Turmeric is one miracle plant that belongs to us Indians, as 80% of the production of turmeric happens in our country. It is also known as Indian saffron. Turmeric is a wonderful home remedy for hell lot of ailments. This root is equally beneficial for skin as well as for body. So today we will discuss about the health benefits of turmeric in detail.
What Is Common Turmeric ?
Turmeric, also known by the scientific name Curcuma longa, is an ancient Indian spice, medicinal herb and food dye in the ginger family. Its root stalks, rhizomes are bright yellow or orange.
They are usually dried and grounded into powder, and are rich in curcuminoids, plant compounds that are responsible for turmeric’s characteristic colour.
Turmeric is an essential ingredient in Indian dishes, with its taste described as bitter and peppery. Nearly all of the world’s turmeric is grown and consumed in India. Turmeric is the spice that gives dishes its yellow colour. It has been used in India for thousands of years as a spice and medicinal herb.
what Is Curcumin?
Curcumin is the main active ingredient in turmeric. It has powerful anti-inflammatory effects and is a very strong antioxidant. However, the curcumin content of turmeric is not that high, it’s around 3%, by weight.
Types Of Turmeric
- Common Turmeric
- Wild turmeric
- White turmeric
Health Benefits Of Turmeric
Following are the few health benefits of turmeric
1. Prevents Cancer
Researchers have been studying curcumin as a beneficial herb in cancer treatment. There are low rates of certain types of cancer in countries where people eat curcumin at levels of about 100mg to 200mg a day over long periods of time.
Curcumin seems to kill cancer cells and prevent more from growing. It has the best effects on breast cancer, bowel cancer, stomach cancer and skin cancer cells. curcumin is not well absorbed in the blood but it is absorbed well into the colon lining, giving it an advantage against cancerous tissues in the colon.
It can help prevent prostate cancer because of its ability to interfere with the spread of cancer cells and inflammatory responses that are considered to be the precursors of cancer development. Curcumin also fights prostate cancer by reducing the expression of sex hormone receptors in the prostate gland.
It also plays role in prevention of cervical cancer, the leading cause of cancer death among women in developing nations. Curcumin’s anti-inflammatory property blocks the factors that induce human papilloma virus and activates cancer cell death within the uterine lining.
2. Boosts Memory
Turmeric is a wonderful antioxidant that makes your brain healthy, crossing the blood-brain barrier and protecting your brain cells from unwanted free radical molecule damages. Turmeric Increases blood Flow and memory. It improves the cognitive ability and attention span of healthy seniors.
Curcumin increases the level of brain derived neurotrophic factor, a protein that is responsible for development of nervous system and its activity is hampered in Alzheimer’s.
3. Detoxify Liver
Curcumin stimulates production of bile by the gall bladder. The liver uses bile to eliminate toxins. Bile also rejuvenates liver cells that breakdown harmful compounds. For this reason, turmeric has been used to treat digestion and liver disorders.
4. Good For Heart Health
Turmeric can also help to balance cholesterol levels. It prevents cholesterol oxidation, which can damage blood vessels. It is said to reduce blood clotting, increase circulation, and actually decrease high blood pressure.
Curcumin may help reverse many steps in the heart disease process. Perhaps the main benefit of curcumin when it comes to heart disease is that it improves the function of the endothelium, which is the lining of the blood vessels.
5. Anti Inflammatory
Turmeric’s anti-inflammatory properties have been instrumental in treating Arthritis. The antioxidant also destroys the free radicals in the body that damage the cells. Anybody suffering from this condition should consume the spice on a daily basis to relieve themselves of mild joint pains and inflammation.
6. Treats Mensural Issues
Curcumin reduces production of prostaglandins, hormone that play an important role in pain and inflammation. Its antioxidant property, prevents formation of reactive oxygen species which also play an important role in pain perception. It acts as a natural painkiller.
Another benefit of turmeric’s analgesic activity is that it does not cause gastric side effects like regular painkillers. Curcumin is a mild phytoestrogen- a plant source of estrogen. Despite of turmeric’s property of stimulating uterine bleeding, some have experienced a reduction in heavy flow on taking turmeric.
7. Aids Weight Loss
The turmeric constituent, curcumin can prevent fat accumulation in the adipose tissues. This can be useful in avoiding further weight gain in over-weight or obese people. Thus, this can be very helpful in managing weight.
Turmeric in diet can promote weight loss by its thermogenic action. An increased metabolic rate in the body burns the calories and stored form of energy and thus promotes weight loss.
8. Treats Depression
Curcumin has shown some promise in treating depression. There is also some evidence that curcumin can boost the brain neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine. It improves antioxidant defences and lowers oxidative stress (imbalance of prooxidant and antioxidant agents in the body) in depression.
It regulates the activity of every neurotransmitter in the brain in order to re-establish the balance of neurotransmitter levels and reduce depressive symptoms.
9. Treats Gastro Intestinal Issues
Research studies have shown turmeric can stimulate the gallbladder and release bile. This bile helps the body break down and digest food. It also plays an important role in absorbing fats and certain nutrients. Turmeric has been shown to calm the digestive system, helping to relieve gas and bloating.
How To Have Turmeric Effectively In Your Diet?
Turmeric can be included in diet in several ways. But following are few ways through which we can effectively use it
- Turmeric Milk
Turmeric milk is best to have when you have cold and cough. It gives instant relief. At the time of winter it is an excellent drink for kids to boost their immunity. Turmeric milk fastens the recovery from any injury. Most people drink haldi doodh after a physical trauma, sickness or surgery to speed up the healing.
- Turmeric And Pepper
Generally curcumin is poorly absorbed into the bloodstream. Black pepper contains piperine, a natural substance that enhances the absorption of curcumin.
By consuming pepper with turmeric regularly, you get double the antioxidant protection, helping you stay healthier and longer.
- Turmeric in Cooking
Add a pinch of turmeric while you cook to get bright colour to your dishes and also makes your food super healthy in all ways.
- Turmeric And Ginger
One of the common benefits of ginger and turmeric and reason enough to include them both in your diet, is their antioxidant content. Both have sulfuric compounds, phytochemicals, curcumin, and gingerol, as well as magnesium,potassium, calcium, iron, copper, and zinc.
- Turmeric And Honey
Both turmeric and honey have their individual uses and advantages, but when mixed, it is known as “Golden Honey,” this is the strongest natural antibiotic known to man. It has antibacterial and anti-viral functions that make it one of the best remedy to cure a cough and cold naturally.
Turmeric For Skin (wild turmeric)
Kasturi Manjal is also known as Cucuma aromatic or wild turmeric. Among the various turmeric varieties, wild turmeric is best for external applications. It also effectively treats the skin ailments such as eczema, acne and insect bites.
Unlike regular turmeric, does not stain in the skin and it is very fragrant. It contains curcumin but major of its proportion comprises of volatile oil. Camphene and camphor are also present in the oil which is why this herb has camphor like odor.
Health Benefits Of Wild Turmeric
Wild turmeric have its own health benefits. Following are few
- Wound Healing Property
Turmeric aids in healing in many ways. Firstly, it’s a natural anti-bacterial, and so helps in fighting bacteria that are found on the skin when you have a wound and prevent bacteria from entering the body via the wound opening.
Turmeric also helps in clotting of the blood, hence prevents the wound from bleeding further.
- Natural Mosquito Repellent
Turmeric provides protection from mosquitoes for at least eight hours, whereas DEET gives only six hours of protection.
- Natural Hair remover
Add some Kasturi Manjal Powder with cold raw milk and make a thick paste. You may also refrigerate the mix overnight provided that the amount of the milk added is more so that the paste doesn’t cake. Apply the paste to the affected areas in the direction of the hair growth. Let it dry then rinse it off.
You have to continue this application for long time to get visible results.
- Good For Oily Skin
Excess oil secretion on various sections of your face can lead to many skin issues like acne, blackheads, skin darkening and a lot more. Kasthuri Manjal is also known to control the oil balance of your skin.
- Act Against Acne And Pimples
Possesses antibacterial and anti-inflammation properties which are proven to fight against pimple-causing bacteria. This wild turmeric can help in cleaning your pores by extracting all the impurities from your skin pores.
- Protects Against Sun Damage
The antioxidant properties of the spice preserve your skin against the harmful UV rays of the sun and help your skin in rejuvenating. Turmeric is one amazing ingredient that not only removes suntan, but also brightens up your skin and fights dark spots.
- For fairer skin
With regard to skin whitening, curcumin effectively resolves hyperpigmentation as well as melanin production and thus lightens the skin.
How To Use It?
Wild turmeric can be used in different ways along with different ingredients to give good results. Wild turmeric powder can be mixed with
- Besan and yogurt
- Lemon juice and honey
- Tomato juice
- Rose water
Put any one of the above face pack. Wait for 15 minutes until it gets dry. Then slowly wipe it off using a wet cloth.
- Do not forget to patch test your skin before trying this incredible herb as it is not necessary that it may suit your skin type.
- It might cause a burning sensation
- Applying the paste of Kasthuri Manjal just before you go outside may leave behind a light yellow stain on your skin and may also stain your clothes.
Difference Between Common Turmeric And Wild Turmeric
- Common turmeric have an orange and yellow mixed colour while wild turmeric is of mild yellow colour.
- Curcumin content of common turmeric is 10 times that of wild turmeric.
- The antioxidant capacity of common Turmeric is higher than that of wild turmeric.
- Common turmeric have a pungent aroma unique to herb where as wild turmeric has a camphor aroma.
- Common turmeric has spicy warm taste while wild turmeric has a bitter taste.
White Turmeric (Curcuma zedoaria)
White Turmeric is often mistaken as ginger hence it is called white ginger too.Though white turmeric nowadays is rarely used anymore as a spice and often replaced by ginger, it is still used in Asian cuisines.
It has lighter flesh and its flavor is very similar to that of ginger, but with a bitterer after taste.The other name for white turmeric is manga inji (mango ginger) in malayalam, kachoora in hindi etc.
Health Benefits Of White Turmeric
White Turmeric is used traditionally for the treatment of menstrual disorders, dyspepsia, vomiting and for cancer. It has a wide range of chemical constituents that include tianin, starch, curcumin, essential oil, sugar, saponins, resins, flavonoids.
Side Effects Of Consuming More Turmeric
- Turmeric contains around 2% oxalate. At high doses, this may contribute to kidney stones in individuals.
- Additionally, not all commercial turmeric powders are pure. Few are adulterated with cheaper and potentially toxic ingredients not listed on the label.
- Few turmeric powder in market may also contain questionable food colorants, which are added to improve color when turmeric powders are diluted with flour.
- People may experience mild digestive issues such as bloating, acid reflux, flatulence and diarrhea at daily doses exceeding 1,000 mg.
Due to its high medicinal value, curcumin is used in the pharmaceutical industry. So curcumin is extracted from turmeric for this purpose.
Most of the turmeric powder available in the market are with out curcumin which is of no use. So always go for organic turmeric to get its benefits to the fullest.
Turmeric is the most powerful herb on the planet. There are several health benefits of turmeric. This herb is also a wonderful source of fiber, potassium, vitamin B6, magnesium, and vitamin C. Due to all these factors, turmeric is often used to treat a wide variety of health problems.
Try this amazing herb, feel its goodness and let us know about your feed back through comments below