Turmeric “the golden spice of life” is one of most essential spices used as an important ingredient in culinary all over the world. Turmeric is a tropical and a perennial herb, curcuma domestically cultivated in India since ancient time. Turmeric plants were cultivated by Harappan civilization as early as in 3000 B.C.. Turmeric belongs to ginger family Zingiberaceae.
The yellow spice with a subtle flavor called turmeric powder is obtained from dried and grounded underground stem called the “rhizome”. The rhizome of a turmeric plant is a yellowish orange, tuberous and juicy stem. The outer part of rhizome is covered with segmented yellowish brown colour. Turmeric is a strong dyeing agent and will create a permanent stain on cloths with just a drop of turmeric juice from the rhizome. Researches for a long period of time and the knowledge gained over the years have taught us the value of turmeric and its use as a medicinal component is continuously increasing. A flowering plant, Turmeric, which belongs to the ginger family, is commonly used as a food colouring agent and is one of the most commonly used curry powders. It also helps in healing many health disorders like liver problems, digestive disorders and treatment of skin diseases. Turmeric has long been used as a medicine to heal wounds and also as an anti-inflammatory component. Curcumin is the active ingredient in Turmeric which has been proved to have a wide range of therapeutic effects.
Turmeric is considered as a digestive catalyst which is bitter and carminative. It can be added into any recipe including rice and various vegetable dishes to improve digestion and reduce gastric complaints. It is a cholagogue, which stimulates bile production in the liver and encourages excretion of bile via the gallbladder. This improves the body’s ability to digest fats. Turmeric is recommended for chronic digestive weaknesses and/or congestions. It can be taken as a single extract or in the form of digestive bitters, which is prepared by combining turmeric with other bitter and carminative herbs. Turmeric is highly effective for persons who feel exhausted and stuffy stomach after having a heavy meal. Intake of turmeric in any form benefits both the liver and the digestive system.
Turmeric is highly beneficial because of positive influence on the liver. During spring, increased consumption of herbs and similar foods items can strengthen the liver. Turmeric has similar liver protecting compounds that milk thistle and artichoke leaves possesses. It is said to shrink engorged hepatic ducts and hence can be useful to treat liver conditions such as hepatitis, cirrhosis, and jaundice.
Recent scientific research has confirmed that turmeric can cure a host of diseases. It has also been found that turmeric controls the growth of various types of cancer. Turmeric is used for the treatment of skin cancer or pre-cancerous skin conditions. Both external and internal use of turmeric is beneficial to the human body.
Turmeric may be helpful in preventing the blockage of arteries that can gradually cause a heart attack or a stroke. Turmeric makes cholesterol levels low and inhibit the oxidation of LDL (bad cholesterol). Oxidized LDL deposits on the walls of the blood vessels contribute to the formation of atherosclerotic plaque. Turmeric may also prevent platelet build up along the walls of an injured blood vessel. Accumulation of platelets at the site of a damaged blood vessel can cause blood clots and blockage of the artery.
Menstrual problems of Woman
For women who experience monthly menstrual cramps should try using turmeric extract or bitters twice daily for two weeks prior to expected menstruation. Turmeric is an antispasmodic which makes the muscles to smoothen and hence reduces digestive and menstrual cramping. It will reduce the severity of the pain, if not ease them completely. Certainly, diet and standard of living have a reflective influence on the menstrual cycle, but turmeric has a great influence.
Bacterial Infection / Wounds
Turmeric is useful as an external antibiotic in preventing bacterial infection in wounds.
Curcumin may prove to be as effective as corticosteroids in the uveitis (inflammation of the uvea, the middle layer of the eye between the sclera – white outer coat of the eye and the retina – the back of the eye).
Other Health Disorders
Turmeric decreases congestion and inflammation of the stagnant mucous membranes. Turmeric can act as an antiinflammatory component for the mucous membranes, which coat the throat, lungs, stomach and intestines. Regular use of turmeric can prevent and cure Colitis, Crohn’s disease, diarrhoea, and post-giardia or post salmonella conditions. The itching sensation and inflammation that accompanies haemorrhoids and anal fissures can be reduced by use of turmeric. For persons suffering from skin conditions including eczema, psoriasis and acne turmeric can prove as a potent detoxifier.
“Turmeric gives the energy of the Divine Mother and grants prosperity of health. Turmeric is effectual for purification the chakras, as well as purifying the path of the subtle body.”