Turmeric (Curcuma Longa) is the most thoroughly researched plant on this planet!(1) and I don’t blame the scientists for the 5600 peer-reviewed and published biomedical studies.(2)
Not another article listing countless benefits of turmeric, “I don’t know where to start or what to use it for” – some of you may be thinking. The bright orange rhizome deserves all these articles and documentation, but it can get a bit overwhelming. In this article I will sum up the essentials and how to use it….
The average person in India eats about 2 to 2.5 grams of turmeric a day – almost every day of their lives. Interestingly, India has among the highest rates of prostate, breast, colon and lung health in the world. Some researchers credit turmeric for this. The best part? Chances are, this spice may already be in your cabinet.
Turmeric has a vast catalogue of health benefits, but here is an essential summary of some of the benefits of turmeric:
• Anti Inflammatory – best anti-inflammatory along with ginger.
• Mood Regulating – In one study, curcumin (the active ingredient that is so heavily researched), was shown to boost the brain chemical norepinephrine, which supports healthy mood, attentiveness, sleep, dreaming and higher learning.(3)
• Curcumin also boosted the levels of dopamine – the “motivation” hormone that supports pleasure, emotion, satisfaction and locomotion – and serotonin, which plays a key role in mood, memory, learning, appetite, sexual behaviour, sleep, and many other functions.(4)
• Protects Gut – Turmeric creates coating around gut area for protection. This prevents toxins from absorbing, and will assist the bile in detoxifying toxins like heavy metals, parasites, pesticides, candida, fungi and more. This decongests the lymphatic system.
• Reproductive Nourishment: Breast milk purifier, sperm builder, nourishes reproductive organs.
• Joint Support – It can reduce stiffness and swelling and strengthens joints in cases of joint pain. People with arthritis should be eating plenty turmeric daily.
• Healthy blood – blood purifier, enhances blood flow and can thin blood. Supports liver function.
Boost Absorption: Simply Add a Little Black Pepper:
Researchers found that turmeric taken with black pepper – both common ingredients in curry – increased the absorption of turmeric by an astonishing 2000%! with no adverse effects!(5)]
How to Use Turmeric as Medicine:
• Turmeric Powder is indicated over fresh turmeric because it is properly purified. Fresh turmeric can be used, but less than 3x a week in teas, stir fries etc. You may use fresh turmeric more if it is purified with limestone.
• Add at the end of cooking – Curries, stir fires, meat roasts, eggs, dahls, salads, really any savoury meal calls for turmeric. Add the powder towards the end of cooking to savour all the nutrients and healing properties.
• Anti-Viral Paste – Mix up this paste if a cough, cold/flu or virus hits you, or when you feel one coming on, step in early! See Recipe HERE
• Meat – As meat is vulnerable to acquiring infections and cancerous bacteria, turmeric with its anti-cancer properties is vital to add to the cooking of meat.
• Boosts Oil Pulling – Add a pinch turmeric powder to 1tsp of sesame oil and swish in mouth for a stronger anti-bacterial action and to heal bleeding gums.
• Golden Milk – Mix turmeric with hot milk + other necessary spices. This promotes sleep, reduces stress, purifies breast milk amongst many more benefits. golden milk recipe coming soon
Turmeric is popular among many beauty and skin products. Here are some home remedies and uses. Just be careful as it can stain anything you touch.
• Disinfectant – Mix turmeric with a little ghee or butter (enough to make a paste) and you have a paste to apply on cuts and wounds. Turmeric doesn’t only disinfect the wound (it looks just like Betadine), but also heals it. This is a great mixture to have on hand in the first aid kit.
• Anti-itch – Eczema, psoriasis, vitiligo, any skin condition or where itching is present apply turmeric + butter paste to cool down the skin and relieve the itching. This also heals the skin condition.
• Face Mask – Purifying face mask to sterilise and draw out or pacify pimples, blackheads and oily secretions. A general mask to nourish and rejuvenate the skin. Face masks should always be enjoyed while lying down.
Recipe: mix 2 Tbsp chana flour (chickpea) +1 tsp turmeric powder + 3 tsps milk. Apply on face and lie down until mask dries, then wash off. Can also use as skin exfoliator before shower.
• Skin-Cancer – Protects from and heals skin cancers.
Rasa (taste): Pungent, bitter
Virya (action): Heating
Vipaka (post-digestive effect): Pungent
Doshas: Balances vata, pitta and kapha
Simply, turmeric should be used daily in your cooking, (with a pinch of black pepper). Further, get to know its potent medicinal components more by utilising the powerful powder for home remedy medical applications.
- The Scientific World Journal. 2000;9:1233-41
- Research done at St. John’s Medical College, Bangalore, India Planta Med. 1998 May;64 (4):353-6. PMID: 9619120