Turmeric is a culinary spice widely used in India and Southeast Asia. Recent research reveals why this herb is such a powerful healer due to its anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties. The health benefits of Turmeric have been recognized by Ayurvedic medicine for hundreds of years. It has been used to treat everyday problems such as indigestion and flatulence, as well as more serious problems such as arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, diabetes, HIV, high cholesterol, heartburn, jaundice, liver disorders, and menstrual disorders. Turmeric can also be applied topically in poultices to reduce inflammation and to relieve wounds, cuts, and bruises.
Alzheimer’s Disease Inflammation inside of the brain has been suspected to be one of the contributing factors in the development of Alzheimer’s disease. Studies have shown that Turmeric has anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant activity. Therefore, regular daily consumption of Turmeric capsules may be an effective way to prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s.
Arthritis Due to its anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties, it is not surprising that Turmeric is now being used as an effective natural remedy for Arthritis pain. Therefore, taking Turmeric capsules three times per day may provide significant relief from osteoarthritis pain.
Asthma Since turmeric is an anti-inflammatory, it can help reduce the inflammation associated with asthma. Add 1/8 teaspoon of turmeric powder to a glass of warm milk, and drink this mixture as an effective asthma home remedy.
Cancer Several recent studies have found that Turmeric can induce apoptosis, a process that triggers the self-destruction and elimination of damaged (cancerous) cells. Further research is still required before the full effects of Turmeric on cancer cells can be determined. However, existing studies suggest that daily Turmeric powder or supplements combined with a balanced, nutritious diet may help prevent or even destroy cancer cells.
Colds and Flu Turmeric’s anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal agents can help our body fight against colds, cough and flu. Therefore, when symptoms of these infections are present, simply mix 1/8 teaspoon of Turmeric powder into a glass of warm milk once per day. Also drink plenty of water throughout the day.
Diabetes Recent studies have shown that the antioxidant agents in Turmeric help reduce insulin resistance, which may prevent the onset of Type-2 Diabetes. Therefore, a simple preventive remedy is to take 1/8 teaspoon of turmeric powder twice a day with meals. Curcumin extracts or capsules can also be used as an alternative to the powder.
Inflammation Turmeric’s key ingredient Curcumin is known for its anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Therefore, Turmeric powder can help in healing cuts, wounds, and other skin infections including boils.
Heat one cup of Flax Seed Oil in a small saucepan on the stove. Thinly slice a small onion and add it to the hot oil. Fry the onions until they are dark brown and crunchy. Remove the brown onions and mix 2 tablespoons of Turmeric powder into the oil. Turn off the stove and let the oil cool down to a temperature that is comfortable to touch. Using a cotton swab, apply a small amount of the oil onto the injured or infected skin area. Apply this three times per day until the wound or infection is cured. Save the remaining oil into an airtight container for future use.
For internal injuries, fractures, sprains, and herniated disks, dip a piece of unbleached cotton fabric into the warm Turmeric oil. The fabric or cotton pad should be large enough to cover the outer skin of the affected area. Secure it in place and leave this cotton pad on overnight.
You can also add 1/8 teaspoon of turmeric powder into a warm glass of milk and drink it before going to bed to prevent internal inflammation and infections.
Weight Loss Curcumin in Turmeric powder has been found to help increase the flow of bile, an important component in the breakdown of dietary fat. Therefore, taking 1/8 teaspoon of Turmeric powder with every meal may be an effective weight loss aid when combined with a healthy diet and exercise program.
What are the Side Effects of Turmeric? Moderate use of Turmeric powder as part of regular diet is fairly safe, and recent studies have found that a dosage of 500mg capsules of Turmeric three times per day is safe. However, prolonged consumption of high doses of Turmeric extract may cause stomach or liver distress, as well as dehydration and constipation. Therefore, it should be avoided by people with gallstones or bile obstructions. If you are currently taking blood thinners (including Aspirin), you should consult your doctor before taking Turmeric since it is an anti-platelet (prevents blood clots).
20 Health Benefits of Turmeric
1. Turmeric is a natural antiseptic and antibacterial agent, useful in disinfecting cuts and burns.
2. When combined with cauliflower, it has shown to prevent prostate cancer and stop the growth of existing prostate cancer.
3. Prevented breast cancer from spreading to the lungs in mice.
4. May prevent melanoma and cause existing melanoma cells to commit suicide.
5. Reduces the risk of childhood leukemia.
6. Is a natural liver detoxifier.
7. May prevent and slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease by removing amyloyd plaque buildup in the brain.
8. May prevent metastases from occurring in many different forms of cancer.
9. It is a potent natural anti-inflammatory that works as well as many anti-inflammatory drugs but without the side effects.
10. Has shown promise in slowing the progression of multiple sclerosis in mice.
11. Is a natural painkiller and cox-2 inhibitor.
12. May aid in fat metabolism and help in weight management.
13. Has long been used in Chinese medicine as a treatment for depression.
14. Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, it is a natural treatment for arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
15. Boosts the effects of chemo drug paclitaxel and reduces its side effects.
16. Promising studies are underway on the effects of turmeric on pancreatic cancer.
17. Studies are ongoing in the positive effects of turmeric on multiple myeloma.
18. Has been shown to stop the growth of new blood vessels in tumors.
19. Speeds up wound healing and assists in remodeling of damaged skin.
20. May help in the treatment of psoriasis and other inflammatory skin conditions.
Turmeric can be taken in powder or pill form. Once you start using turmeric on a regular basis, it’s fun to find new ways to use it in recipes.
Contra-indications: Turmeric should not be used by people with gallstones or bile obstruction. Though turmeric is often used by pregnant women, it is important to consult with a doctor before doing so as turmeric can be a uterine stimulant.
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