A native traditional herb to Asia and India is turmeric. It is also known as curcuma longa, with maximum healing properties and other great uses. The dry root of this herb makes a yellow spice which tastes great when added to any dish. It is also added in order to kill the bacteria and to eliminate bad smell. Turmeric is widely used in China for the Traditional Chinese Medicine. This acts as an anti-inflammatory agent to treat different kinds of diseases and health problems, especially menstrual problems and digestive difficulties. In India people use turmeric to treat infections, wounds and other disorders. Hence turmeric gets the name ‘Holy Powder’.
Now turmeric is making its way to different countries. According to researches in Western countries, one of the main constituents of turmeric is called curcumin which has healing properties.
How Does Turmeric Work?
If you are wondering how turmeric works, here is a short procedure laid out for you. This will help you understand its mechanisms and how it works inside your body when you consume it. According to the researchers, turmeric uses the following procedure to heal the body naturally and to protect and shape the cells simultaneously.
The molecules of curcumin inject themselves into the cell membrane giving them a proper structure and completeness.
This makes the cell resistant to malignancy and infection.
It also becomes more disciplined and stabilized and thus information passing through it also becomes orderly and patterned.
Turmeric is extremely effective due to curcumin, as it holds these powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. In the recent times, after researching and experimenting, scientists have found curcumin to be the best aid for treating or preventing many inflammatory diseases. Psoriasis, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, rheumatoid arthritis and many more can be treated by this.
Curcumin helped people to relieve pain and stiffness in the body. A 3 month trial was conducted in Italy, to check the effectiveness of curcumin on patients with osteoarthritis. After 90 days, it was found that there was a major decrease in the overall pain, stiffness and a massive improvement in physical functioning. The patients emotional well-being was also greater. Curcumin reduces the inflammation either on the skin or inside the body. If used regularly it does bring about a great change in your life.
Curcumin is effective to prevent heart diseases, as turmeric has antioxidant, antiplatelet and cholestrol-lowering agents. These are all beneficial for the prevention and treatment of heart diseases. Thus turmeric helps to prevent heart diseases and also acts as an aid.
Curcumin can be used to treat gastrointestinal disease, as it consists of anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anticancer agents that help to cure inflammatory bowel diseases, gastrointestinal cancers and hepatic fibrosis. It is very good for improving the intestinal functioning.
All the agents including the antiviral and antifungal agents present in turmeric, make it an effective medicine to prevent and treat cancer. These elements also improve the cell and immune system functions, which are the most important factors for the prevention and treatment.
Curcumin has proved to be very effective to cure diabetes as well. By using curcumin everyday, one can notice improvements in the blood-sugar levels of the body. This is a great solution for the prevention of type 2 Diabetes. In 2012, few pre-diabetic subjects where given curcumin supplementation for 9 months and there was a huge change in their blood sugar levels.
Curcumin also has an impact on the cells, which will prevent you from obesity in relation to chronic diseases, especially diabetes. Thus diabetes can be prevented and so can obesity with the use of curcumin. Because it is low in cost and it is very safe to use, doctors suggest to add curcumin to a healthy diet.
Turmeric is used for curing and preventing many diseases, but it also holds detoxification enzymes. Our body grows weak and unhealthy by the toxins present in it. Studies showed that curcumin increases the detoxification enzymes in the liver which increase the bile flow, this helps in breaking down toxins and digesting fats. Thus curcumin, which is present in turmeric helps in the proper functioning of the liver.
The Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia. There is no discovered cure for the disease, yet. This disease worsens as it progresses and leads to death, gradually. Usually this disease is diagnosed in people who are over 65 years of age. However the early-onset Alzheimer’s can be diagnosed earlier in life. Curcumin also helps to prevent this terrible disease, giving a peaceful old age to the elderly. Studies have shown that only 1% of Indian elders are infected with this condition. This is because all Indians use turmeric in their cooking.
Other Discovered Uses:
Curcumin is also useful for the proliferation of tumor cells, destroying mutated cancer cells, increasing proteins which cut down tumor formation and prevent excess blood supply that helps in growth of cancer cells. It also plays a vital role in curing gallstones, inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn’s Disease, muscle regeneration and Cystic Fibrosis.
Making it a regularly dietary substances will get you all these benefits. You can use it as a regular spice in your dishes. In case you don’t use turmeric in your food, try to do so. You won’t be losing anything.
It has a peppery texture with a bitter flavor. You can increase its absorption by using black pepper along with it. It tastes great with stir fries, juices, salads, vegetables and marinades. Some of the dishes you can use it in are:
Egg salad, looks brighter and tastes great with the addition of turmeric.
It brings a burst of color and a warming flavor to your salad dressings.
Pumpkin and cauliflower are a great combination to which you can add turmeric. You can also saute all your vegetables together by using little bit of turmeric.
It is absolutely delicious with any rice dish
Adding turmeric to non-veg dishes will remove the smell and kill bacteria.
Consuming one teaspoon of turmeric powder everyday will help you gain all the herbal benefits. This will help you eliminate the toxins and reduce the blood sugar levels. It is hard to directly consume turmeric, so you need to mix in milk. Turmeric does not dissolve properly in water so it is advisable to use milk or cream, which ever you are comfortable with. The fats in these food will make the curcumin active and available for the body. Try to heat the milk or cream, just a little so that it dissolves well, boiling will remove the effectiveness of curcumin. You can drink this mixture 3 times everyday to see the best results.
Home Remedies of Turmeric
Here are a few tips which will help you use turmeric in your daily life. It is beneficial for both the internal and external body. Try to use some of these techniques.
Some people have skin pigmentation, some areas of the skin are lighter or darker than the whole body. This is a health condition which can be cured by the application of turmeric. Apply this simple paste and notice the major difference.
1 teaspoon Turmeric powder
2 table spoons lemon juice / cucumber juice
Mix the powder and juice together and apply it on the affected area. Leave it on for at least 15 minutes and wash it off. Do this everyday in order to regain your color.
Strong Bones and Reducing fat:
This is especially for people with weak bones or calcium deficiency. If you have ever faced a problem with your bones, you would know the pain. Try this for strengthening your bones. Add Turmeric to warm milk, and drink it before going to sleep at night. This will help in curing ailments and also reduces the risk of osteoporosis. It reduces fats, purifies blood and also helps in better blood circulation.
If you have a wound on your body, sprinkle a little bit of turmeric on it along with some honey which is optional. The anti-bacterial action will help remove the bacteria and heal the wound faster than usual, preventing you from wound infection.
In order to get rid of the dry skin on your body and make it moisturized, you need to apply the following paste:
1/2 tbsp Milk cream
1 tbsp Gram flour
1/2 tsp turmeric
Mix all these ingredients together and apply the paste to your face for glowing skin. You need to scrub the paste into your skin thoroughly, which will help to remove blackheads. You will also see reduced marks on your skin, by applying it everyday.
Also try a mixture made from 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder, 1/2 table spoon almond oil and 1 tsp of honey. Apply it on the skin and leave it for about 15 minutes, it will cleanse and nourish the skin.
Turmeric helps to remove the cysts in the body. Apply turmeric paste made with just a few drops of water and a teaspoon of turmeric powder on the cyst. It will vanish in a month’s time, do try it!
To prevent the visible stretch marks, especially after pregnancy, apply this paste on the affected area.
1 tsp Turmeric
2 tbsps curd (yoghurt)
Make a paste from 1 tea spoon of Turmeric powder and 2 table spoons of curd. Apply it to the affected areas, just 15 minutes before taking a bath. Wash it off and repeat the same procedure everyday till your skin clears up.
To get rid of all the dental problems, you need to mix one teaspoon of Turmeric with 1/2 a teaspoon of Salt. Add Mustard Oil to create a paste. Rub your gums and teeth with this mixture twice daily until you are relieved from the problem.
For prevention from diabetes you need to consume 1/2 teaspoon of Turmeric thrice per day.
If you have this problem , you need to consume 1/2 teaspoon of Turmeric powder with 1/2 cup of Yoghurt, thrice times per day.
To relieve yourself from any kind of pain or swelling try this simple tip. Mix one teaspoon of Turmeric powder and 2 teaspoons of Ginger in water to make a thick paste. Place this paste on a cloth and bandaged the wound, it will relieve you from the pain. You should also drink a cup of warm milk with 1 teaspoon of turmeric, just before bed.
To get rid of your joint pain, you need to follow this procedure.
1/8 tsp Turmeric
3 Cardamom Pods
1/4 cup Water
1 cup milk
1 tbsp Almond oil
Put turmeric and cardamom pods in the water and simmer for 5-7 minutes and add 1 cup of Milk, 2 tablespoons Almond Oil and bring them to a boiling point, don’t boil. Sip slowly as if you are drinking hot tea.
Take a dose of 1 teaspoon of Turmeric juice mixed with 1 tsp of Honey.
Boil a cup of milk and add 1 teaspoon Turmeric powder to it and drink warm.
Mix a teaspoon of Turmeric and Aloe Vera gel together, apply this mixture to the burnt area.
Mix a tablespoon of crushed raw Turmeric in 1/3 cup of water. Boil it and extract the juice. Put 2 to 3 drops of this juice in each eye, do this 3 times per day.
Turmeric is also useful to relieve you from fatigue, allergies, hay fever, itching, respiratory problems and many other problems. You can also use turmeric in capsule or oil form, however be sure that they do not have too much of chemical preservatives. Excessive consumption of turmeric is not safe as it may cause constipation, perspiration, stomach upset, increased heart beats or thinning of blood. Anything in excessive amounts can be dangerous, so try to avoid this and follow the exact amount mentioned in all the remedies.
Avoiding the consumption of turmeric while pregnant or breast-feeding is very important. Consume the right amount of turmeric and treat yourself with a healthy body and happy self. I hope you will start using turmeric in your daily life in order to prevent yourself from the mentioned diseases and conditions. Take care of yourself!
Deblina Biswas is a professional content writer at TheFitIndian.com. She has done her masters in English and has done her graduation from Banaras Hindu University. She has a penchant for writing on health, beauty and fashion.