The turmeric is a rhizome, belonging to the ginger family. A herb and a spice, turmeric lends a unique colour and flavour to all the cooked items to which it is added. It is extensively used as an essential part of everyday cooking in many parts of the world. Not only does turmeric enhance the flavour and improve the look of the culinary dish, it bestows on the eater, innumerable health benefits.
Turmeric is rich in vitamin B6 and C. It contains dietery fibre in good quantities. It has minerals like calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium and sodium. It also has antioxidants, phytonutrients and flavanoids, which fight disease and restore health.
Turmeric is available as a root, ground powder, in tablet and capsule forms.
Now, let us look at the health benefits offered by turmeric:
- Anti-cancer agent:
Research has conclusively proven that turmeric contains a compound called curcumin. This compound helps in preventing many types of cancer. Studies suggest that when extracts of turmeric were fed, the cancerous cells died while the healthy cells remained in tact.
- To ward off mental conditions:
Again, the compound to the rescue is curcumin in turmeric. Regular intake of turmeric helps in better functioning of the brain and nerves. It is said that intake of turmeric in minute quantities, daily, sharpens memory, improves mental focus and helps in postponing age-related degeneration of cognitive abilities.
Also, such diseases like dementia and Parkinson’s may be prevented if turmeric is made a daily habit.
- Heart health:
Regular inclusion of turmeric helps in maintaing a healthy heart. Being rich in potassium and magnesium, turmeric controls bad cholesterol. Also, it aids in promoting the health of arteries.
Use turmeric and switch to a healthier cooking oil to ensure good heart health. Also, exercise moderately but regularly to ensure heart health.
- To cure cough and colds:
One very old remedy for cough and colds is to mix a pinch of turmeric in warm milk before drinking it. This helps in curing symptoms of cough like sore throat, chest congestion and mucus / phlegm formation.
Also, it helps by improving the immunity levels of the body.
- To cure skin ailments:
A combination of a few drops of sesame oil and a pinch of good quality turmeric powder can be applied on skin infections. The anti-microbial quality of turmeric helps in curing the infection.
One of the remedies suggested for vitiligo is the application of turmeric with sesame oil on the affected areas. When done over a long period of time, it helps in repigmentation of the affected skin.
- To get relief from acne:
Make a paste with good quality turmeric powder and sandalwood powder with a few drops of raw milk. Apply this regularly on the acne-affected skin. Wash off when dry.
This action helps in curing acne from the root.
- To remove unwanted hair:
Many peoples use turmeric to remove unwanted hair, naturally. This is especially useful for growing children who lose their self-esteem due to unwanted hair growth in sensitive areas like upper lip and on the arms.
A paste made out of green gram flour and turmeric powder with yogurt may be applied on the area where the hair needs to be removed. Once the paste dries, it should be washed with water, by rubbing the hands against the surface, in the direction opposite to hair growth. Doing this regularly helps in curing the problem of unwanted hair, permanently.
- To heal cracks in feet:
Apply a paste of turmeric and thick milk on the cracks in the soles of feet. Wash off after it dries. Do this regularly to help in healing the cracks.
- Final word: Be sure of the quality of turmeric that you use.