The common spice, turmeric, has been used in Indian medicine for thousands of years, while western medicine is just beginning to recognize its many health benefits. Those who have experience with this wonder plant know that it can even outperform many modern medicines.
Turmeric, or sometimes known as curcumin, is used generously in almost all Indian cooking, and gives it that lovely orange coloring. If you’ve eaten Indian food, you have already tasted this unique flavor. This may be part of the reason why the rates for lung, colon, prostate, and breast cancer in India are among the lowest in the world.
The list of health benefits encapsulated in this humble spice is long and extensive. It is full of those necessary anti-oxidants. It has been proven to fight free radicals, rejuvenate the cells, cleanse the liver, protect the heart, boosts moods, and supports the brain. It can be used to improve your memory, focus, and cognition skills. It has been used to regulate fat metabolism, alleviate IBS, regulate bile flow, reduce joint pain, and bring luster to the skin.
Many use this medicinal plant for its purifying properties. It contains anti-fungal, anti-microbial, and anti-bacterial extracts. It can be used to overcome infections, as well as boost your immune system. It is absolutely brimming with vitamins and minerals, and can support your overall well-being in life.
The Hindu religion revere the use of turmeric for its spiritual importance. It has even been called the Spice of Life. Many Hindu use the common spice in their wedding rituals and prayer ceremonies. In the past, it was believed to aid in fertility, prosperity, and spiritual purification.
The common western approach to achieving good health is through vitamin supplements. Pop a pill, and you will feel better. That approach cannot be applied to the best use of turmeric though. The active agents in this spice are fat soluble. Which means that your body needs fat as a carrier to effectively absorb and assimilate the benefits of this wonder spice. To gain the very best benefits from your turmeric, it needs to be taken with a source of fat. The body simply won’t absorb a turmeric tablet, and therefore you are missing out on all those health benefits.
Tips on Usage of Turmeric
Always use organic turmeric for the maximum benefits. Avoid any chemicals, preservatives, fillers, or additives in your turmeric powder as it will decrease the benefits.
Drink Golden Milk. This has been used for centuries as a health elixir. ½ tsp of turmeric powder, ½ tsp of ginger powder, a smidge of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cardamom. Blended into a mug of hot almond/soy/rice, or hemp milk. Enjoy this yummy and delightfully yellow concoction daily.
Combine with black pepper. This will enhance the health benefits even more so.
Use in your morning smoothie. In powder or root form, either is effective. Be sure to include that black pepper and some form of fat though, for example coconut oil.
Spice up your meals. Add the powder and mix with olive oil to liven up your salads and dips. Or simply sprinkle over your veggies and enjoy.
Great benefits for your skin too. To help turn your skin radiant, mix 1 tsp turmeric powder, 1 tsp chick pea flour, a splash of tea tree oil, and combine until it makes a paste. Spread the paste on your face, and leave for 15 minutes.
And if that weren’t enough reasons to start using this medicinal spice, here are even more benefits.
Antiseptic and antibacterial agent, and can be used in a paste on cuts and burns.
- Preventative against prostate cancer when cooked with cauliflower
- Preventative against breast cancer when added to food
- Reduces risks of childhood leukemia
- Prevents melanoma, and even kills existing melanoma cells
- Slows the decline of Alzheimer patients by removing the plaque build-up on the cells of the brain
- Detoxifies the liver
- Increases metabolism and therefore reduces fat build-up
- Treatment of arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis due to its anti-inflammatory properties
But as with any ‘medicine’, it is important to take as recommended for there are possible side effects if you overdo the proper dosages.
Blood Thinning – it has been found to slow blood clotting. So if you are already taking blood thinning medications, then you should be very cautious about combining turmeric with your other medicines.
Diabetes – consuming turmeric in large dosages can lower the blood sugar. So be cautious if you are taking any medicines to control diabetes as turmeric can cause a decline in blood sugars.
Pregnancy – turmeric has been known to stimulate the uterus or even induce menstrual bleeding when pregnant or breast feeding. It is recommended that pregnant women abstain from turmeric all together.
Stomach Issues – when combined with antacids, turmeric may cause increased acids in the stomach and therefore more pain.
Gallbladder – if you have had gallstones or any form of bile duct obstructions, it is recommended that you avoid turmeric as it can cause the condition to become worse.
The humble turmeric has been used for thousands of years, and science is just starting to recognize its vast array of health benefits.
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