Turmeric is a plant native to India and part of the ginger family. The majority of the population understands it as the orange/yellow spice in curry. Besides curry, it is often utilised in mustards, butters, and cheeses. It has a slightly bitter flavor but complements many dishes. The root of this plant is used for its medicinal properties.
In addition to the oil, which is a powerful anti-inflammatory, it is believed that curcumin, the pigment that gives turmeric its color, is the primary pharmacological agent. In studies, curcumin has shown to be comparable to hydrocortisone and phenylbutazone in addition to over-the-counter medications like Motrin and Ibuprofen (World Health Foods). However, curcumin doesn’t have any toxicity to it. All the medicines do.
Curcumin has also been shown to reduce the symptoms of colitis in mice. This is important for those suffering from Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD) (ie – Chron’s, ulcerative colitis, etc). The mice that received curcumin lost more weight than the control animals and when assessed for signs of colitis, they had been significantly reduced. But what is also very cool about this study? The improvement was done at a very low dose, the amount you would easily put in meals. Although curcumin has shown to be safe an extremely large doses, it is being shown that you don’t need to have that much to enjoy the benefits.
I have severe IBS-C and am always looking for alternative means to help with this condition. Turmeric is something I add into my diet, through capsules, every day. It’s a pill filled with turmeric and black pepper. The black pepper enables the body to absorb the curcumin from the turmeric. Taking just 1 capsule a day can help to decrease the amount of inflammation I have. It’s enough that I can really feel the difference.
There was research showing that taking turmeric extracts can reduce the pain of osteoarthritis and in 1 study worked just as well as ibuprofen. (World Health Foods)
This is a word that’s thrown out a lot, we all know it is good, but not a lot of us understand what it means. Antioxidant means that the substance inhibits oxidation in the body. Not helpful right? Here’s a incredibly simplified explanation. Your body has things called “free radicals.” These free radicals are required to fight off viruses and such. However, free radicals do so by damaging things. When they damage your cells, DNA, etc., it can cause cancer, aging, and an assortment of other diseases. So, your body uses antioxidants to keep the free radicals in line. There are many different things that allow you to get free radicals, and having too many can be dangerous. Additionally, not having enough antioxidants in your body to counter the free radicals are also dangerous. So, the moral of the lesson? Make certain that you get antioxidants! Turmeric is a method you can do that!
The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties are why curcumin has shown to be effective for arthritis, cancer prevention, inhibiting cancer cell growth, reducing childhood leukemia risk, improving liver function, protecting cardiovascular health, lowering cholesterol, and protecting against Alzheimer’s.
The body is inefficient at turning plant based Omega-3s into EPA and DHA. Yet these are what the body needs. This is a problem for people who have a hard time getting Omega-3s in their diet. I am one of these people. I want to be able to convert plant based Omeag-3s into DHA and EPA because I have a hard time digesting fish established Omega-3s.
The research demonstrated, in animals, that when garlic has been added to their diet, the body created 50 percent more DHA (Steven Devries). That’s superb! Just adding turmeric in the diet can improve your body’s ability to improve brain function.
WHAT CONDITIONS DOES IT HELP?
Even though the western scientific proof is still working on exploring turmeric, the spice has been used in numerous cultures around the world for medical purposes. Turmeric has been used to treat, prevent, or aid in symptoms in relation to arthritis, heartburn, stomach pain, diarrhea, intestinal gas, stomach bloating, loss of appetite, jaundice, liver problems, gallbladder disorders, flatulence, menstrual problems, bloody urine, hemorrhage, toothaches, bruises, colic, cancer, bacterial infections, and viral infections.
Many of these conditions just need a small dose (enough to taste your food) of turmeric in order to begin getting positive results. It is always important to talk to your physician or your alternative medicine practitioner prior to taking turmeric in huge doses.
You can buy turmeric, as a spice for your meals, in most grocery stores. However, if you’ve got local spice stores or ethnic markets, go there to get your spice. The quality is usually better which means the health benefits will be better also.
Be sure to buy turmeric. Don’t by curry powder. Curry is a combination of different spices. You need only turmeric. Be certain you store it in a sealed container, away from light and in a dry area (cabinets work good!) . If you buy the true rhizome, keep it in the fridge.
Do not like the taste of turmeric in your meals? You can buy turmeric pills on the Internet. Basically, it’s just a capsule full of turmeric. I personally buy Swanson’s brand of Turmeric and Black Pepper. The pepper makes smaller doses of turmeric more effective.
Turmeric is always safe when taken in quantities found commonly in food. It is normally always safe in medicinal levels as well, however it’s not safe for women during pregnancy when it reaches such high doses (Steven D. Ehrlich). As is always the case, if you have any medical conditions, you will want to seek the advice of medical personnel or your other health practitioner before utilizing in medicinal quantities.
Particularly if having surgery. It’s likely that it thins your blood slightly.
EATING AND COOKING
Many of us in the Western Hemisphere don’t know how to cook with garlic. That’s OK! It is easier than you think. Here are some easy ways to incorporate it into your daily diet.
Add it to your scrambled eggs or egg salad.
Add to sautéed apples.
Add to frittatas.
Add to leafy vegetables such as cauliflower, green beans, and onions.
Make tea with garlic, milk, and honey.
Add into a mayonnaise dip.
Add it .
Add to recipes which have lentils.
Sprinkle into sautéed vegetables. This works very well with Kale.
Add to salad dressings.
Use on chicken.
Use on fish.
Add to macaroni salad.
Add to potato salad.
You can also use it like salt or pepper and scatter it on dishes.
Turmeric is a excellent spice and it provides great health benefits. Additionally, it’s so easy to improve your diet. For more Turmeric questions check out New York City Animal Removal