Turmeric The Super Spice

Turmeric comes from the root of the Curcuma longa plant and has a tough brown skin and a deep orange flesh. Turmeric has long been used as a powerful anti-inflammatory in both the Chinese and Indian systems of medicine. Turmeric was traditionally called “Indian saffron” because of its deep yellow-orange color and has been used throughout history as a condiment, healing remedy and textile dye.

10 Proven Health Benefits of Turmeric

1. Turmeric Contains Bioactive Compounds With Powerful Medicinal Properties : Turmeric contains curcumin, a substance with powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Most studies used turmeric extracts that are standardized to include large amounts of curcumin.

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2. Curcumin is a Natural Anti-Inflammatory Compound: inflammation is incredibly important: It is now believed that chronic, low-level inflammation plays a major role in almost every chronic, Western disease. This includes heartdisease, cancer, metabolic syndrome, Alzheimer’s and various degenerative conditions.Therefore, anything that can help fight chronic inflammation is of potential importance in preventing and even treating these diseases.It turns out that curcumin is strongly anti-inflammatory, it is so powerful that it matches the effectiveness of some anti-inflammatory drugs

3. Turmeric Dramatically Increases The Antioxidant Capacity of The Body: oxidative damage is believed to be one of the mechanisms behind aging and many diseases.It involves free radicals, highly reactive molecules with unpaired electrons.Free radicals tend to react with important organic substances, such as fatty acids, proteins or DNA.The main reason antioxidants are so beneficial, is that they protect our bodies from free radicals.

4. Curcumin Boosts Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor, Linked to Improved Brain Function and a Lower Risk of Brain Diseases: The neurons are capable of forming new connections, but in certain areas of the brain, they can also multiply and increase in number.One of the main drivers of this process is Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF), which is a type of growth hormone that functions in the brain.Many common brain disorders have been linked to decreased levels of this hormone. This includes depression and Alzheimer’s disease.Interestingly, curcumin can increase brain levels of BDNF.

5. Curcumin Leads to Various Improvements That Should Lower Your Risk of Heart Disease: Curcumin has beneficial effects on several factors known to play a role in heart disease. It improves the function of the endothelium and is a potent anti-inflammatory agent and antioxidant.

6.Turmeric Can Help Prevent (And Perhaps Even Treat) Cancer: Curcumin leads to several changes on the molecular level that may help prevent and perhaps even treat cancer.

7.Curcumin May be Useful in Preventing and Treating Alzheimer’s Disease: Curcumin can cross the blood-brain barrier and has been shown to lead to various improvements in the pathological process of Alzheimer’s disease.

8. Arthritis Patients Respond Very Well to Curcumin Supplementation: Arthritis is a common disorder characterized by joint inflammation. Many studies show that curcumin can help treat symptoms of arthritis and is in some cases more effective than anti-inflammatory drugs.

9. Studies Show That Curcumin Has Incredible Benefits Against Depression: A study in 60 depressed patients showed that curcumin was as effective as prozac in alleviating the symptoms of depression.

10. Curcumin May Help Delay Ageing and Fight Age-Related Chronic Diseases: If curcumin can really help prevent heart disease, cancer and Alzheimer’s… then this would have obvious benefits for longevity.For this reason, curcumin has become very popular as an anti-aging supplement.But given that oxidation and inflammation are believed to play a role in ageing, curcumin may have effects that go way beyond just prevention of disease.

How to Select and Store

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Even through dried herbs and spices are widely available in supermarkets, explore the local spice stores or ethnic markets in your area. Oftentimes, these stores feature an expansive selection of dried herbs and spices that are of superior quality and freshness than those offered in regular markets. Just like with other dried spices, try to select organically grown turmeric since this will give you more assurance that the herb has not been irradiated. Since the color of turmeric varies among varieties, it is not a criterion of quality.

Tips for Preparing and Cooking

Tips for Preparing Turmeric

Be careful when using turmeric since its deep color can easily stain. To avoid a lasting stain, quickly wash any area with which it has made contact with soap and water. To prevent staining your hands, you might consider wearing kitchen gloves while handling turmeric.

If you are able to find turmeric rhizomes in the grocery store, you can make your own fresh turmeric powder by boiling, drying and then grinding it into a fine consistency.

 

7 Amazing Turmeric Beauty Benefits

#1 Defeat the signs of aging :

Turmeric is an excellent exfoliating agent and can help you defeat the signs of ageing. Take besan (gram flour) and turmeric powder in equal proportions and prepare a paste by adding water. You may alternately prepare this paste in raw milk or even yoghurt. Apply it evenly on your body and leave it till it dries off. Wash it off with lukewarm water and scrub your face gently in circular motion.

#2 Bye bye wrinkles:

You can use turmeric in combination with other ingredients to manage your wrinkle woes.

  • Add raw milk and tomato juice to rice powder and turmeric powder. Apply the paste and let it stay until it dries. Lactic acid present in milk will help peel off the dead skin cells.
  • You can add turmeric powder in buttermilk and sugarcane juice. This will work the best for dark circles and wrinkles.
  • Turmeric-honey paste can be applied on the face and neck to help exfoliate skin and keep a check on pores.

#3 Acne cure :

Not only does turmeric take care of the scars and inflammation but also reduce oil secretion by sebaceous glands.

1) To prepare turmeric scrub, add a few drops of water and lemon juice to turmeric powder. Apply the paste on the acne affected area and leave it for about 15 minutes. Gently scrub it off your face with plain water.

2) You can also use turmeric and sandalwood mixture as an acne face pack and wash it off in approximately 10 minutes.

3) For acne scars, dab a mixture of turmeric and plain water and leave it on the marks for 15 minutes.

4) To control oil secretion, prepare a paste of sandalwood powder and ground turmeric with orange juice. Leave the paste on your face for 10 minutes and rinse it with lukewarm water.

#4 Stretch marks:

Mixture of besan (gram flour) and turmeric in yogurt/raw milk/water can help women lighten the stretch marks.

#5 Heal burns:

In case you accidentally burn your skin you can turn to turmeric for quick relief owing to its antiseptic properties. Prepare a mixture of turmeric and aloe Vera gel. Apply it on the burn and notice how it heals the wound in no time.

#6 Remove Facial hair:

Chickpea flour (sattu) or gram flour added to turmeric can be used as a facial scrub to inhibit hair growth. Be sure to apply this paste for about a month to notice results. Home remedies usually show results over a period of time upon consistent use.

#7 Cracked heels:

Apply a mixture of coconut oil/castor oil and turmeric powder on cracked heels preferably 15 minutes before you head to take a bath.


Different Ways You Can Use Turmeric



 

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References:

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=78

http://authoritynutrition.com

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