Turmeric’s Healing Powers
Turmeric, known in Sanskrit as “The Golden Goddess,” is very alluring due to its vibrant yellow hue. Quite peppery, warming and bitter in flavor, it is the most prevalent spice found in curry, amongst many other oriental dishes ranging from dhal to palak paneer. A root belonging to the Curcuma Longa plant, native to southwest India, is a member of the ginger family and can be found in both fresh and powder form. Comprised of a very powerful medicinal compound known as curcuma, turmeric is often said to be one of the most powerful, natural, nutritional supplements known to man. It’s no wonder that Eastern cultures have been employing it in many forms from eating it raw, in its powder form or as an essential oil for centuries.
Ayurveda and Chinese medicine have used turmeric to fight infection and reduce inflammation, among a whole host of other uses benefiting the body both internally and externally. Beyond the holistic community, western medicine has only recently jumped on the band wagon, recognizing the overwhelming evidence of turmeric’s effectiveness on our body’s health and well-being.
Rich in many essential vitamins and minerals such as choline, niacin, riboflavin, calcium, potassium, iron, zinc and manganese, this inexpensive spice should find a place in your pantry not only as a flavor enhancer, but as natural remedy for many ailments.
Not yet convinced? Check out these health benefits that are not only reactionary, but can also be preventive, promoting healthy living.
Detox is a hot word as of late, but the usefulness of turmeric as a natural form of detoxification is time tested. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center the compound, curcumin stimulates the gallbladder and the production of bile. In turn the liver uses the bile to eradicate toxins and rejuvenate the cells in the liver responsible for breaking down harmful compounds.
INDIGESTION & HEARTBURN
In the same way that the gallbladder produces bile helping to detox the liver, it also helps our bodies digest food reducing the possibility of acid reflux and indigestion.
In Germany, turmeric has been prescribed to aid digestive problems, and further research has also revealed the potential effectiveness in calming an upset stomach and alleviating the discomfort associated with bloating and infatuation.
Tufts University researchers found that curcumin significantly reduced levels of serum cholesterol and proteins that play a vital role in fat production. Curcumin, as the research states, has the potential to increase metabolic rate within the body helping to maintain or even decrease overall weight gain.
More powerful than aspirin or ibuprofen, curcumin is reported to decrease inflammation. Although our bodies need some inflammation to stay healthy, it is very common for it to get out of hand, characterized by pain, redness, swelling, and heat, small amounts of turmeric can remedy discomfort.
Studies have shown that curcuminoids, a derivative of curcumin, are stellar scavengers, identifying free radicals within the body and neutralizing them. It is also believed turmeric has the ability to prevent free radical development altogether.
THWARTING OFF CANCER
Curcumin, doctors at UCLA reported, appeared to block an enzyme that has been seen to encourage the growth of head and neck cancer. In a recent study, 21 individuals battling these types of cancer were given two tablets containing 1,000 milligrams of curcumin. The result, evaluated by an independent lab in Maryland, found that the cancer promoting enzymes located in the subjects’ mouths were inhibited by the curcumin and prevented the spread of the malignant cells, thus localizing the disease.
Turmeric is an accessible, mild spice offering tremendous healing powers. Taking the time to incorporate this plant into your diet will be a solid investment in your overall health. Not sure where to start? Try these mouthwatering recipes.