Amazing Health Benefits of Turmeric
Turmeric is an ancient spice of India, which was cultivated by Harappan civilization earlier in the 3000 B.C. In the 13th century, Marco Polo, the Italian merchant traveller from Venice, had written about turmeric in his travel. Now it is also grown in other South Eastern countries of Asia. The other names of turmeric are Haldi, Haladi, Haridra, Haldhar, Pitras, Halede, Manjal, yu jin (Chinese), Khamin (Thai), Curcuma (French).The scientific name is Curcuma Longa. L. It has warm bitter taste. This golden spice has several uses.
Turmeric is used in different ways -
a) Used for Health purposes
b) Used for Culinary purposes
c) Used for Beauty purposes
d) Other purposes
Health benefits of Turmeric
The active part in turmeric is curcumin. Many preliminary studies in laboratories indicate that turmeric has great therapeutic uses, although more research are needed for these claims.
1. Arthritis - Used in the treatment of Osteoarthritis (OA) and Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA).
2. .For Neurological disosrders - Since turmeric is anti-inflammatory it helps in neurological disorders like Alzheimer’s disease (AD), Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, cerebral injury, cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, cancer, allergy, asthma, bronchitis, colitis, arthritis, renal ischemia, psoriasis, diabetes, obesity, depression, fatigue, and acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). Also helps in the management of exercise-induced inflammation and muscle sorenes
4. For pain relief - It is also used for pain relief and it is as safe as Ibuprofen for the treatment of knee in Osteoarthritis. .
5. For Liver - Turmeric has been found effective in improving liver function and a potential therapeutic antioxidant agent for the treatment of hepatic disease like Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus.
6.For Candida- Turmeric is effective as an anti fungal agent.
7. For Cancer - Studies conducted in the last two decades have found that curcumin's potential as both a chemopreventive and a chemotherapeutic agent against cancer like Pancreatic cancer.
8. Other disorders - Curcumin has shown potential activity against numerous other disorders and diseases, including those of eyes, lungs, liver, kidneys, and gastrointestinal and cardiovascular systems, as well as conditions such as fibrosis, wound healing problems, aging, asthma, endometriosis, and muscle wasting
Is Turmeric Really Safe to Use as Medicine?
Although there are several studies carried out in the labs about the potential medicinal benefits of Turmeric, I have found some articles 1, 2, 3 which say that there are no proven results done on human trials. The articles say that turmeric as a spice is really good but as a medicine no proven results conducted on humans.
Turmeric uses in Ayurveda
Apart from the above health benefits, Turmeric is used in Ayurveda as traditional medicine since ancient days because of its medical benefits. Turmeric is known for its antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial, stimulative, anti-spasmodic, antibiotic, expectorant, blood purifying, anti-aging, anti-carcinogenic and disinfectant properties.
- Turmeric is used as home remedy for chronic cough, cold and throat irritations .
- For anaemia, taking 1 tsp. of turmeric powder with 1 tsp. of honey taken twice a day for few days helps in reducing anaemia.
- For diarrhoea, drinking warm water added with turmeric powder gives good relief.
- Turmeric reduces fevers, diarrhoea, urinary disorders, and insanity, poisoning, cough, and lactation problems.
- Also used for epilepsy and bleeding disorder.
- Turmeric is highly beneficial for beautiful skin.
- Turmeric helps in preventing and Treating Alzeheimer's Disease
- Turmeric is also beneficial in preventing age-related problems
- Regular use of turmeric helps in preventing deadly diseases like cancer.
- A study shows that curcumin may provide a valuable tool for the development of a therapeutic combination against the melanoma.
Turmeric for Beauty
From time immemorial turmeric is used for beauty purposes.
- In India, brides will be treated with turmeric to get glowing skin, weeks in advance. The paste, made with turmeric and green gram flour, will be applied on the body and washed after a few minutes.
- To remove the stretch marks of pregnant women, turmeric powder mixed with yogurt is applied and washed after five minutes.
- Pimples and blackheads - A pinch of turmeric powder mixed with one teaspoon of coriander juice is an effective remedy for pimples, blackheads and dry skin.
- It is used for making kumkum, a red powder used by married women in India in their forehead.
Turmeric uses for Culinary
- In India, turmeric is used in almost all curries, which gives a good colour and a unique flavor to the dishes.
- It is also used as a preservative.
Therapeutic uses - Anemia, cancer, diabetes, digestion, food poisoning, gallstones, indigestion, IBS, parasites, poor circulation, staph infections, and wounds. Recent study shows that turmeric can help damaged brain.
Other uses -
- Turmeric is used in spiritual ceremonies at home, in weddings and in the temple in India.
- Used as a pesticide against ants, insects and termites, by sprinkling the powder at the entry points.
- Used as preservative.
Who Should Avoid Turmeric?
For pregnant women, it is better to avoid taking any turmeric supplements (its action of stimulating menstrual flow is something you want to avoid, especially in early pregnancy ). However, a little in your food as a spice is perfectly is safe.
People with bleeding problems, gallbladder problems, iron deficiency problems, and infertility problems, should avoid turmeric use as a medicine.
Nutritional Value of Turmeric
Value per 100 grams
- Moisture :13.100 gm
- Protein : 6.300 gm
- Fat : 5.100 gm
- Minerals : 3.500 gm
- Fibre: 2.600 gm
- Carbohydrates: 69.400 gm
- Energy: 349.000 K cal
- Calcium: 150.000 mg
- Phosphorus: 282.000 mg
- Iron: 67.800 mg
Properties of Turmeric
- Turmeric is rich in dietary fiber, potassium, iron, magnesium and Vitamin B6, and very low in cholesterol and sodium.
- It has properties like immune boosting and anti-oxidant.
- According to Dr. Joseph Mercola, turmeric is“5 to 8 times stronger than vitamin E and stronger than vitamin C, this antioxidant breakthrough may help boost your immunity, maintain normal cholesterol levels, and put the brakes on aging.”
- Other researchers like Jagetia and Aggarwal also reported that turmeric beneficial effects in arthritis, allergy, asthma, atherosclerosis, heart disease, Alzheimer's disease, diabetes, and cancer might be due in part to its ability to modulate the immune system."
- According to a study published in the Annals of Indian Academy of Neurology, Turmeric is also helpful in preventing Alzheimer's Disease.
- Another study conducted by Chandran and Goel at Nirmala Medical Center, Kerala, turmeric is helpful in the treatment of Rheumatoid arthritis, with no adverse effects.
- Another study by the researchers from Cancer Biology Research Center, South Dakota, claim that they found that curcumin treatment suppresses the growth of cervical cancer cells.
Turmeric and its uses - in brief
- Turmeric is an ancient spice used mainly in Indian cuisine. It has got several uses.
- Apart from cooking, it is also used for beauty purpose and therapeutic purpose.
- Turmeric is also used for several home remedies.
- Regular uses of turmeric keeps you away from several health disorders.
The information provided in this hub is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult your physician, or health care provider before taking any home remedies, supplements or starting a new health regime.