If you’ve come across something that looks like ginger but has a dark orangey color tone, it was definitely turmeric. Filled with antioxidants and immune-boosting properties, turmeric is one of the best spices to add to your food. Majorly used in Asian kitchens, this is something you’d swear by once you know what good they do to your body. Let’s quickly jump into the health benefits of turmeric to see why you should add it to your diet.
Health benefits of turmeric
To start off, let’s explore the turmeric health benefits to understand why you must incorporate it into your diet:
Bioactive compounds have medicinal properties
Most people know that turmeric powder adds a yellow color tone to curries. It is present in almost every household in India; the people have been using it for thousands of years as a spice and a medicinal herb.
In recent years, even science has proved that what the Indians say about turmeric is actually true. It really does have medicinal benefits due to the compounds of curcuminoids. Curcumin is the most essential part of this even though it contains only 3% of it by weight.
Studies on this herb use extracts of turmeric and include curcumin separately – the dosages exceed by 1 gm per day. However, it is difficult to attain such levels by only using turmeric spices in foods. Thus, if you really want to rear the health benefits of turmeric, you will need a proper supplement than measures the amount of curcumin yourself.
Sadly, our bodies don’t absorb curcumin well into the bloodstream. You need to have it along with black pepper as it contains piperine. The natural substance of piperine improves the rate of curcumin absorption by 2000%.
If you can’t add turmeric to your recipes and want a supplement instead, choose a product that has piperine too. It will increase the effectiveness and give you the desired benefits. Moreover, curcumin is fat-soluble, and you can take it with fatty meals to balance out.
Turmeric is anti-inflammatory
Turmeric fights inflammation and the credit for that also goes to curcumin. With the perfect dose, curcumin can be better for your anti-inflammatory treatment than medicines that serve the same purpose. For example, you can replace Advil and aspirin with medicinal doses of turmeric.
Chronic inflammation can lead to chronic diseases, and curcumin can help treat those. For example, arthritis, pancreatitis, and bowel diseases.
Turmeric can prevent cancer
An uncontrollable cell growth in our body leads to the deadly disease of cancer. It has different forms, but many of them have common symptoms.
As per studies, curcumin has shown effective results against cancer. Yes, the health benefits of turmeric can reflect even through a deadly disease as cancer. The goodness of the herb works towards fighting the growth of cancer cells.
As per studies, curcumin present in turmeric can fight cancer cells and reduce the level of angiogenesis or growth of new blood vessels in the tumors. It also curtails metastasis, which is known as the spread of cancer.
A study was conducted over one month to discover the health benefits of turmeric in men. There were 44 of them who had lesions in their colon, which could at some point in time, become cancerous. They were given 4 gm of curcumin every day and the lesion were down by 40% within 30 days.
Scientists say that one-day curcumin will be used along with regular cancer therapy. However, it is too quick to assure that right now, but does look promising.
Patients with arthritis feel relief
Supplements of curcumin extracted from turmeric aids patients suffering from arthritis. The knee problem has become a common issue in Western countries.
Arthritis have many types to them, but they majorly revolve around inflamed joints. Due to the anti-inflammatory properties in curcumin, it eases out the pain around arthritis. Moreover, there have been studies to prove this to be true.
A study was conducted in people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. The curcumin component worked like an effective anti-inflammatory drug. There have been studies that have looked at the impact of turmeric for arthritis, and they did find steady improvement.
Turmeric benefits for skin
Do you know that turmeric is scientifically called Curcuma longa? Due to its antioxidant, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory properties, it can do wonders to your skin. For example, it can head wounds, fight conditions like psoriasis and eczema, prevent acne, reduce scars, lighten dark circles, and give you a youthful glow.
While it has been mostly an Asian beauty secret, many people in the West are learning more about its goodness. Find out how South Asians use turmeric for beautifying their skin:
Lighten your skin with turmeric
Are you working night after night in the work-from-home scenario and gulping cups and cups of coffee? Well, it can make your brain function a little longer, but it sure will also darken your eye circles. Don’t worry as turmeric has your covered on this aspect!
According to a study, turmeric essential oil added to a lotion can brighten up your skin within 21 days. The results last long and more so when you keep using it regularly.
How to make DIY Turmeric Lotion?
Take a few drops of turmeric essential oil and add it to the cream you apply. You can also add it to an oil-based moisturizer and use it regularly. Argan oil is a great option in this regard.
Reduce facial hair growth
The study that helped lighten dark circles also indicated that it can reduce facial hair growth.
Curcuma oil, from the same family of turmeric, was tested on underarms of 60 females for a period of 10 weeks. The study showed reduced hair growth due to the oil. However, the time span can depend on the texture of hair, as thinner hair will react quicker than coarse hair. Note that you can’t expect dramatic results like shaving or waxing from using turmeric oil.
How to remove facial hair with turmeric?
Here is a step by step process of removing unwanted body hair with turmeric:
- Mix ½ a cup of cold milk with ½ a cup of flour and add 2 tablespoons of turmeric powder
- Next, add one tablespoon of sea salt but leave this out if you have dry skin or eczema prone skin
- Blend the mix until it turns into a stick paste
- Apply it on the areas where you want to stop hair growth
- Let it sit for 10-15 minutes
- You will find the mask crumble off as it starts drying
- Cleanse the area with warm water and dry it with washcloth
Turmeric for psoriasis
You might already know that psoriasis is an autoimmune disease. It happens from an inflammation and makes skin cells build up on each other. Further, it results in scaly patches that cracks or bleeds.
The curcumin content in turmeric have anti-inflammatory enzymes which can combat the cell production and reduce the skin patches. According to studies, both oral and topical usage of curcumin can reduce the symptoms of psoriasis within 9 to 12 weeks.
Turmeric paste to apply topically for psoriasis
- Mix 1 part of turmeric powder with 2 parts of water
- Simmer the mix in a saucepan and let it thicken into the paste
- Cool it down and apply it to the affected area
- Wrap a gauze around it and let it stay overnight
- Remove the gauze in the morning and cleanse your skin with warm water
Benefits of turmeric tea
One of the easiest ways to incorporate turmeric in your diet is by having tea. The benefits of turmeric tea not only include all of what you read above but also boosts weight loss. Moreover, the coronavirus pandemic is another reason to add this immune boosting drink to your diet daily. Here are some of the turmeric tea benefits to look out for:’
Helps arthritis symptoms reduce
As discussed earlier, turmeric is great for controlling the pain from arthritis. To have it in one of the purest possible forms and reap maximum benefits, you must try turmeric tea.
Consuming one cup of turmeric tea everyday will keep inflammation and swelling at bay. It also reduces symptoms that aggravate your condition. Women who have osteoarthritis must have this drink every day to manage their pain.
Prevents Alzheimer’s disease
Research is still looking for the reasons why people have Alzheimer’s disease. However, one thing they are sure of is that curcumin prevents the condition.
The antioxidants in turmeric prevent damage that leads to the mental illness. Research has also backed the fact that the herb can reduce synaptic marker loss and the accumulation of amyloids that is linked with this memory disorder.
Turmeric for digestion
If you have a digestion problem where the food you eat is difficult to break, you can add turmeric tea to your diet. Due to the anti-inflammatory and antioxidants present in turmeric, the herb helps you keep your bowels clear. Just have one cup of it every night before going to bed, and you’d literally see the results the next morning!
Helps maintain ulcerative colitis remission
The chronic condition of ulcerative colitis causes ulcer in the lower end of our gastrointestinal tract. With the help of turmeric, we can maintain remission from the symptoms. A study found out that patients suffering from UC in remission had shown low relapse rate when they consumed turmeric.
Boosts immune system
Medicinal properties in turmeric makes it a rich immune boosting food. It revolves immune disorders in people and improves it. Right now, we need our immune health to be in good shape to fight the coronavirus. Thus, you must include the herb in whichever way possible and consume it daily.
Bad cholesterol of LDL can increase the risk of developing serious conditions like stroke and other heart diseases. Turmeric works well towards reducing the levels of bad cholesterol.
A study from 2008 showed that low doses of curcumin can reduce cholesterol levels. People who have heart issues must consider having this herb often.
When our iris inflames, it can be a condition called Uveitis. As per research, curcumin found in turmeric can actually work as an effective way of treating corticosteroids. Moreover, it doesn’t have side effects.
How to take turmeric tea?
Here are some of the steps to follow to make the perfect cup of turmeric tea:
- Boil 3-4 cups of water
- Add 2 teaspoons of turmeric and blend
- Let it simmer for 5 minutes
- Strain the tea in a container
- Add honey and lemon/orange juice
- You can replace lemon or orange with milk as well
When it comes to food, everything in moderation is the key to good health. You should have turmeric in moderation and also ask your doctor before starting off with turmeric consumption regularly. Over-consumption can lead to complications like:
- Inflamed gallbladder
- Gall stones
- Obstruction of bile passage
- Stomach ulcer
- Stomach acidity
- The effect in blood thinning
Since turmeric can thin our blood, you should avoid drinking the tea at least two weeks before a surgery. If you’re on blood thinners, don’t have turmeric tea at all.
Is turmeric tea good for you?
Turmeric tea is safe for people of all ages. It relieves pain, inflammation, and doesn’t have side effects like over-the-counter medicines. It is one of the most recommended herbs for boosting immunity against the COVID-19 pandemic. Moreover, people who have issues related to inflammation get maximum benefits.
People who should avoid turmeric tea or adding too much of the ingredient to food are ones who are diabetic or take blood thinners. It is better to speak to a doctor and verify if it is okay for you to have turmeric supplements before trying out them out for their advantages.