What is Turmeric?
Cucurma longa or turmeric as it is widely known all over the world has been thriving long down the ages for its medicinal and culinary values.
Turmeric contains a bio-active natural component called curcuminoids, the most important one being curcumin. Curcumin contains anti inflammatory, antioxidant, antibacterial and anti-viral properties.
Studies have proven Turmeric to be highly beneficial for the body and mind. Turmeric has long established a safety record all around the world including the US Drug and Food Administration(FDA).
The only major drawback of Turmeric is that it has poor bioavailability which means it is poorly absorbed by our digestive system, has rapid metabolism and rapid elimination.
However, black pepper containing alkaloid piperine, a known bioavailability enhancer, can be consumed along with turmeric to increase its bioavailability by 2000% .(source)
Here are the 7 clinically proven benefits of Turmeric:
1. Powerful Antioxidant:
Oxidative stress, which means damage of cell tissue due to imbalance in free radicals and antioxidants in our body, is responsible for the mechanism of aging and several chronic diseases.
Turmeric, in a study, has been shown to be an efficient free radical scavenger and hence significantly improve oxidative stress.(source)
2. Helps in Management of Inflammatory Conditions:
Inflammation is closely associated with oxidative stress thereby leading to a variety of chronic conditions or diseases like Alzheimer’s disease (AD), Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, cerebral injury, cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, cancer, allergy, asthma, bronchitis, colitis, arthritis, renal ischemia, psoriasis, diabetes, obesity, depression, fatigue, and AIDS.Turmeric has also been shown to suppress inflammation.(source)
Arthritis which is a joint disorder is another condition linked to inflammation, both chronic and acute osteoarthritis .
Studies have shown curcumin supplements, to yield good results in managing the symptoms of arthritis, though the cure for the disease is yet to be established.(source)
4. Lowers Risk of Cardiovascular(Heart) diseases:
Researches have been done to narrow down on the causes of heart diseases and a variety of etio-pathological factors that play a role.
The main role of curcumin when it comes to heart disease is improving the function of the endothelium, which is the lining of your blood vessels.(source)
Endothelial dysfunction is a major cause of heart disease and induces inability of endothelium to regulate blood pressure, blood clotting and various other factors.(source)
Studies indicate that curcumin leads to improvements in endothelial function. One study found that it’s as effective as exercise while another shows that it works as well as the drug Atorvastatin.(source)
Clinical trials done in 2017, have also shown curcumin to be effective in decreasing anxiety symptoms and depression.(source)
Curcumin boosts BDNF(Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor) levels which are linked to depression, potentially reversing some of these changes.(source)
6. Prevents Cancer:
Tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α) is a major mediator of inflammation in most diseases, and this effect is regulated by the activation of a transcription factor, nuclear factor (NF)-κB.(source)
Curcumin has been shown to block NF-κB activation increased by several different inflammatory stimuli, thereby helping in the prevention of tumor formation.
Lipo-polysaccharide, a substance present in turmeric has anti-bacterial, antiviral and antifungal agents which helps to stimulate the human immune system.
How to use turmeric in your daily life?
Mix one teaspoon of turmeric powder with 2-3 cups of boiled almond milk or any milk of your choice
According to your preference, add along a teaspoon of pepper or ginger powder
Drink before going to bed to improve your overall health and to promote good sleep.
It should be taken in balanced doses because turmeric is known to secrete in pores and may stain your skin or clothes yellow, so doses should definitely be considered.
Take a tablespoon of ground raw turmeric or turmeric powder
Add tablespoon of lemon juice or yogurt to make a paste
Now apply a thin layer for 10-20 minutes and voila! You have a homemade facial mask for acne or hydrating your face.
Turmeric may stain your face, so I recommend applying a thin layer of the paste. Although, wiping it off with a milk soaked cotton ball may remove the stain.
3.Anti-dandruff Turmeric Treatment
1 tablespoon of ground turmeric
2 tablespoon of olive oil or coconut oil
Mix both and apply directly to scalp and leave on for 10-20 minutes before rinsing your hair.