Health Benefits of Turmeric
Turmeric is primarily known for its anti-inflammatory properties. Turmeric is so good a combating inflammation, it’s been suggested as a replacement to pharmaceuticals, without the side effects. Turmeric’s active ingredient is curcumin, which is what gives turmeric its notable color.
But Turmeric is a giant when it comes to health:
- An antiseptic and antibacterial agent you can use to disinfect cuts and burns.
- Naturally detoxifies the liver. Regular use combined with a liver cleanse will keep this vital organ at peak condition
- A treatment for inflammatory diseases such as arthritis. Turmeric has been shown to reduce swelling, stiffness, and enabled arthritic suffers to move and walk longer.
- Can be used regularly after athletic endeavors to keep the muscles supple and the joints lubricated.
- Used as a treatment for depression by Chinese medicine.
- Has a deep research history in the treatment of cancer from either stopping tumor formation or destroy cancer cells. The research includes data on breast, prostate, pancreatic, and childhood leukemia.
- Is thought to protect against the advent and/or progression of Alzheimer’s disease by removing the plaque build-up from the brain.
- May reduce the risk of heart disease.
- Used in Chinese and Indian medicine to also treat jaundice, chest pain, bruises, toothache, hemorrhage, bloody urine, flatulence, and menstrual issues.
Turmeric can be taken in raw, powder, pill, or tincture form. It’s typically used either raw or as a powder when cooking. As a general supplement, you can take turmeric as a pill or tincture.
Contraindications: If you have gallstones or a bile obstructions or are pregnant, please consult your health practitioner before using turmeric.
A 2 teaspoon serving of turmeric contains only 16 calories, and:
- 18% of the daily value of manganese. Here’s some great recipes for getting your daily dose of manganese!
- 10.4% of the daily value of iron
- 4% of the daily value of Vitamin B6
- 3.3% of the daily value of potassium
- ¼ cup turmeric powder
- ½ cup purified water
- 1 cup of almond milk (need to learn how to make almond milk?)
- 1 tsp almond oil
- Honey or agave nectar to taste.
In a small saucepan, mix the turmeric and water until it boils. Reduce heat, stirring constantly, until a paste forms. The paste is good for up to 40 days stored in an air tight container that’s placed in the refrigerator.
After making the paste, blend together 1 cup of almond or other nut milk with 1 tsp of almond oil, ¼ teaspoon of turmeric paste. Add honey or agave nectar to taste.
Raw option: add turmeric to nut milk or raw milk and serve cold.
A Little History
Turmeric has a long history in its native Indonesia and India where it has been used for over 5,000 years. While used as a textile dye and in cooking, turmeric is hailed as primary member of ancient pharmacopeias and used in both Indian (Ayurvedia) and Chinese medicines.
Introduced to Europe as early as the 13th century, Turmeric was largely ignored by the West until recent research about its amazing medicinal properties gained public awareness. Turmeric has been called ‘Indian saffron’ due to its deep yellow-orange color.
Selection and Storage
Because Turmeric is an Eastern spice, check local ethnic markets to see what varieties of turmeric are available. They may have the raw rhizome or a wider selection of turmeric. The color of turmeric differs per variety, so it’s not an indicator of freshness.
For the full benefits of turmeric, choose raw or powdered turmeric rather than a curry powder mix. There is typically little turmeric in curry mixes.
Store the turmeric powder in a tightly sealed container in a cool, dark, and dry place. Fresh turmeric should be stored in the refrigerator.