Traditional and Medicinal Turmeric

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Having suffered from inflammation in the past, I discovered the incredible healing benefits of Turmeric.  A part of the ginger family, it is an old Indian spice and long been known in that region as a medicinal food.

Recently science is also getting behind this theory, with 5600 studies of biomedical research.

Curcumin is the active ingredient, which is anti inflammatory, and a very strong antioxidant that does wonders to support the immune system.

Here is some of the important ways turmeric can benefit you.

*          It is an effective anti inflammatory drug and an alternative to aspirin and ibuprofen. Low level inflammation plays a major role in nearly every chronic Western disease.  Turmeric helps the body fight foreign invaders at a molecular level and also helps repair any current damage.

*          Arthritis which is characterized by joint inflammation responds well to curcumin reducing pain and symptoms.  In a study of rheumatoid arthritis patients it was more effective than an anti inflammatory drug.

*          Can ease, and act as a relief to respiratory problems such as flu, bronchitis and asthma.

*          It compares favourably to drugs that decrease depression eg. Prozac. 

*          It is a potent antioxidant that blocks free radicals and stimulates the bodies own antioxidant mechanisms.

*          It is linked to improved brain function and research is being done to the possibility of it delaying and even reversing many age related brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s.  There is also the possibility it can improve memory.

*          It gives cardiovascular protection, lowering the risk of heart disease and heart attack with its anti inflammatory and antioxidant qualities.

*          It gently stimulates and supports the adrenal glands

*          Multiple studies in the lab have shown it can reduce the growth of cancer cells and inhibit the growth of tumours.  It is being considered as an a alternative or adjuvant to cancer therapy.

*          Considered a skin food, it a can aid in maintaining it's elasticity and promotes radiant and supple skin.

*          It is antispasmodic so can reduce menstrual cramps.

*          Turmeric is valuable for the digestive system as it can reduce gas and bloating.

*          In the past in both Chinese and Indian medicine it was known to be used for a variety of conditions including toothache, bruises, colic, eczema, allergies, stomach and liver aliments.

You can use turmeric in many ways.  I often make it as a tea with lemon.  You may remember my cold tonic I posted a few months back.   

http://www.sachastewart.net/blog/2014/1/8/my-number-one-cold-fighter

Buying a good quality supplement of Curcumin from a health food store is another option to get a concentrated amount. 

And of course, you can use it in your cooking regularly.  Turmeric is what gives Indian cooking its beautiful yellow colour.  I mix it with all sorts of dishes: soups, sauces, stirring through rice, quinoa and many pulses or grains while cooking.   

Fresh is best from the root, and preferably organic where you can. 

I highly recommend adding this spice to your diet wherever possible