Terrific Turmeric

Enter the kitchen in any Indian household in any part of the country and the first thing that you will lay your eyes on is - yes, it is turmeric. It is a staple spice that is found in almost all Indian homes - and it is a spice that no Indian family can do without.

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Turmeric is also the staple spice in almost all the countries in South Asia. Most of us know that turmeric is a spice used in our homes, without which our food doesn"t acquire the desired taste. But, do you know that turmeric is also a very important medicine used in India and China?

In his book, "Indian Spices and Condiments as Natural Healers" Dr. H.K. Bhakru said"Turmeric is truly one of the marvelous medicinal spices of the world. It has been used by Ayurvedic and Unani practitioners in India from time immemorial. Turmeric is aromatic, stimulant and tonic. It corrects disordered process of nutrition and restores the normal function of the system. It is a carminative, antiseptic, a great anti-flatulent, blood purifier and expectorant."

We have heard of the wonderful medicinal properties from our grandmothers and great aunts who kept praising its excellent healing properties for any ailment.

Let"s take at some of the wonderful healing properties of this amazing spice.

Health Benefits

Turmeric, which is botanically known as Curcuma longa, is a bright yellow colored spice and a potent medicine that has been used since times immemorial in the Chinese and Indian systems of medicine. It is an anti-inflammatory agent used to treat a number of ailments some of which are flatulence, jaundice, toothache, colic, and chest pain.

Well, let"s show you how you can effectively put turmeric to the best use:

    • 1. Add to your food:
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      This spice can be added to your normal cooking, be it vegetarian or non-vegetarian. Besides adding taste it"s sure to give you a number of health benefits.
    • 2. Drink it as a tea:
Turmeric Tea by Wanna Be Creative, on Flickr
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    Boil 4 cups of waterand add a teaspoon of turmeric powder. Lower the flame and let it simmer for 10 minutes. Strain the tea - you may add honey and lemon to taste.
  • 3. Mix it with castor oil:
Stirring the Turmeric Honey mixture by Wanna Be Creative, on Flickr
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You can mix it with castor oil and apply to the skin. Ladies can apply this to their breasts and underarms. Do you know why? It will draw out the harmful toxins from the lymph nodes and fat cells of the breast.

We will now tell you the benefits of turmeric when you eat it as a spice:

  • 1. It is a natural antiseptic and antibacterial agent and is extremely useful as a disinfectant for cuts and burns.
  • 2. It is well known as a natural liver detoxifier.
  • 3. It reduces the risk of leukemia in children.
  • 4. Turmeric is known to arrest the progression of Alzheimer"s disease.
  • 5. It has anti-inflammatory properties and is an excellent cure for arthritis.
  • 6. It also helps in the treatment of psoriasis and other skin disorders.

Turmeric can help prevent prostate cancer, stop the growth of existing prostate cancer and even destroy cancer cells. It has been found that the active components in turmeric protects against radiation-induced tumors. It prevents tumor cells such as T-cell leukemia, colon carcinomas and breast carcinomas.

What"s more turmeric has antioxidant properties that destroysfree radicals in the body which are responsible for damaging body cells. Turmeric is very useful in the treatment of diabetes where it helps to moderate insulin levels. But, you should be careful when using turmeric with strong medications - sometimes, it can lead to hypoglycemia or low blood sugar.

It possesses antibacterial and antiseptic properties and is therefore an extremely effective disinfectant. It can be used for cuts and burns and while it speeds up the healing process it also repairs damaged skin.

Did you guess that turmeric is used to cure a number of other ailments such as arthritis, heartburn, stomach pain, jaundice, and loss of appetite? It is also known to be effective against headaches, bronchitis, lung infection, colds, fever, and menstrual problems.

And, it is an excellent beauty aide - it is used for the face and the skin.

But, a word of caution - it should not be used by the following people:

  • Pregnant ladies and nursing mothers are advised not to use turmeric for treatment.
  • People suffering from gall-bladder stones are advised against its usage.
  • People who have undergone recent surgery - turmeric has the tendency to cause extra bleeding.

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