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Turmeric is a widely-used culinary ingredient in the Indian subcontinent. It is not only used as a base ingredient to flavour the curries and other veggie preparations, but this wonder spice has been in use for a long time in Ayurveda for its medicinal properties. Turmeric can aptly be called as a magic herb as it possesses the qualities of curing and preventing various kinds of health ailments. Want to know more about turmeric? Read on to know some of the amazing benefits of turmeric, the golden spice of Asia!
Nutritional Profile of Turmeric
Scientifically known as Curcuma longa, turmeric is a root of the plant and belongs to the same family as ginger. This magical herb is used in its raw and as well as dried forms. The dried powdered form is, however, the most preferred form. This herb adds a distinctive flavour and colour to any dish, and thus it is mostly used in culinary dishes for these properties. Turmeric is a boon for our overall health and as it possesses loads of nutrients in it. The following table shows some of the nutrients present in this wondrous herb:
|Total Omega 3 fatty acids||31 mg|
|Vitamin C||1.5 mg|
|Vitamin E||0.3 mg|
|Vitamin K||0.8 mcg|
Benefits of Turmeric for Health
Turmeric can keep you healthy by improving your overall health. Let us now discuss how you can benefit your health by consuming turmeric:
1. Works as a Great Antioxidant
Our body piles on toxins on a regular basis, which usually results in health complications. Consuming turmeric helps in scavenging the free radicals from the body and thus making the body toxin-free. Turmeric oil and powder, both work well in getting rid of toxins from the body. In different studies conducted, it has been proved that the use of this herb has beneficial effects in enhancing memory and preventing diabetes too.
2. Helpful in Preventing Heart Diseases
Consumption of turmeric on a regular basis is effective in keeping the heart healthy. This happens due to the anti-oxidant properties present in this herb. From time immemorial, this herb has been used in Ayurveda for the treatment of chest ache and pains. According to some studies, this ayurvedic medicine has also been proved to reduce obesity and bad cholesterol from the body and thus improving overall heart health.
3. Helps in Reducing Inflammation
The presence of curcumin, a chemical compound in turmeric, is helpful in reducing inflammation in the body. The regular intake of this spice in your food or otherwise can help in reducing the inflammation of the joints. This herb acts as a natural painkiller and unlike other painkiller medicines; it is not harmful to your kidney or liver.
4. Helpful in Improving Brain Health
The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties present in turmeric are helpful in improving brain health. Where curcumin helps in cell regeneration in the brains, another bioactive compound known as aromatic-turmerone helps in increasing the neural stem cell growth by approximately 80 per cent.
5. Helpful in Enhancing Immunity
Low immunity affects our health and makes us more susceptible to infections and diseases. However, taking turmeric on a daily basis may prove to be helpful in keeping the immunity intact and thus helping the body to fight against various disease-causing bacteria and viruses. This happens due to the presence of antiviral, antibacterial and anti-fungal properties present in turmeric.
6. Helpful in Aiding Digestion
Digestion related issues can take a toll on the overall health of a person. Get turmeric to your rescue and include it in its raw form. Raw turmeric has immense health benefits, and in this case, it will help in stimulating the gallbladder in producing bile and thereby making the digestion process smoother. It also helps in keeping any gas, bloating or other tummy troubles at bay.
7. Helpful in Keeping the Liver Healthy
The benefits of turmeric are instrumental in keeping the liver healthy. Turmeric is effective in increasing the production of vital enzymes, which are helpful in detoxifying the blood and thus help in reducing toxins from the body. Consumption of turmeric also helps in improving the blood circulation, which is important for keeping the liver healthy and perform its functions properly.
8. Helpful in Prevention of Cancer
Turmeric contains curcumin, which is also helpful in the prevention of numerous kinds of cancers and tumours. This substance not only helps in prevention of cancer but it also suppresses the initiation, progression and even metastasis of different kinds of tumours and cancers. According to various studies, including approximately 100 to 200 milligrams of turmeric may help in lowering the occurrence of cancer.
9. Helpful in the Treatment of Diabetes
Diabetes is affecting more people than it earlier uses to, thus making it one of the most dreaded diseases. Curcumin has been said to have beneficial effects in regularising the blood glucose levels, thereby reducing the chances of developing diabetes. Diabetes may affect the liver functions too; however, turmeric is also beneficial in treating liver disorders that occur due to diabetes.
10. Helpful in Delaying Ageing
If you wish to look younger than your age, turmeric may prove to be helpful! Turmeric has shown effective results in dealing with free radical damage and thus improving the skin texture and complexion by reducing the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.
11. Helpful in Improving Metabolism and Aiding Weight Loss
Obesity is one of the major issues that most youngsters are facing today. Obesity itself is a problem, and it also causes various other health complications. Turmeric helps in reducing excessive body weight by controlling the cholesterol and blood sugar levels in the body. Consuming turmeric also produces ample body heat, which is helpful in enhancing metabolism and helping in fighting obesity.
12. Helpful in Reducing Menstrual Pain
Women who suffer from menstrual pain understand how annoying and uncomfortable it is to go through it. However, consumption of turmeric has been found effective in not only dealing with the period related pain, but it is also effective in dealing with other premenstrual symptoms that women may experience during that time of the month.
13. Works as an Effective Antiseptic
Curcumin has been said to inhibit the activities of approximately 8 kinds of bacteria that may affect our body. This makes turmeric ideal for fighting against various kinds of bacterial infections such as E.coli, Salmonella typhi or Staphylococcus aureus. In Ayurveda also, turmeric has been used extensively to cure bruises, wounds and even for curing dental pains and aches.
14. Helpful as a Natural Painkiller
Because of its anti-inflammatory property, turmeric works wonder in reducing pain and aches in the body. It is also effective in improving the circulation of blood in the body, which in turns proves to be effective in reducing or eliminating the pain. The advantage of turmeric milk for the treatment of body and pains is immense.
Benefits of Turmeric for Skin
Want to look pretty, desire a freckle-free skin or want your skin to have a healthy shine and glow? Think of turmeric if you want all these and more benefits for your skin! Let us now discuss various benefits of this miraculous herb for your skin:
1. For Brightening the Skin
Turmeric offers natural brightening properties for the skin. The powerful compound curcumin is what helps your skin to have that wow glow and radiance. This is because it is loaded with anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties. The skin brightening properties of turmeric makes it ones of the most-loved natural remedy in Indian households. Curcumin also helps in rejuvenating dull and lifeless skin and also good for improving skin complexion.
2. For Fighting Off Acne
Acne can spoil the beauty of your face, and if you are looking for natural ways of dealing with the acne problem, turmeric is something that may help! The natural antibacterial and antiseptic characteristics of this herb can give you the benefits of turmeric for acne. This herb not only helps in dealing with the acne-causing bacteria but it also helps in reducing the acne from spreading further. Use of turmeric also aids the healing process of the acne, and it also helps in clearing blemishes. You can use turmeric in your homemade face pack to fight pimples.
3. For Lightening Acne Scars
Equally annoying like acne, acne scars can make the skin look uneven, dull and dark. Use of turmeric has amazing effects in treating acne scars. If you are eager on choosing natural products to reduce the acne spots and scars, opt for turmeric. The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties help in reducing the excess production of melanin, which in turn helps in lightening the scars and make the skin texture more even.
4. For the Treatment of Psoriasis
Turmeric is helpful in obstructing the enzymes responsible for spreading psoriasis. You can make a paste using turmeric and water. Applying this paste on the psoriasis lesions help in reducing the inflammation and also help in healing and calming the irritated skin. The associated redness and blemishes with the condition also subside with the regular use of turmeric.
5. For Getting Rid of Dark Circles
If you have under-eye bags, dull, dark or tired skin under your eyes, you may use turmeric to help you deal with your under-eye woes. The lightening and anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric may help in improving the area around your eyes and thus improving the skin texture. The use of turmeric helps in improving the blood circulation around the eye area, which in turn reduces the puffiness and dark circles.
6. For Reducing the Appearance of Stretch Marks
Stretch marks can scar the skin for life, and there is no permanent cure to get rid of these annoying lines on your skin. However, several treatment options may reduce the appearance of these lines and one of the natural ways of dimming your marks is by using turmeric. The antioxidant properties of this herb easily penetrate the skin to heal the marks. It also helps in preventing stretch marks.
7. For Getting Rid of Skin Dryness
Rough and dry skin becomes an eye-sore. It is important that you provide deep nourishment to your skin to avoid any dryness and dullness. Using turmeric helps in deeply hydrating the skin and helping the skin get rid of its dead skin cells. The use of this herb is not only helpful in revitalising the skin, but it also assists in keeping the skin healthy, soft and supple. You may either apply the herb topically or consume it in your food to reap the benefits for healthy skin.
8. For Soothing Burns
Skin burns are quite common, and there are many over-the-counter ointments available to help soothe the burn. However, turmeric, which is readily available in your kitchen, also helps in soothing the burns. The antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric not only helps in healing the burns but it also helps in reducing the swelling and other associated discomfort. The burn wound heals faster, and there may be no scarring too.
9. For Removing Skin Pigmentation
Small spots or pigmentation marks may appear on the skin because of several reasons. Turmeric helps in reducing the appearance of these pigmentation marks from the skin. The lightening properties of the herb are effective in reducing the skin pigmentation and also hamper it from spreading. Turmeric is also useful for removing skin tan. A cream, which has turmeric extracts, can be used at night for improving the skin complexion.
Hair Benefits of Turmeric
Battling with common hair troubles? Well, turmeric may prove to be helpful in dealing with hair-related issues too. Listed below are the benefits of turmeric for your hair:
1. For Treating Dandruff
Dandruff can make your scalp rough, dry and itchy. The snowy flakes add to the misery too. Turmeric works like magic in treating dandruff because of its various healing qualities. To improve your scalp health, you may make a paste by adding equal parts of turmeric powder and olive oil. Apply this mixture on your scalp for twenty minutes and then wash your scalp with tepid water.
2. For Preventing Hair Loss
Curcumin has been proved to have properties that help in preventing hair loss. This happens because curcumin hampers the overproduction of DTH or dihydrotestosterone, a hormone that is majorly responsible for the hair loss. However, there are not many scientific proof or evidence available that support the use of turmeric for promoting hair growth, but there are also no studies available that support any harmful effect of turmeric on hair growth. Therefore, you may give it a try.
Other Uses of Turmeric
Interested in knowing the versatile uses of this natural herb? Here are some ways to use this magical herb:
- If you’re thinking of giving your regular sandwiches a tart twist, you may add some chopped turmeric roots for that extra zing.
- Mix some turmeric powder with castor oil and use this mixture to get rid of your pimples or acne.
- Give a healthy twist to your regular smoothie by adding a piece of freshly minced turmeric root.
- You can add colour and a tasty punch to your regular soup recipes by adding turmeric to them.
- Turmeric can be used for favouring lentils, green vegetables and even for adding flavours to the fruits.
- You can sauté some green vegetables in turmeric and add some rice to it, to make yummy fried rice.
- Add a little flavour to your regular salad dressing by adding some freshly-cut turmeric roots.
- You can eat the turmeric root in its raw form. Ensure you wash off all the dirt and grime.
Delicious Turmeric Recipes
Thinking of incorporating this wonder herb into your diet? Here are some simple and yummy recipes that you can learn to add a healthy punch to your day to day diet.
1. Delicious Turmeric Tea
Make this yummy and nutritious tea a part of your daily diet and avail umpteen health benefits of turmeric tea.
What You Need
- Water – 4 cups
- Honey- 1 tablespoon
- Turmeric powder – 1 teaspoon
- Lemon juice – optional
- Grated ginger – optional
- Heat water in a heavy pan and bring it to boil.
- Once the water starts boiling, add turmeric powder and let it boil for 15 to 20 minutes on a low flame.
- Once done, take the mixture off the heat and strain.
- You can add honey, lemon juice and grated ginger to the tea to make it more palatable.
2. Turmeric Smoothie with Carrot and Ginger
This sumptuous smoothie recipe is super easy to make and is good for adding an extra punch to your daily diet.
What You Need
- Pineapple – 1 cup diced
- Banana – 1 peeled and diced
- Carrot juice- ½ cup
- Ginger- ½ tablespoon (peeled and grated)
- Almond milk- ½ cup, unsweetened
- Lemon juice- 1 tablespoon
- Ground turmeric – ¼ teaspoon
- ( For carrot juice take 2 cups grated carrots and 1 ½ cups water)
- Firstly take the grated carrots and water and blend them in the mixture for a few minutes. Once done, strain and keep the juice aside.
- Add pineapple, banana, almond milk, grated ginger, lemon juice, carrot juice and turmeric powder in a blender jar and churn them into a smooth paste-like consistency.
- Add more carrot juice or almond milk if the desired consistency is not achieved.
- You may adjust the flavours and taste by adding any of the ingredients mentioned above.
- You may add some ice, and your healthy smoothie is ready to be sipped!
Turmeric is one of the safest herbs and can be used without worrying about the side-effects. However, it is always ideal to know what harm it can cause to you if consumed in more than required amounts or under certain circumstances. Here are some frequently asked questions about turmeric:
1. Does Turmeric Have Any Side Effects?
Well, as discussed above, turmeric is very safe for consumption, and it is widely used not only in the Indian subcontinent but also in several other parts of the world for its pungent taste and vibrant colour. However, there are certain exceptions associated with its consumption, such as:
- It may not be advised to consume turmeric if you are suffering from any kidney related issues. If you would like to include it in your diet, talk to your doctor about the same.
- Turmeric may slow down clotting of the blood and thus may increase the chances of excessive bleeding. If you have a surgery scheduled, you should stop taking turmeric at least two to three weeks before your surgery.
- Taking large amounts of turmeric may upset the stomach and cause gas and bloating.
- Turmeric works well in reducing the blood sugar levels in the body. However, people who may are already on diabetes medication may experience a further decrease in their blood sugar levels.
- If you have symptoms of iron deficiency, turmeric should be consumed with absolute discretion because it can hamper the absorption of iron in the body.
These are some of the side-effects that you should consider before consuming turmeric.
2. What are Turmeric Supplements?
If you are not consuming enough turmeric or you are not getting ample curcumin from your diet, you may opt for turmeric supplements too. These supplements, like most supplements, are available in the form of capsules. As every person has different needs, you may take the required dosage after consulting your healthcare practitioner. The benefits of turmeric powder and capsules are same, and you may consume it in any form you like.
3. How Much Turmeric Can you Consume in a Day?
You can derive the benefits of turmeric in water, benefits of turmeric milk at night or in various other forms. However, how much turmeric should you consume of regular basis? Here’s how much turmeric you can consume in various forms, on a daily basis:
- Approximately 1200 to 1800 milligrams of turmeric powder.
- Roughly 2 to 2.5 grams of dried root.
- About a ½ ounce of dried root in 4 and ½ ounces of boiling water, two times a day as turmeric tea.
4. Is Turmeric Safe During Pregnancy?
If you are pregnant, you may need to monitor your turmeric intake. Turmeric should not be included in large amounts during pregnancy. This is because large amounts of turmeric may stimulate the uterus and even cause menstrual bleeding. Both these situations can cause a miscarriage.
5. Can Turmeric Cause Infertility in Men?
If you and your partner plan on having a baby, cut down on any medicinal amounts of turmeric that you may be consuming. Consumption of large quantities of turmeric may not only affect the sperm mobility, but it may also lower your testosterone levels. Therefore, if you are trying to conceive, consume turmeric with caution.
Do not worry about taking too much turmeric. If you are taking turmeric in reasonable amounts in your daily meals, you can never go overboard. Also, if you need to substitute this herb in your diet, you can try saffron or ginger instead and avail similar health or culinary benefits. Turmeric has numerous health benefits and taking it regularly can do wonders for you.