Turmeric, also known as Haldi (in India) or referred to as “Indian saffron”, is a very common herb. Turmeric is an ancient root used for its healing properties for centuries. It is the main spice in curry, is arguably the most powerful herb on the planet at fighting and reversing disease. It has so many healing properties that currently there have been 6,235 peer-reviewed articles published proving the benefits of turmeric. Often referred to as the “Queen of Spices,” its main characteristics are a pepper-like aroma, sharp taste and golden color. People across the globe use this herb in their cooking.
It is also loaded with many healthy nutrients such as protein, dietary fiber, niacin, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, potassium, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium and zinc. Due to all these factors, turmeric is often used to treat a wide variety of health problems. Some of the health promoting functions of turmeric is listed below:
- Turmeric relieves arthritis:
Turmeric possesses great anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties that play a vital role in the optimal management of pain and inflammation caused by arthritis. In addition, turmeric’s antioxidant property destroys free radicals in the body that damage body cells. It has been found that those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis who consumes turmeric on a regular basis experience much relief from joint inflammation.
- Turmeric controls diabetes:
Turmeric can be used in the treatment of diabetes by helping to moderate insulin levels. It is 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. However, when combined with strong medications, turmeric can cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). It is best to consult a healthcare professional before taking turmeric capsules.
- Turmeric keeps check on heart problems:
Turmeric is also utilized in treating heart related 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. Research has proven that simply using turmeric as a food seasoning can reduce serum cholesterol levels. It is a known fact that high cholesterol can lead to other serious heart problems. Maintaining a proper cholesterol level can prevent many cardiovascular diseases.
- 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 leukemia. Multiple researchers have found that the active component in turmeric makes it one of the best protectors against radiation-induced tumors.
- Turmeric heals wounds:
Turmeric is a natural antiseptic and antibacterial agent and can be used as an effective disinfectant. If you have a cut or burn, you can sprinkle turmeric powder on the affected area to speed up the healing process. Turmeric also helps repair damaged skin and may be used to treat psoriasis and other inflammatory skin conditions. 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 also boosts immunity:
Turmeric contains a substance known as lipopolysaccharide, which helps stimulate the body’s immune system. Its antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal agents also help strengthen the immune system. A strong immune system lessens the chance of suffering from colds, flu and coughs. If you do get a cold, a cough or the flu, you can feel better sooner by mixing one teaspoon of turmeric powder in a glass of warm milk and drinking it once daily.
- Turmeric improves digestion:
Many key components in turmeric stimulate the gallbladder to produce bile, which then improves digestion and reduces symptoms of bloating and gas. Also, turmeric is helpful in treating most forms of inflammatory bowel disease including ulcerative colitis. Because of all these reasons it is used in food as a chief condiment. It is also recommended that the person with the problem of indigestion must add turmeric in their daily life food intake.
- Turmeric prevents Alzheimer’s disease:
Alzheimer’s disease leads to progressive degeneration of neurons. Brain inflammation is suspected to be one of the leading causes of cognitive disorders. Turmeric supports overall brain health by aiding in the removal of plaque build-up in the brain and improving the flow of oxygen. Turmeric is also utilized to promote healthy functioning of brain.
- Turmeric helps in losing weight:
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.Turmeric powder can be thus very helpful in maintaining an ideal body weight. Those who wish to lose weight or treat obesity and other associated diseases can benefit from having one teaspoon of turmeric powder with every meal.
- Turmeric prevents Liver diseases:
Turmeric is a kind of natural liver detoxifier. The liver detoxifies the blood through the production of enzymes and turmeric increases production of these vital enzymes. These vital enzymes break down and reduce toxins in the body. Turmeric also is believed to invigorate and improve blood circulation. All of these factors support good liver health.
- Turmeric is also known to treat Depression:
Turmeric is also reported to treat depression because of 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.
Given the numerous health benefits of turmeric, adding this powerful herb to your diet is one of the best things you can do to improve the quality of your life. You can add turmeric in powder form to curries, stir fried dishes, smoothies, warm milk and even to spicy salad dressings. Turmeric can be taken in pill form also.
A word of 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.
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