March 18, 2014

The Amazing Health Benefits of Turmeric

Turmeric
In the realm of herbs and spices, there’s one that stands out in terms of health benefits.
Turmeric, an orangey-yellow spice that comes from a root belonging to the ginger family, is an important ingredient in Indian curries and also gives ballpark mustard its bright yellow color.
The medicinal properties of turmeric have been slowly revealing themselves over the centuries.
Long-known for its anti-inflammatory and immune supporting properties, recent researches have revealed that this spice is a natural wonder, providing benefits in the treatment of many different health conditions.
Turmeric might just end up being the most important spice in your cabinet.

What is turmeric

Turmeric comes from the root of the Curcuma longa plant; has a tough brown skin and a deep orange flesh.
It has a peppery, warm and bitter flavor and a mild fragrance.
The active ingredient in turmeric is curcumin.
Turmeric has been used for over 2500 years in India, where it was first used as a dye.

Anti-inflammatory

Turmeric is promoted mainly as an anti-inflammatory herbal remedy and is said to produce fewer side effects than commonly used pain relievers.
Inflammation is the root of many chronic diseases that cause our health to deteriorate — and curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, helps to reduce inflammation in the body.
Some practitioners prescribe turmeric to relieve inflammation caused by arthritis, muscle sprains, swelling, and pain caused by injuries or surgical incisions. It is also promoted as a treatment for rheumatism and as an antiseptic for cleaning wounds.

Anti-cancer properties

Curcumin is also a powerful antioxidant.
Some studies have shown that curcumin may interfere with several important molecular pathways involved in cancer development, growth and spread.
Researchers are currently studying curcumin to learn to which extent curcumin is an effective anti-inflammatory agent and whether it holds any promise for cancer prevention or treatment.

Turmeric use in traditional medicine

The use of turmeric was described in traditional Chinese and Indian medicine.
In various Asian folk medicine traditions, turmeric has been used to treat a long list of conditions, including diarrhea, fever, bronchitis, colds, parasitic worms, leprosy, and bladder and kidney inflammations.
Herbalists have applied turmeric salve to bruises, leech bites, festering eye infections, mouth inflammations, skin conditions, and infected wounds.
Some people inhale smoke from burning turmeric to relieve chronic coughs. Turmeric mixed with hot water and sugar is considered by some herbalists to be a remedy for colds.
In India and Malaysia, there is a custom of making turmeric paste to apply directly onto the skin, a practice now under study for the possibility that it may prevent skin cancer.

Recipes with turmeric

Here are some of my fave recipes using turmeric:

Ginger and Turmeric Carrot Soup

Ginger and Turmeric Carrot Soup
Tomato Curry with Creamy Cauliflower Rice

Tomato Curry with Creamy Cauliflower Rice
Spicy Turmeric Chicken

Spicy Turmeric Chicken
Turmeric Cauliflower

Saffron Risotto with Ginger and Turmeric

Saffron Risotto with Ginger and Turmeric




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21 comments:

  1. Awesome! I recently started adding Turmeric to EVERYTHING because of the health benefits. It is also supposed to be great for hormone regulation. Have you ever taken a turmeric supplement?

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    1. I can say I have but I always wanted to. Have you?

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  2. Oh baby, did I INSPIRE YOU for this post?!?!?!?!?! Yeah, probably not, but I totally make a turmeric video because it's AMAZING!!! But I highly recommend you DO NOT shove a huge spoonful into your mouth... Not so good!

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    1. What can I say Gigi, you're a constant source of inspiration...and yes, that video is pretty funny (like all your videos btw!)

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  3. Great informational post Mike! The recipes look amazing as well.

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    1. Thanks Lauren, I'm sure you're going to love the spicy turmeric chicken!

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  4. Super interesting! Thanks for sharing.

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  5. Thanks for the info Mike, I've been looking for some fresh turmeric, cannot find it at the farmers market, guessing they will probably have it at Whole Foods. Great post!

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    1. I must confess, I always use ground turmeric. I once bought fresh one but wasn't sure what to do with it besides brewing tea...

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  6. Great info, thanks Mike! Need to pick me up some turmeric immediately!

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  7. What a variety of health benefits , Tumeric is an amazing spice.
    Super interesting post, Mike!
    The selection of recipes is amazing and looks and sounds delightful.

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    1. Awwww thank you Daniela, you're the nicest (as always!)

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  8. I need to get me some turmeric now!

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  9. I managed to find a fresh turmeric root at the borough market in London - but it's been sitting in my fridge since! I originally bought it thinking I could perhaps make anti-inflammatory turmeric infusion (same way you can make hot drinks from ginger with some lemon, yummy!) but then scared myself into thinking it might seriously stain my teeth forever...

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    1. You should brew tea with it; it's super yummy. And if you're concerned about staining your teeth you can always drink it with a straw :)

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  10. I love turmeric! My favorite way to use it is actually mixed with honey and water as a face mask. Scary, but pretty skin after. :-D

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  11. Turmeric IS indeed a superspice!
    I remember during a particularly stressful and busy period in my life,when I wasn't including it (along with ginger, garlic and onions) as a base for my meals, I caught the flu and it wiped me out! Been adding it since and other than a minor cold every now and then, I have managed to dodge that nah-sty flu bug!

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  12. I love turmeric too! My favorite way to use it is on curry (how original right??), which is what I had for lunch today hehe.

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  13. Hi Mike, excellent posting. Thanks for sharing the benefit of turmeric. All the recipes look very delightful, I especially love the turmeric chicken. Look really good.

    Very impressive photography skill. 2 thumbs up for you.
    Have a great week ahead,regards.

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