Turmeric is a mustard-colored spice which is commonly used across the world as a condiment. It is also referred to as Curcuma longa in sophisticated scientific terms. Turmeric is considered as the "queen of spices" because of its health boosting properties, which includes but are not limited to anti-carcinogen, anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory substances. Other than these functions it is also enriched with a wide variety of nutrients and vitamins such as vitamin A, E, C, K, sodium, calcium, potassium etc. Some of the health promoting functions of turmeric are listed below.
Benefits of Turmeric
Turmeric Relieves Arthritis
Turmeric possesses great anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties that plays a vital role in the optimal management of pain and inflammation caused by arthritis. The anti-oxidant properties also inhibits the formation of free radicals in the body that in turns strengthen the immune response. It is also observed that patient suffering from arthritis and joint pain reports significant decline in the intensity of pain with regular use of turmeric due to anti-inflammatory activities.
Turmeric Controls Blood Sugar Levels
Turmeric is also known to modify the pancreatic system. Insulin is a hormone which is produced and released from beta pancreatic cells. Regular use of turmeric is effective in decreasing the insulin resistance in the body, thereby making individuals less susceptible to chronic metabolic issues like type 2 diabetes. It can also be used concomitantly with the diabetes medications in order to increase the positive effects in maintaining the glucose metabolism.
Turmeric Prevents Cancer
The anti-oxidant properties of turmeric prevent the formation of carcinogens in the body. It is widely used in the prevention and management of colon carcinomas, breast carcinomas, and T-cell leukemias. Research also suggests that turmeric plays a vital role in the prevention of prostate cancer with its anti-carcinogen and anti-mitotic property.
A research study has been conducted on the patients of prostate cancer and it is observed that the prostate cancer cells are destroyed by the active chemical constituents present in the turmeric.
Turmeric Improves Digestion
It is used in food as a chief condiment, because of its effective uses such as it improves digestion, and eliminates the problem of flatulence and bloating. It is also recommended that the person with the problem of indigestion must add turmeric in their daily life food intake.
Turmeric is also used to treat colonic and intestinal cancers, and inflammatory bowel diseases. It is to be noted that patients with gall bladder disease such as gall bladder stones must avoid the excessive intake of turmeric as it may worsen the condition.
Turmeric Heals the Wound
Because of its anti-viral, anti-fungal, and anti-bacterial properties it is used widely in treating wounds. A simple turmeric paste can also be applied over the skin surface in order to promote the process of healing.
Turmeric Prevents the Alzheimer’s Disease
Alzheimer’s disease leads to progressive degeneration of neurons. One of the factors that plays a vital role in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer is brain inflammation or encephalitis. Turmeric helps in circulating fresh oxygen towards brain and eliminating the risk of formation of plaque in brain and surrounding supporting cells. Turmeric is also utilized to promote healthy functioning of brain.
Turmeric Provides Stomach Soothing Effects
As discussed above that turmeric possesses anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties which prevent the stomach from developing any inflammation or burning effect.
If taken in normal quantities turmeric will only give beneficial effects such as soothing the stomach after heavy eating but if taken in large quantities it can also leads to severe burning and indigestion.
Turmeric Keeps the Heart Healthy
It is also utilized in treating cardiovascular diseases as turmeric breaks the cholesterol molecule, and inhibits its deposition in the vessels such as arteries and veins. In this way it prevents the heart from developing the condition of stroke and thrombus. Nowadays turmeric is added as a necessary constituent in treating heart diseases naturally.
Turmeric Burns Excessive Body Fat
Turmeric is used to burn the excessive fat in the body that is why it is also used to reduce body weight and in dieting purposes. The most beneficial effect is that it only burns the fat, not the healthy deposits of adipose tissues. In this way the body does not lose any essential nutrient. Nowadays it is preferred over dietary pills because of its negligible side effects and productive benefits.
Turmeric Treats Depression
Turmeric is also reported to treat depression because of the activity of its major constituents Curcumin that is responsible for its anti-oxidant action and decreasing the production of free radicals, hence circulating more oxygen to the brain and delaying the onset of degenerative changes in the brain.
How to Use Turmeric
Turmeric is used as a popular condiment in food industry. It is used as a spice in meals or to add an extra flavor to herbal teas. Add turmeric in stir fried vegetables or add a tablespoon in the boiling water for pasta and enjoy the spice along with its other beneficial uses.
Turmeric tea is prepared by boilng approximately four cups of water. Then add one teaspoon full turmeric in that boiling water. Leave it in simmering for 10 minutes, add some lemon, or honey to further enhance the taste profile.
It is also a good source to obtain the beneficial effects of turmeric.
Turmeric along with castor oil is used widely as a toxin releaser. It is widely used to apply over the breast to enhance the circulation of the lymph nodes and improving drainage functions.
Side Effects & Caution
Turmeric intake is generally considered as safe because it is a natural product. Too much high dose or oral intake may produce gastrointestinal problems such as burning, nausea, irritation, and diarrhea. It must be taken with care as it can slow down the process of blood coagulation. It is recommended to consult with your doctor before you take it as supplement or medication, as it can also interact with some medications.
How to Select and Store Turmeric
The most stable form available to store any form of spice is dried form. It is better to purchase a turmeric which is organically grown. It also gives an assurance that the turmeric is not passed from any radiations. Hence dried form also makes the turmeric least susceptible to any hydrolysis or degradation.