For centuries, people in India and Southeast Asia have been using the versatile turmeric plant spice to add some bitterness to their curry mix and spices.
With a strong, earth-like smell it can be used raw (like ginger) or dried, I enjoy using it in small amounts to add a beautiful golden hue to my curries.
The best part about Turmeric is it’s some kind of amazing super-food that modern science is just starting to understand. So today, let’s find out more about this really cool, exotic spice and why it needs to become a staple in your diet…
What is Turmeric?
Native to Southeast Asia, Turmeric is a green plant that belongs to the ginger family. While it’s roots can be consumed raw, most people recognize Turmeric by its bright golden or reddish-gold colors which come from boiling, drying and grinding these roots into a fine powder.
With a acrid taste, and its surprisingly citrus-like aroma, it’s still used, like it was 1000 years ago as a fabric dye, an astringent, in makeup and cooking.
Health Benefits of Turmeric
Turmeric also boasts an enormous amount of health benefits. For centuries, practitioners of ancient Siddha medicine have been using turmeric to treat and prevent a variety of ailments.
Recent studies have shown that this popular spice is capable of healing pain, relieving the digestive system and even improving the condition of the skin.
The best part about using turmeric as a healing aid is that it’s both affordable and safe to take for medicinal purposes. That’s why we’ve outlined some of the most impressive benefits of consuming turmeric. By incorporating this spice into your diet, you can boost a dish’s flavor while ensuring that your body and mind stay in optimal health.
1. Turmeric Anti-Inflammatory
Turmeric is a powerful anti-inflammatory and is frequently used in Eastern parts of the world to treat various types of inflammation. Curcumin, the active chemical found in turmeric as well as the name of a supplement that is made with turmeric powder, has been proven to be more effective when it comes to treating inflammation than popular over-the-counter anti-inflammatories.
In fact, curcumin is powerful enough to treat much more than muscle pain and headaches. People who suffer from diseases that are caused by inflammation such as colitis and arthritis can benefit tremendously from taking this supplement on a daily basis.
2. Antioxidant Power
Antioxidants have been all the rage for some time. However, these incredible oxidation-inhibiting substances are more than just a trend. Tremendous amounts of research have shown that antioxidants have the unique ability to prevent a variety of diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and heart disease.
Antioxidants prevent these diseases by inhibiting cell destruction caused by free radicals. Free radicals are external molecules that enter the body and destroy the cells, making the body significantly more susceptible to disease. By loading up on antioxidants daily, you are actively fighting off these free radicals before they get a chance to do any damage.
As you’ve guessed, turmeric is loaded with antioxidants. Extensive studies have shown the plant’s impressively high level of antioxidant properties. In fact, some studies have suggested that turmeric should be taken regularly as a cancer prevention method.
3. Combats Depression
In addition to fighting physical ailments, turmeric has also been shown to treat mood disorders as well. A study showed that curcumin actually has the same effect on the mind as fluoxetine, an incredibly popular prescription drug used to treat clinical depression.
One of the theories behind turmeric’s unique ability to treat depression is that it triggers the brain to produce more dopamine and serotonin, two chemicals that are produced by the brain that create feelings of happiness and stimulate energy levels. For many, clinical depression is the result of a depletion of these two chemicals. Therefore, by taking turmeric regularly, you can maintain a much more positive state of mind overall.
4. Treats Digestive Problems
Turmeric has been known for centuries as a highly effective digestive aid. One of the reasons that much of Indian cuisine contains such high levels of turmeric is because of its ability to benefit the digestive system overall.
For one thing, turmeric triggers the production of bile that comes from the gallbladder. Bile contains enzymes that break down food, allowing it to pass through the digestive tract more quickly. When the body struggles to break down food, it can lead to indigestion and heartburn.
Turmeric is also known for its ability to relieve gas pain and bloating. Acting as a carminative (ie: something that relieves gas), turmeric is capable of breaking up gas bubbles along the digestive tract and encouraging gas to flow through the body with ease.
5. Benefits the Skin
Lastly, turmeric can help us stay beautiful. The antioxidant properties in turmeric help prevent cell damage on the skin’s surface, allowing skin to remain youthful and glowing as we age. Plus, turmeric’s anti-inflammatory properties reduce skin inflammation and irritation caused by common conditions such as acne, psoriasis and chronic dryness.
Turmeric is also used in many cultures as a method for evening out the skin’s tone. As we age, many of us develop dark spots and hyperpigmentation caused by sun exposure and genetics. Turmeric has the ability to lighten skin in these darkened areas.
It seems like there’s nothing that turmeric can’t do. This golden-colored spice that’s so common in South Asian cuisine has the ability to heal pain, reverse the signs of aging, prevent cancer, ease digestive troubles and combat mood disorders. Best of all, turmeric is incredibly inexpensive.
It’s got a tart, bitter taste and is a great addition
Thanks to the healing benefits of turmeric, we can maintain beautiful skin as well as physical and mental health in a completely natural way. Next time you’re at the grocery store, pick up a jar of this incredible spice and discover its amazing powers for yourself. Or if you’re the DIY kind of person; in order make your own turmeric powder, you can dehydrate a turmeric bulb in the oven and grind it into a fine powder.
Thanks again for reading and please let me know if you have any questions on this or anything else on this site…