Turmeric is a root that looks similar to ginger, but is orange on the inside. It is frequently used in Indian cuisine, and is what gives curry its rich yellow color. There are many reasons to love turmeric, my favorite being how versatile the root is, my second being how many health benefits it has to offer.
Traditional Healing Practices
Turmeric is astringent, bitter, pungent, and warming, it is commonly used in Ayurvedic medicine, because it treats the whole person, not just the localized symptoms. Curcumin, the main active ingredient in turmeric removes blood stagnation by clearing heat, and cooling the blood. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), there is belief that warming foods like turmeric help heal, and nourish the body, while keeping organs and the entire system functioning properly. The antibacterial properties in turmeric are commonly used to treat coughs, sty, hemorrhoids, cuts, wounds, burns, skin problems and diabetes.
Turmeric is most known for its powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Inflammation contributes to many western diseases and health conditions. Turmeric can be used to suppress molecules known to play a role in inflammation. The anti-inflammatory properties in turmeric may help those with arthritis, by reducing pain and swelling, as well as boost memory, and improving liver health.
In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and Ayurvedic medicine, turmeric is known as a liver mover and liver protector. Turmeric root has the ability to stimulate liver detoxification, while protecting and healing the liver.
Carcumins natural antidepressant effects can relieve stress and anxiety, by boosting serotonin and dopamine levels in the body. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter in the brain, and is thought to regulate mood, happiness, and anxiety. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter in the brain, that is involved in the feelings of pleasure, and reward, which may motivate you to repeat a certain behavior.
Turmeric regulates the microbiome flora in our gut, and reducing gas, which in turn aids in healthy digestive function.
Turmeric is often absorbed by the body prematurely without the nutrients absorbing into the bloodstream. Turmeric or curcumin is fat-soluble, meaning when consumed with a fat such as coconut milk, the absorption rate is increased. If you want to reap the full health benefits of curcumin, it is best consumed with fat and black pepper, which contains piperine, and increases the absorption rate of curcumin by 2000%.
Ways to heal using turmeric
Cough, Dry Sore Throat, Tonsillitis, and Pharyngitis
Drink 1 cup of milk/milk alternative simmered with 1 tsp turmeric powder for 3 minutes before bed.
Apply mixture of 1/2 tsp turmeric powder and 1 tsp ghee locally at bed time.
Apply a paste of 1/2 tsp turmeric powder and 1 tsp warm castor oil on the breast at night time. (Reminder this will stain the skin and clothes)
Stabilize Blood Sugar in Diabetes
Take 2 turmeric capsules 3 times a day, 5 minutes before each meal.
Eat a bowl of yogurt with 1 tsp of turmeric. Eat on an empty stomach in the morning and afternoon. Do not eat after the sun has gone down.
Cuts, Wounds, Fungal Infections
Apply mixture of 1.2 tsp turmeric powder and 1 tsp aloe vera gel to affected area.
Swelling from injury
Apply a paste of turmeric and water
Sty in the eye
Make a paste of equal parts of red sandalwood powder and turmeric mixed with distilled water. Place on the eyelid to drain sty.
Canker Sore and Swollen Gums
Apply turmeric root directly to affected area of the mouth.
Take 1 capsule daily
Take 1 to 2 turmeric capsules, 3 times daily
Sunblock for moles
Cover mole with a mixture of 2 parts ghee and 1 part turmeric powder.
*As a gentle reminder, the yellow color of turmeric tends to stain your clothes and skin, so handle carefully.
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Groves, M.N. (2016). Body into Balance: An Herbal Guide To Holistic Self-Care. Storey Publishing.
Pursell, J.J. (2015). The Herbal Apothecary: 100 Medicinal Herbs and How to Use Them. Timber Press, INC.
Hewlings SJ, Kalman DS. Curcumin: A Review of Its Effects on Human Health. Foods. 2017 Oct 22;6(10):92. doi: 10.3390/foods6100092.