Benefits and Uses of Turmeric
The world is filled with a large number (about 2,50,000) of plant species. And among them, almost 80,000 species possess medicinal qualities. The uses of these medicinal plants are based on folk beliefs continuing for ages in Assam along with the entire country (India). Turmeric is one of these kinds of medicinal spices. From early times, Turmeric has been used as medicine for the treatment of many types of disease.
What is Turmeric ?
Turmeric is an herbaceous plant. In Ayurveda, Turmeric is said to be the healthiest spice. Turmeric is widely used as an antidote for various diseases. In addition to its medicinal properties, turmeric is one of the most popular spices used in the kitchen. The use of turmeric in different types of cosmetics is also noteworthy. In addition, turmeric is an integral part of Indian culture. The world produces 8 lac tones of turmeric annually. About 75% of it is produced in India.
Turmeric plant can grow up to the height of 4-5feet. The color of turmeric leaf is medium to light green, the stem is of light green to yellow and the roots (turmeric) are of yellow to light orange. The leaves are 10-20cm long, wide, oval shaped, tender sides and has soft and hairy base. From outside the roots may appear in orange but from inside it inside it is yellow. It has a weird bitter taste. This raw turmeric is sun dried and grinded to powder to use in form of spice.
Turmeric has many species of it around the world. In India, Malaysia, Thailand and North Australia these species are seen. Turmeric is cultivated is countries like India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, China, Myanmar, Indonesia, Central and South America. There are about 30 species of turmeric found in India. In Assam turmeric is one of the traditionally cultivated plants and used widely for different purposes.
Nutritional Values and Medicinal Properties
Raw turmeric contains Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Zinc and Vitamins which helps the human body to fight against different kinds of diseases or health issues. You can use raw turmeric in food items, can make turmeric milk or can be used as poultice/paste to wrap around particular infected body part. Turmeric can be used as medicine to treat cold and coughs. Turmeric has the ability to boost the immunity system and protect the body from infections and diseases. Turmeric is known for its disinfectant and strengthening agent properties. It also helps in digestion and improves appetite. From ancient times, turmeric has been used in Ayurvedic, Sindh and Yunani treatments of various diseases. Especially in body pain, joint pain, cold-coughs, skin diseases, liver diseases, indigestion and respiratory diseases turmeric has beneficial effects. Along with India and China, in Nepal also turmeric has been used in treatments as traditional medicine.
Other uses of Turmeric
In Assamese culture, turmeric has an important role to play. In Bohag Bihu, raw turmeric is traditionally used to make paste with black gram to apply on the body before taking bath. In auspicious affairs like marriage raw turmeric paste is applied on bride and groom’s body.
Turmeric-made paper was used to check the alkalinity or acidity level of any substance. In acid medium the paper turns yellow and the same paper turns red in alkaline medium.
Apart from its medicinal properties, turmeric is one of the basic and popular spices used in household kitchens to prepare regular foods. It provides the food a lovely color and taste. In other hand, this spice is also used in many beauty remedies; such as- to make the skin glow and to cure pimple problem, sun burn etc.
Scientific name of Turmeric is- Curcuma longa Linn.
Scientific classification of Turmeric / Cucurma longa linn:
- Kingdom: Plantae
- Clade: Tracheophytes
- Clade: Angiosperms
- Clade: Monocots
- Clade: Commelinids
- Order: Zinggiberales
- Family: Zingiberaceae
- Genus: Curcuma
- Species: C. Longa
- Scientific name: Curcuma Longa
Benefits of Turmeric / Cucurma Longa Linn
1. Turmeric is beneficial for heart health. Regular consumption of raw turmeric reduces the increased level of cholesterol in the body which positively results in preventing heart diseases.
2. In any type of cuts or wounds on the body, poultice made of raw turmeric can help in healing.
3. Turmeric is also benefits in joint pains in the body. This spice can relieve these kind of pains.
4. Turmeric helps in the digestive process and improves digestion.
5. Turmeric is also used to treat skin infections. Moreover this spice can also help in problems like- pimples, dark circles, sun burn etc.
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6. Turmeric can make your skin glow.
7. Turmeric acts like resistor to infections, bacteria and virus in the body.
8. For eye related diseases; such as- cataract, turmeric is useful. This spice can help treating the health issue.
9. Turmeric is also benefits in liver diseases, abnormal appetite, Jaundice, Psoriasis etc.
10. Consuming turmeric milk in the morning results in anti-allergic effects in the body.
11. For cold-coughs, turmeric is beneficial. Drink turmeric milk on a daily basis, this will prevent such health problems.
12. Turmeric can help in controlling Diabetes; the Lipopolysaccharide element present in turmeric lowers the glucose levels in blood. Regular consumption of raw turmeric will contribute in balancing the healthy levels of insulin production in the body.
13. In effect of cur cumin present in turmeric BDNF(Brain-derived Neurotrophic Factor) increases which positively results in Alzheimer’s and increases brain functioning.
14. In case of urinary inflammation, turmeric can do magic. Taking 2 spoons of raw turmeric extract (in liquid form) and 4 spoons of Aloe Vera juice mixed with half cup of lukewarm water thrice a day on a daily basis will cure the health issue by controlling ‘E.coli’ (Escherichia Coli) bacteria causes the inflammation.
15. Turmeric is also useful in losing weight.
16. You can also use turmeric as a paste or poultice to wrap around the burn area to make it heal faster.
How to Use Turmeric
- Consuming turmeric powder 1 spoon added with half glass of lukewarm water regularly will help in controlling blood pressure levels.
- To remove unwanted dark circles and marks you can apply the poultice made of raw turmeric, black basil (Kola tulsi), Chickpea powder (besan) and honey on face.
- Consume 2 teaspoons of raw turmeric juice after drinking half liter of water in the morning; it will prevent health conditions like- stomach worm, constipation and gastritis etc.
- Taking 2 spoons of turmeric added in 1 glass of milk can provide strength in the body.
- Extract juice from 100gm of raw turmeric and add some sugar and water in it. Take this mix thrice a day, it will relieve acidity problem.
- Taking raw turmeric with garlic and clarified butter (Ghee) can relieve stomach ache and indigestion.
- Turmeric acts like anti-biotic.
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Side Effects of Turmeric
Apart from the benefits, turmeric also has side effects-
- Turmeric can decrease the density of blood. Consuming excess amount of turmeric can lead to anemia.
- Pregnant women should eat turmeric in a limited amount. Excess may lead to miscarriage.
- People suffering from stomach stone and kidney stone should not eat turmeric out of limit. Or it may increase the size of the stone.
Therefore, use the spice wisely after noticing both its beneficial and harmful sides.
In this article we have discussed about the general characteristics of Turmeric. It’s identifying information, nutritional & medicinal values, cultivating process, benefits and side effects of this spice in different health conditions etc. We hope this article will help you in various ways. Thank You!
1) What is turmeric good for?
A. The most active compound of turmeric- ‘Curcumin’, has many scientifically proven health benefits, such as –
- Improves heart health
- Prevention against Alzheimer’s and cancer
- Strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties
- Helpful in improving symptoms of Depression and Arthritis etc.
2) How much turmeric should I consume daily?
A. The daily allowed doses of turmeric is 150-250 mg of curcumin and in case of turmeric root powder, the dose is 1000-1500 mg. This should be sufficient to gain health benefits for those who take turmeric supplement daily.
3) Does turmeric have any side effects?
A. If taken in large doses, turmeric can cause possible side effects. Mild side effects include –
- Stomach disorders,
- Acid reflux,
- Dizziness and headaches.
Taking more turmeric supplements can significantly increase the level of oxalate in the urine, thereby increasing the risk of formation of stones in the kidneys.
4) Is turmeric good for liver?
A. People taking strong medicines for diabetes or other health conditions may get liver injury as a side effect of the medicines. In such cases the antioxidant effects of turmeric can protect their liver from damage.
5) Who should not take turmeric?
A. Turmeric intake can cause harm among the people who has –
- Gallbladder problems
- Bleeding disorders,
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD),
- People with iron deficiency in blood,
- Liver patients,
- People with hormone-sensitive conditions and Arrhythmia .
Moreover, pregnant women and those who are going to have surgery should not take turmeric.
6) What is the best way to take turmeric?
A. The most effective way to consume turmeric is to take it in liquid form, such as – adding it to your milk or water, or you can directly drink turmeric juice.
7) Is turmeric good for blood pressure?
A. Turmeric is good for blood pressure that is naturally increases (with aging) by improving vascular endothelial function.
8) Is turmeric good for weight loss?
A. Studies on animals indicate that this compound can help in weight loss, reduce fat tissue growth, control weight recovery, and increase your sensitivity to insulin hormones.
9) Is turmeric good for cholesterol?
A. A survey of controlled trials found that turmeric or its active ingredient curcumin can reduce total cholesterol, triglycirides and LDL.