Facts About the Goodness of Turmeric
Turmeric has been used as an anti-inflammatory ingredient in Indian and Chinese medicine since ancient times. It was traditionally known as the Indian Saffron.
About the Turmeric Plant
Turmeric (Curcuma longa) belongs to the ginger family (Zingiberaceae). It is grown in South and South East Asia.
The Turmeric plant is an upright herb. It grows to about 1m in height. Leaves are large and oblong. The flowers are yellow and white and grow on a spike like a stalk. The flowers are sterile. The turmeric plant reproduces only through rhizomes.
Ginger is a rhizome (Rhizome is the horizontal stem of a plant that can produce roots and shoots of a new plant).
A rhizome is brown in color and is thick and fleshy. When the rhizomes are not used fresh, they are boiled for several hours and dried in hot ovens. After this, they are ground into a fine powder – Turmeric Powder.
Many Uses of Turmeric Powder
- Turmeric powder is mixed with honey and applied to the face for treating acne. Both honey and turmeric have antibacterial properties that help to kill the acne causing bacteria.
Turmeric powder is added to many homemade facial masks. The addition of turmeric helps to cleanse deep and rejuvenate the skin.
Turmeric paste is applied to the skin before having a bath once a week. It helps in rejuvenating the skin. It unclogs the pores and deep cleanses the skin. Turmeric not only cleanses the skin but also nourishes the skin with Vitamin B6.
A quarter teaspoon of turmeric powder is boiled with milk and consumed to cure a sore throat.
Turmeric paste is applied to stretch marks on the skin a few minutes before a bath to help erase the stretch marks over a period.
Ayurvedic medicines use turmeric as a means for curing or relieving inflammation, cough, cold, chest congestion, healing of wounds, itching of the skin, acne, for ailments of the stomach, arthritis, etc.
Turmeric is also used in cooking. Turmeric powder is added to many dishes in India.
A pinch of turmeric powder is used to give a rich color to many curries and rice dishes. This powder is also used as a flavor enhancer in pickles, popcorn, rice dishes and soup.
Turmeric is the most commonly used food dye. It is used to dye butter, cheese, milk, pickles, mustards, fruit drinks, cakes, and jelly.
Research is still going on this miracle herb - Turmeric.
Medicinal Value of Turmeric
Turmeric is rich in antioxidant content. The source of antioxidant in the turmeric is from an active compound called curcuminoid. These curcuminoids deliver the all-important antioxidants.
Antioxidants help boost the immunity system in your body. They protect the cells from damage and slows down the aging process. Turmeric helps support the blood and liver functions. It improves the circulation of blood throughout the body and this, in turn, promotes overall health and well-being.
Turmeric is used as an essential ingredient in most of the Ayurvedic medicines due to its as anti-inflammatory and healing properties.
© 2012 Nithya Venkat