Turmeric, a yellow spice hailing from the ginger family, has been used for hundreds of years as both a food and a drug. It is growing in popularity once again today thanks to the curcumin that it contains. This substance offers great nutritional value in quite a few areas including the treatment of inflammation and the prevention of cardiovascular disease. As it is a natural substance, there are no dangerous side effects that many other drugs do have. Curcumin is a wonderful antioxidant, and it has been found to protect healthy cells from carcinogens and other cancer-causing substances. It can even reduce cholesterol levels. And all you’ve got to do is eat some in a delicious curry!
Scientists refer to turmeric as Curcuma longa. The plant itself is rather small, growing no more than three feet tall. It can produce both flowers and rhizomes. The rhizome is the part of the plant that is known as turmeric. You can find this spice in just about any tropical country, but India undoubtedly claims the title as the largest turmeric producer.
Turmeric has grown in popularity over the past few years, but it’s actually been used medicinally for over 4000 years. Scientists have discovered turmeric, ginger, and garlic residue that is thought to have been left around 2500 BC. Approximately 2000 years later, turmeric became a part of Ayurvedic medicine.
Ayurveda is an ancient Indian healing practice that has been used for thousands of years until this very day. People believe that by inhaling the scent of burnt turmeric they can encourage digestion and by applying the juice of they spice they can promote recovery from bruises and wounds. The paste was used in quite a variety of ways for everything from smallpox to blemishes.
Turmeric has quite a big role in Indian culture. It is not merely used for medicine, but for religious practices. Those who practice Hinduism say that turmeric is sacred and holy. It is even a part of Hindu wedding traditions where a string dyed with turmeric paste is tied around the bride’s neck to symbolize and she is married and able to run a household. There are even some people who wear or carry turmeric with them to ward off evil spirits.
There are several practical uses for turmeric as well. The iconic yellow hue is often used to dye clothes and thread. Buddhist robes are great examples of this as they are usually dyed with this spice. There are even festivals, such as the Onam festival in Kerala, where children wear clothing dyed with turmeric for the duration of the ceremony.
Of course, turmeric is also used for cooking. It’s often used in curries and pickles, but it can also be used in drinks like turmeric chai. Spice blends containing turmeric often tout their nutritious benefits, such as encouragement of healthy digestion and increase of energy throughout the day.
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Turmeric, sometimes called Indian saffron or the golden spice, is a tall plant that grows in Asia and Central America. This yellow-gold spice has been used for cooking for thousands of years. But not only that it makes a good curry and dye, but it also has medicinal properties as well.
Curcumin is the active ingredient in turmeric, and it has powerful biological properties. Ayurvedic medicine, a traditional Indian system of treatment, recommends turmeric for a variety of health conditions. These include chronic pain and inflammation. Western medicine has begun to study turmeric as a pain reliever and a healing agent. The traditional Chinese medicine also uses turmeric to treat inflammatory conditions, skin diseases, wounds, digestive ailments, and liver conditions.
If you are looking to know more about turmeric, this article will tell you all you need to know.
Nutrition of turmeric
According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Nutrient Database, one tablespoon (tbsp) of turmeric powder contains:
That same 1-tbsp serving provides:
The Arthritis Foundation cites several studies in which turmeric has reduced inflammation.
This anti-inflammatory ability might reduce the aggravation that people with arthritis feel in their joints.
The anti-inflammatory effect of the plant is incredibly potent. The Arthritis Foundation has found in many studies that turmeric medicine can significantly reduce the pain and the inflammation in the patients with arthritis, making it an effective medicine to treat the condition. There are studies which suggest that turmeric might work as well as ibuprofen (Advil) when it comes to pain relief. AF recommends patients take turmeric capsules of 400 to 800 milligrams (mg) up to three times per day for inflammation relief.
Improving liver function
Turmeric is a natural antioxidant agent. It’s been proven to be effective at preventing liver damage and improving the overall functions of the liver. With more research, turmeric can be used to help those who have diabetes or is taking strong medications that could damage the liver.
Possibly reducing the risk of cancer
Curcumin shows promise as a cancer treatment. Studies suggest it has protective effects against pancreatic cancer, prostate cancer, and multiple myeloma.
Turmeric makes food tastes better, and it also helps with the digestion process as well.
Although it has always been used in Eastern traditional medicines, Western medicine has now begun to study how turmeric can help with gut inflammation and gut permeability, two measures of digestive efficiency.
Including turmeric in the diet
Turmeric is a highly versatile spice that can be added to meals in a range of ways, including:
You can also take turmeric as a supplement. The spice comes in capsules, fluids, extract and more. If you don’t like the taste or smell of turmeric, these alternatives might be what you need for your condition. These supplements are available online and should be in your consideration if you are interested in the mentioned benefits.