth pain)
- contains anti-diabetic properties
- good for thyroid
- protects the pancreas from disorders
- treats muscle disorders
- promotes spleen health
- protects liver and gall bladder
- ability to boost brain activity
- boost memory
The list goes on about the wonder of turmeric, this ancient golden spice, and a safe herb. You do not need large doses of turmeric to see results. Turmeric is potent enough in small quantities. Hence, there´s no need to overindulge.
Benefits of turmeric for skin
Turmeric has many skin-enhancing properties and has a multi-tasking role in keeping skin elastic and supple, along with these other benefits:
- adds natural glow and shine
- treats acne breakouts
- slows down skin aging
- helps with psoriasis
- act as a lightning agents
- fades dark spots
- adds instant glow
- removes impurities
- tightens skin
- brightens and revives skin
Turmeric and plain yogurt paste.
- 1 Tablespoon plain yogurt.
- 1 teaspoon turmeric.
- Mix well and apply to the face.
- Leave on for 5 minutes.
- Rinse off.
- 1 Tablespoon turmeric
- Enough drops of water to make a paste
- Apply to face
- Leave it on for 5 minutes
- Wash off with lukewarm
Best ways to cook with turmeric
- ¼ cup shredded carrot
- ¼ cup sunflower seeds
- 1 Tablespoon ground turmeric
- 1 onion
- 2-3 cloves
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cups water
- ¼ cup green peas
- Bring water to a boil.
- Reduce heat and add rice and peas for 20 minutes.
- In a large frying pan, saute onion and garlic.
- Then add shredded carrots, sunflower seeds, and turmeric powder.
- Add rice and peas to the frying pan.
- Mix well and enjoy.
Turmeric Vegetable Soup
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- Pinch of black pepper to taste
- Chopped celery, broccoli, carrots, potatoes, green peas, and leeks
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- Sautee onions and garlic in a pan with 1 tablespoon olive oil.
- Add all the ingredients to a medium pan and cook for 15 minutes.
Turmeric Milk/Golden milk
There are several ways to make this heavenly drink.
- Heat ginger ¼ teaspoon, of honey ½ teaspoon, and ¼ teaspoon of turmeric in almond milk.
- Enjoy warm.
You can also use freshly grated ginger and turmeric instead of the powder form if you prefer. They both taste great and still offer health benefits.
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon powdered turmeric
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 fluid ounce espresso
Combine all the ingredients except the espresso on medium heat for 5 minutes. Remove the pan from heat and blend the mixture with an immersion blender. Pour espresso and serve.
Turmeric Mango Smoothie
- 2 bananas
- 1 cup chopped mango
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric
- 2 cups water (or coconut water for added flavor)
Dangers of using too much turmeric
As with anything in life, a healthy balance is key. There are dangers in consuming too much turmeric, they are:
- can increase urinary oxalate
- people with bleeding problems should not use turmeric as it acts as a blood thinner
- can cause an upset stomach
- acid reflux
There are many benefits of this ancient herbal spice; even science seems to agree. There are many written reports on some of the wonders of turmeric. Turmeric also offers many benefits to the skin. It brightens and lightens naturally, and removes dark spots, and impurities from your skin.
Although turmeric is known for its string of health benefits, too much consumption has some negative consequences, such as dizziness, headaches, and an upset stomach. Turmeric is potent enough that a little goes a long way.
With that being said, turmeric can be a great addition when used in moderation to your health regimen and is a simple way to boost your immune system naturally. You can achieve a fulfilling life by making healthier lifestyle choices.
For more information about healthy skincare go here.
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