Turmeric is an aged old spice that is the first cousin to the ginger plant. And it comes complete with some great health benefits!
Even though turmeric might not immediately roll off the tongue like cinnamon or garlic, it has been used for thousands of years throughout Africa, India, and southern Asia. It is well-known and used by top chefs around the world for its pungent taste that is complemented when combined with other seasonings like its cousin.
It is also known as “curcumin” because it is largely made up of this substance for healing inflammation. Turmeric has a long history in its ability to dye clothing, improve the flavor of food, related to certain religious ceremonies, and to dye the skin.
Many of its historic uses are commonly used today around the world. Marco Polo has been credited with introducing this spice to the world.
To dye for…
As a dye, turmeric can permanently change the color of light clothing. If you see a pictorial of ancient tribal clothing and ceremonial skin coloring from Egypt, Africa, or Asia, you are likely seeing the dyed effect of turmeric.
Another benefit is the use of turmeric as a medicinal product. This multi-faceted spice is now resurfacing as a health, nutrition, and beauty product. In addition to its colorful appearance, turmeric is imbued naturally with anti-inflammatory chemicals.
The health benefits of turmeric
When taken as a capsule for varied purposes, there are no toxic side effects, even if you have a sensitive system. Research has proven that turmeric helps to protect the body’s cellular system.
There is ongoing research that shows its healing properties help to destroy harmful cancer cells and lowers cholesterol. Proven tests show that it has a positive effect on improving the way that our digestive system works, like in the kidneys, bladder, and liver.
In addition to the benefits mentioned above, turmeric further aids in relieving arthritic pain. It encourages the body (adrenal glands) to produce more cortisone when the body is experiencing different types of pain.
Its anti-inflammatory properties have been used to reduce pain associated with colitis, irritable bowel syndrome, ulcers, and certain inflammations that can occur after an operation.
There is a myriad of popular bonuses in using turmeric including little known health benefits of turmeric.
Here are 5 interesting uses for turmeric:
1. Anti-Inflammatory Benefits
Modern research has continued the age-old use of turmeric, not just to dye the skin, but to heal the skin. This beneficial orange spice is being used to help individuals who suffer from psoriasis and severe acne.
In addition, its antibacterial chemicals and anti-inflammatory enzymes have proven to lessen the appearance of stretch marks, help in exfoliating and cleansing the skin, as well as benefiting the overall use in creating a clearer complexion. Turmeric is showing great promise in healing sunburns, skin cancer, reducing fine lines, lessening hyperpigmentation, and improving wrinkles.
2. Great for Skin
The cosmetic industry is delighted to use turmeric in its line of beautifying products. Turmeric is known by the cosmetic industry as having properties that are beneficial to the skin. Its original root environment and in its powdered form, this amazing spice is an ongoing study in the many ways that it can benefit mankind.
Women around the globe have been using this seasoning as part of their skin regiment for years, ever since Cleopatra. Turmeric is friendly to both the skin and the hair.
When combined with other natural ingredients, turmeric is being used in shampoos, facial masks, scrubs, lip balms, lotions, conditioners for the hair, and soaps. The FDA has given the cosmetic industry its seal of approval in the release of cosmetic products containing turmeric.
3. May Help those with Alzheimers
Alzheimer’s is a degenerative mental disease that does not presently have a cure. Its symptoms can be slowed with new medications that are proven to be effective. The World Health Organization reports that men and women over the age of 60 are affected by this dementia type condition worldwide.
Interestingly, the country of India whose diet mainly consists of turmeric inspired curry dishes, has a lower incidence of Alzheimer’s. Many Indians are living into their 80’s before they show any sign of mental deterioration. Without getting too technical, it appears that turmeric with its anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin may be the reason.
Since Alzheimer’s is connected to the nerve cells in the brain, turmeric has a direct effect on the toxic plaque that is associated with the cells affected with dementia. This amazing spice is also associated with improving memory functions.
For this reason, it is a research product that is given serious consideration in neurological damage caused by Huntington’s and Parkinson’s disease. Turmeric is encouraged to be taken in various forms to help as we mentally age. It binds to excess metals introduced into the body like zinc, iron, and copper that has a neurotoxic effect on the brain.
4. Great for Oral Health
As an anti-inflammatory mouthwash and gel, turmeric is being recommended in treating gingivitis, plaque, gum bleeding, oral lichen planus (oral inflammation), and periodontitis. Due to curcumin as a major anti-inflammatory component of turmeric, it has tested to be an effective natural ingredient to treat various oral health conditions.
Turmeric outperformed traditional steroid and non-steroidal drugs used to treat oral health problems. It can be used in the following forms: tea, powder, oil, capsule/tablet, toothpaste, and ointment. With the knowledge of a physician, turmeric is a natural agent that supports the teeth and gums.
So you can see there are quite considerable health benefits of turmeric and perhaps you can now work it into your diet!
By Dr. Amanda Richardson
Healing Hands Chiropractic