Turmeric, a yellowish-orange colored spice imported from India, is part of the ginger family and has been a staple in Middle Eastern and Southeast Asian cooking for thousands of years.
Originating from the same family as ginger, the most active element in turmeric is curcumin and is where most of this golden spice gets its long list of healing properties.
Turmeric has, however, become a staple spice and food ingredient in every home. It is also a major ingredient in curry powder. Capsules, teas, powders, and extracts are some of the turmeric products available commercially.
Curious to know what exactly are the health benefits of turmeric, check out 10 of them below.
1. A healthy spice to your food.
Add this healthy spice to anything, (besides sweets of course), for a new flavor and a dozen health benefits. You can use turmeric to add some new flavor to cooked vegetables, eggs, and to steam your meat. You can also add it to boiling water when making pasta, rice, soups, and more. One more way to use turmeric is to add it to your pap (Akamu), it not only gives it a great colour, but it also aids your metabolism.
Turmeric is widely used in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine to help with various bodily issues, including digestion and gas. And, it appears there is some science to back it up. A study found that turmeric reduced bloating and gas symptoms in subjects suffering from indigestion.
Boil four cups of water and add one teaspoon of ground turmeric. Reduce to a simmer for 10 minutes and afterward, strain the tea through a good sieve into a cup, add honey and/or lemon to your taste. Trust me, nothing cleanses the stomach like turmeric.
3. Disinfectant for wound and cuts
Turmeric is a natural antiseptic and antibacterial agent, useful in disinfecting cuts and burns. Have a wound that is causing you discomfort, take a teaspoon of turmeric, dissolve it into the water and using a swab of cotton wool, gently clean your way around the cut or burn.
4.Acts as an anti-inflammatory agent
“Turmeric’s biggest claim to fame is that it’s super anti-inflammatory,”. Chronic inflammation has been shown to cause diseases including cancer, arthritis, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and more. One study done on curcumin found it had significant anti-inflammatory properties, powerful enough to match the effectiveness of some anti-inflammatory drugs.
5. Detoxifies the Body
The body naturally gets rid of waste, mostly with the help of the liver. But some experts feel you can help the process. Turmeric helps support our organ’s natural detoxification systems by thinning the bile. This allows the bile to flow more freely through the intestines and eliminate it from the body.”
6. Prevents Alzheimer Disease
Turmeric may prevent and slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease by removing amyloid plaque buildup in the brain. For this, all you need to do is include turmeric in your diet and it would do a whole lot of good.
7. Aids in the reduction of body fat
Infusing turmeric into your diet would not only aid fat metabolism but help in weight management. Whether as a tea, as a spice or as a supplement, turmeric is great.
8. Cure for Acne
For best use, take 1/2 spoon of turmeric powder, add a drop or two of water, mix it together and afterward add a drop of lemon or honey. Apply it as a face mask for at least 20 minutes. Please be careful as you apply as turmeric has been known to stain a lot.
Turmeric has several anti-bacterial, anti-microbial, anti-aging properties which makes it a good face mask ingredient. They are also very active in reducing the visibility of scars.
9. Lower Risk of Heart Disease
Turmeric may help reverse many steps in the heart disease process. Perhaps the main benefit of curcumin when it comes to heart disease is improving the function of the endothelium, which is the lining of your blood vessels.
10.Protects Against Cancer
Some studies are showing promising results for turmeric and cancer. In one clinical trial, 25 patients with precancerous cells in various organs were treated with curcumin.The researchers suggest that it may stop the precancerous cells from growing into cancer. Another small study from 2008 suggests that curcumin, when taken at high levels, may help fight against pancreatic cancer cells. More research is needed on whether turmeric can treat or prevent cancer.