Turmeric is anti-aging, anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory super spice. Turmeric is a member of the ginger family. Known as “The Queen of Spices”, it can be found in many Indian dishes for its wonderful earthy flavor and golden color. It has been around for centuries in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine to treat a wide variety of health problems, going from pain control to fighting cancer.
Curcumin, the magical substance, which gives turmeric its golden color and its many health benefits, has been well-studied over the past decades. It works as a powerful antioxidant and has anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties.
But that’s not all… turmeric is jam packed with healthy nutrients such as fibers, calcium, vitamins and minerals. It is non-toxic, even in high doses, and doesn’t usually cause any side-effects. However some people may experience an upset stomach, nausea or dizziness. If this is the case, turmeric must be used in moderation to reap its benefits.
How to Increase Turmeric Absorption
You also need to remember that while turmeric is a powerful and effective compound for treating a wide range of diseases, studies have revealed that turmeric has low absorption and rapid metabolism that lead to relatively low bioavailability in the body. To increase its bioavailability in your body read this article for more information.
The Amazing Health Benefits Of Turmeric In A Nutshell
• Cancer prevention: turmeric fights free radicals and helps to maintain healthy cells. It is believed that curcumin blocks the enzymes that promote the growth of cancer cells. Turmeric is one of the top 14 foods that protects against cancer development.
• Alzheimer’s prevention: turmeric improves the overall brain health and may prevent or slow down the progression of Alzheimer’s by removing amyloyd plaque buildup in the brain. These are types of proteins that play a role in various neuro-degenerative disorders. And indeed turmeric is one of the top 5 foods and supplements to delay Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
• Diabetes control: turmeric improves blood sugar levels and reduces insulin resistance to prevent diabetes type II. However, when combined with strong medicines it may cause a low blood sugar level. See here another 6 best foods to control diabetes.
• Natural painkiller and prevents arthritis: due to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties it helps with stiff or creaky joints and arthritis. It is one of the natural remedies that are covered in the article about natural remedies for arthritis, and is also one of the foods that help to reduce inflammationin your body.
• Wounds healer: a paste made from turmeric can quickly heal minor cuts, burns or bruises due to its anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. It helps to repair your skin and may even be used to treat psoriasis or other inflammatory skin conditions.
• Improves digestion: stimulates the gallbladder, reduces bloating and gas and may be helpful to treat bowel inflammation. However when suffering from a gallbladder disease, turmeric should not be taken as a dietary supplement, as it may worsen the condition.
• Liver detox: turmeric works as a natural liver cleanser and improves blood circulation.
• Weight control: turmeric increases the bile flow, which is important to break down fat.
• Promotes healthy skin: prevents skin pigmentation, tone the skin and when frequently used in your skin care products it can give your face the perfect glow. Turmeric is one of the top 10 foods to get the best skin ever.
• Heart health: turmeric reduces the bad cholesterol, prevents blood clots and plaque build-up in arteries.
• Boost Immune system: Its antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties help to strengthen your immune system. Turmeric is wonderful to soothe a sore throat or fight a cold or flu.
• Mood improver: turmeric has been used in alternative medicine to treat depressions and provides a better night’s rest.
Adding more turmeric to your daily diet is one of the best things you could do to improve your overall health. So if you love turmeric and are interested in herbal remedies, you can find more useful information about turmeric and other herbs in the e-book Herbal Remedies Guide. This guide will teach you how to treat common ailments using herbs.
I’ve been adding turmeric to many of my dishes to give it that nice saffron-like color and wonderful flavor. It works well in curries, stir fried dishes, smoothies, salads or dressings. The optimal dose for daily consumption is between ¼ and ½ teaspoon.
Although I’m not a huge fan of taking supplements, turmeric can be found in pill form at most health food stores if you don’t like the taste. However, like mentioned before, people with gallstones or bile obstruction should not take those supplements as they are very concentrated and too powerful. The same can be said for pregnant women.
Only recently I’ve discovered an ancient yogic remedy, called “Golden Milk”, traditionally used to cure diarrhea, fever, bronchitis, colds and non-specific viral infections, headaches, parasitic worms, leprosy, bladder and kidney infections, and to reverse joint and muscle pain due to inflammation or arthritis.
Golden Milk – The Recipe
Ingredients (for 1 serving)
• 1 cup milk of your choice (I use homemade almond milk) – see here healthy and easy homemade milk substitute recipes
• ½ tsp. ground turmeric
• ¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
• 1 tsp. raw honey (or to taste)
• ½ tsp. pure extra virgin coconut oil (leave this out when you use coconut milk)
• Optional: 1 crushed green cardamom pod (or ⅛ tsp. ground cardamom)
• Optional: 1 small cinnamon stick (or ¼ tsp. ground cinnamon)
The pepper and oil will help your body to absorb the curcumin. Studies show that in combination with pepper, turmeric may be absorbed 1000 times better. Honey on the other hand has a great anti-viral and antibacterial properties, and I’ve added cardamom and cinnamon for extra flavor.
Heat the milk. Add the cardamom and cinnamon if you’re adding these. Add the turmeric, pepper, honey and coconut oil while stirring constantly. Heat the mixture until steaming but not boiling. Strain the cinnamon and cardamom and serve. Note that not all ingredients are soluble, so stir occasionally while drinking to avoid a strong turmeric flavor at the last sip.
This is a guest post written by Amy Goodrich, yogi, health coach, and dedicated blogger who loves living a natural, eco-friendly and healthy lifestyle.