Turmeric Spice Benefits - The Power of the Wonder Root
Spices have been the soul of our cuisine since time immemorial. Our forefathers were well versed with their benefits, both culinary and medicinal, much before it was understood by other parts of the world. Among all these amazing spices, turmeric or haldi stands tall. The medicinal benefits of this wonder spice are exemplary and of long standing. For thousands of years, Ayurveda has used turmeric as a ‘jadi-booti’ for treating many ailments. Modern science has also now shown that turmeric carries remarkable health benefits.
Listed below are a few medicinal benefits of this magical spice:
Turmeric contains the powerful antioxidant curcumin, which helps manage many diseases
A member of the ginger family, turmeric contains several compounds with medicinal properties, the most important being curcumin. It is a powerful antioxidant and has potent anti-inflammatory properties. Curcumin helps us in managing diseases like depression, cancer, liver. It also helps in alleviating joint inflammation, heartburn, diarrhoea, to name a few.
Curcumin in turmeric also helps lower the incidence of Alzheimer’s in India
Studies attribute the low incidence of Alzheimer's in India to a higher intake of curcumin. An average helping of turmeric contains an average of 5-10% curcumin. Since we use turmeric in most of our cooking, we consume around 125 mg of curcumin in a day. Additionally, it is said that black pepper helps in enhancing the absorption of curcumin by the body and its bioactive properties get more enhanced in a gravy form like dal, which is a staple diet in most Indian homes.
Turmeric is beneficial for topical treatments
We use turmeric for topical treatments like skin inflammation, infected wounds, and ringworms.’Haldi ka Laip' put on wounds to help heal them quickly, is something most of us have definitely heard of, or experienced while growing up.
Turmeric is a natural antiseptic
Turmeric is a powerful antiseptic and an antibacterial agent. Most of us remember the goodness of a glass of warm milk mixed with turmeric. We have bittersweet memories of our moms forcing ‘haldi wala doodh’ down our throats whenever we got hurt or had a bad bout of a cough and cold.
This magical concoction has been adopted in a big way by the Western and European countries and is fashionably called ‘Turmeric Latte’ these days.
All the above points elucidate that turmeric is a wonder spice that has enriched our lives since ages. It does not only enhance the taste and add depth to our food. It also provides unbeatable health benefits.
Ideally, we should get all the nutrients and healing of turmeric from the food we eat. However, to imbibe all the benefits of this magical spice, it is essential that we make sure that the turmeric we are buying is pure and authentic.
Sadly, studies are showing that much of the spices we buy these days are not up to the mark as the raw materials used are of low quality and methods of processing are compromised.
As alert and health-conscious consumers, we must choose only the purest and the most authentic of spices. We must research extensively on the options available in the market before taking a decision.
Let the inherent goodness of turmeric take over but not just in enhancing the food we eat. Let it also reflect in our improved health and fitness levels.