Turmeric… an old East Indian secret to a long and healthy life. The healing properties of this are unmatched. We use it here in a tea with ginger and cinnamon (tastes heavenly!!)
The active ingredient in turmeric is curcumin. Tumeric has been used for over 2500 years in India, where it was most likely first used as a dye.
The medicinal properties of this spice have been slowly revealing themselves over the centuries. Long known for its anti-inflammatory properties, recent research has revealed that turmeric is a natural wonder, proving beneficial in the treatment of many different health conditions from cancer to Alzheimer’s disease.
Here are 20 reasons to add turmeric to your diet:
1. It is a natural antiseptic and antibacterial agent, useful in disinfecting cuts and burns.
2. When combined with cauliflower, it has shown to prevent prostate cancer and stop the growth of existing prostate cancer.
3. Prevented breast cancer from spreading to the lungs in mice.
4. May prevent melanoma and cause existing melanoma cells to commit suicide.
5. Reduces the risk of childhood leukemia.
6. Is a natural liver detoxifier.
7. May prevent and slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease by removing amyloyd plaque buildup in the brain.
8. May prevent metastases from occurring in many different forms of cancer.
9. It is a potent natural anti-inflammatory that works as well as many anti-inflammatory drugs but without the side effects.
10. Has shown promise in slowing the progression of multiple sclerosis in mice.
11. Is a natural painkiller and cox-2 inhibitor.
12. May aid in fat metabolism and help in weight management.
13. Has long been used in Chinese medicine as a treatment for depression.
14. Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, it is a natural treatment for arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
15. Boosts the effects of chemo drug paclitaxel and reduces its side effects.
16. Promising studies are underway on the effects of turmeric on pancreatic cancer.
17. Studies are ongoing in the positive effects of turmeric on multiple myeloma.
18. Has been shown to stop the growth of new blood vessels in tumors.
19. Speeds up wound healing and assists in remodeling of damaged skin.
20. May help in the treatment of psoriasis and other inflammatory skin conditions.
Turmeric can be taken in powder or pill form. It is available in pill form in most health food stores, usually in 250-500mg capsules.
Once you start using turmeric on a regular basis, it’s fun to find new ways to use it in recipes. My favorite way to use it is to add a pinch of it to egg salad. It adds a nice flavor and gives the egg salad a rich yellow hue.
Contraindications: Turmeric should not be used by people with gallstones or bileobstruction. Though turmeric is often used by pregnant women, it is important to consult with a doctor before doing so as turmeric can be a uterine stimulant.
If you are able to procure pure turmeric powder, you can use it in many ways to add glow to your skin.
- Turmeric helps you reduce pigmentation on your face and even out your skin tone. It can be easily done at home. Mix a little turmeric with cucumber or lemon juice and apply to your face. Leave it for some time and wash off. A one-time application will be of little help and only regular use will give a soft glow to your face.
- Troubled with acne? Whether it’s for you or your teenager, turmeric is a beauty ingredient that is harmless and yet offers great results. Turmeric mixed with sandalwood powder and a little water, and applied to the face can greatly reduce the appearance of acne. It’s definitely a cheaper alternative to all those creams and gels that are often not as effective as desired or they claim.
- Here’s a great idea for an all over body scrub. Mix some turmeric with gram flour and water and use it to scrub all over your body before your shower. Doing this regularly will indeed help you get a glowing skin. Ask any bride in India and she will affirm that this is the beauty regimen that they dutifully follow weeks before their wedding to get a spotless skin.
- One problem that often besets pregnant women is the appearance of stretch marks on their abdomen. If you’ve wondered how stretch marks can be avoided, try applying a mixture of turmeric with yogurt to the abdomen and then it wipe off after five minutes. If you continue this regularly, it will help in maintaining the elasticity of the skin and prevent stretch marks.
- Turmeric has also been dubbed the wonder product because of its ability to fight free radicals. This excellent anti-oxidant is known to help prevent various diseases as well as cancer. In fact, turmeric is one of the best known remedies used to reduce the recovery time of various skin afflictions that are caused by chicken pox etc. Turmeric helps in reducing skin rashes as well.
- For those who want to reduce the hair growth on their face, turmeric again comes to the rescue. Regular washing with turmeric reduces facial hair growth significantly.
- Grandmothers in India often prefer to apply a paste of turmeric to minor cuts, bruises and bumps as it reduces the swelling just as an ice pack would do, without the discomfort. Its various antiseptic properties are perfect for using it for minor cuts, wounds and abrasions and it helps in quickening the healing process.
- If you’ve accidentally burnt your hand in the kitchen, here’s a quick remedy to ease the burn. Mix a teaspoon of turmeric with some aloe gel and apply to the burn.
- So far, we’ve read about the cosmetic effects of turmeric for the skin. But did you know that turmeric is a fantastic natural way to beat that cough that has been troubling you for so many days?
- Dump those expectorants and simply mix a spoonful of turmeric in hot milk and drink it down. The hot milk eases the throat and the turmeric fights infection in the throat.
- Turmeric helps reducing gum infections also! Apply a mixture of turmeric, rock salt and mustard oil to the affected area around two to three times a day. Follow this by washing your mouth with a little warm water.
- Feeling listless and tired? If you suspect you have anemia, then a teaspoon of turmeric powder mixed with honey, taken daily can help in countering anemia.
- Turmeric powder mixed with water is also known to help diarrhea.
Before you get started with any cosmetic or skin related treatments with turmeric, do make a note that it can stain the skin a light yellow. It’s a good idea to use it at night and then wash off with water and a gentle cleanser in the morning.