Turmeric - the majestic Golden Spice!

Have you ever wondered why Turmeric has become such a popular, sought after spice today?

Turmeric has been used throughout India and South East Asia for thousands of years in diverse Indian cuisine, making pickles, milk drinks like lattes, natural treatment of disease and as an auspicious herb in ceremonies and rituals. It is also used within skin and beauty products and cosmetics. In some industries it is used as an eco-friendly colorant, making paints, colours, dyes.  No wonder Turmeric is so much in global demand right now!

More importantly, turmeric is a major herb used in many important therapeutic formulations in Ayurveda, Siddha medicine, traditional Chinese and Unani medicine. Hindu tradition and the Vedas describe haldi as a divine herb- possibly because of its multiple health benefits.

India exports turmeric valued at approximately US$194.35bn, making it the leading exporter of turmeric worldwide.

Turmeric (Curcuma Longa) belongs to the ginger family, Zingiberaceae. Turmeric is otherwise knows as Haridra in Sanskrit, Haldi or Haldar in Hindi and also known as the Indian saffron.

In Ayurveda turmeric has at least 21 names, depicting its various health benefit!
The more commonly used are Haridra - “Golden yellow” spice, Mehagni- destroyer of Diabetes, Mangalprada - auspicious herb, Harita - brown green colour of the fruit, Anesha - pure, Dirgharaga - giving longevity, Nisa, Laxmi- wealth and more!

Did you know that there are five main varieties of Turmeric used in Ayurveda and Indian food and drink?

Each variety of turmeric offers a different health benefit with some overlapping beneficial effects on the body. Each variety has a slightly different phytochemical ingredient profile.  

The four main types of turmeric used in Ayurveda are:

1.    Curcuma longa- turmeric or haldi – the golden spice you all know.
2.    Curcuma zedoaria – karchuro
3.    Curcuma Amada- Amba Haldi- tastes like green mango
4.    Curcuma aromatica – Wild turmeric – similar to turmeric.

Have you ever wondered what ailments turmeric is beneficial for?

The simple answer is that turmeric is beneficial in many conditions. This is backed by several authentic clinical research studies.

Traditionally turmeric has been used for treating arthritis, diabetes, skin conditions, digestive diseases, mouth ulcers and gingivitis and as a blood purifier. Modern research and clinical practice worldwide has established the main functions of turmeric as a powerful anti-inflammatory, natural anti-viral, and anti-oxidant. With these three actions, turmeric may prevent damage to our heart, brain and bowel and joints and reduce the risks of diabetes and high cholesterol.

How does Turmeric help fight or prevent inflammation in your body?

Taking an anti-inflammatory can help combat chronic inflammation which leads to many diseases like colitis, heart disease, arthritis , fibromyalgia  and dementia. Without being too technical, it may interest you to know that research has revealed that turmeric fights inflammation on a molecular level in our cells, by blocking NF-kB, a Nuclear Factor protein responsible for inflammatory responses within the genes as well as the production of inflammatory cytokines.

NF-kB has also been linked to various other chronic diseases like arthritis and cancer.
Turmeric has bene shown to reduce harmful bacteria in the gut and also reduce inflammation by reducing the inflammatory chemical cytokine production, as well as relax the intestinal muscle. That may be why it helps in Irritable and Inflammatory bowel disease.

Research has shown that regular intake of turmeric /curcumin reduces the risk of developing colon cancer. Turmeric helps reduce Oxidative Stress on the body tissues?

Oxidative stress is caused by harmful chemicals called free radicals - which have a free oxygen molecule- produced by your body’s metabolism- that react negatively with your DNA, proteins, and fatty acids to cause premature aging and other disease.

Due to the chemical structure of curcumin, it can help to neutralize harmful free radicals. Turmeric also helps to enhance the body’s natural antioxidant enzymes and stimulates your immune system – the white blood cells -  to fight infections that attack your body..

How can turmeric Improve Brain Function

By reducing the oxidative stress in the brain cells, turmeric may reduce the risk of developing these neurological disorders. That is why one of its actions is said to be neuroprotective.

Turmeric  has also been found to increase levels of BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor), which is a growth hormone that has been linked to improved memory and decreased risk of developing Alzheimer’s and Depression. Research is still ongoing on this topic.

The  Incredible Benefits Of Turmeric can be summarised as:

  • Reduced risk of heart disease.
  • Relieves inflammation in Arthritis patients.
  • Fights against depression.
  • Delays aging and combats age-related disorders.
  • Lowers LDL “bad” cholesterol.
  • Improves IBS symptoms
  • Reduces premenstrual cramps
  • Prevents frequent headaches and migraines.
  • It helps to fight against viral infections such as flu and herpes.

Did you know that Turmeric is a storehouse of more than 300 natural therapeutic  biochemicals ?

Biochemistry research has identified that just one teaspoonful of turmeric can offer you 60-100 mg of Curcumin-the active principle. Turmeric contains has been which give it the therapeutic power to prevent and treat many diseases? This amazing  golden spice of life has been the topic of extensive research worldwide, which has demonstrated just how well-tolerated and effective it is against inflammation, viral infections, cancer, Alzheimer’s depression, and fighting oxidative stress by its antioxidant properties to cleanse the free radicals and toxins produced by the body.

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