Ingredient of the Month: Turmeric
Native to southwest India, the turmeric plant is a member of the ginger family. It’s deep-orange, fleshy roots are either used fresh, or boiled and dried and ground into powder. Turmeric is most commonly used as the quintessential spice in Indian cuisine, or is used for dyeing fabrics. In Ayurvedic medicine, it has been used for thousands of years as a remedy for disorders of the skin, liver and digestive system, as well as for treating wounds and joint pain.
Turmeric’s healing properties are attributed to the compound curcumin, and has been the focus more than 6,000 peer-reviewed research articles that demonstrate it’s efficacy as a healing agent. In these studies, the benefits of curcumin has been compared to conventional medicine and has come out either equal to, or more effective than pharmaceutical drugs.
Here are some of the health benefits of adding turmeric to your daily wellness regime:
Numerous studies has shown that turmeric has powerful anti-inflammatory properties and can be used as a natural treatment for arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis
Research has shown that curcumin, turmeric’s active compound, works as well as, or better than many anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin or ibuprofen, but without the side effects
Turmeric is a natural antiseptic and antibacterial agent, useful in disinfecting cuts and burns
Curcumin’s anti-inflammatory abilities are useful for relieving symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease, such as Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis
It may prevent melanoma and cause existing melanoma cells to commit suicide
It has been shown that turmeric may prevent and slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease by removing amyloyd plaque buildup in the brain
Turmeric is a natural liver detoxifier
When eaten with cauliflower, turmeric has been shown to prevent prostate cancer and stop the growth of existing prostate cancer
It has long been used in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine for treating depression
Turmeric is thought to aid in fat metabolism and help weight management
Turmeric is a natural painkiller and cox-2 inhibitor
It can be used to treat psoriasis and other inflammatory skin conditions
Turmeric speeds up wound healing and assists in the remodeling of damaged skin
According to preliminary experimental research, it is believed that turmeric delays liver damage that would normally lead to cirrhosis
Here are some ways to use turmeric:
Turmeric can be added to many dishes, adding flavor as well as a wealth of health benefits. Add it to cooked vegetables, eggs or meat dishes, or add it to boiling water when you are making rice or soups, etc.
Turmeric root can easy be transformed into an aromatic, heart-warming tea, using it in either fresh or powered form, and combined with ginger, cinnamon, honey and a splash of coconut milk!
Turmeric can be taken as a daily supplement to keep inflammation at bay! It can be purchased in capsule form for easy use.