Image – Shutterstock Never mind you have stained your most adorable clothes with turmeric, but make sure that you include this herb in your fo
Image – Shutterstock
Never mind you have stained your most adorable clothes with turmeric, but make sure that you include this herb in your food. Turmeric (haldi) is one of the most popular and oldest spices known for its medicinal properties. It is used widely in Asian cuisines, especially in India. In India, turmeric has been used in Ayurvedic medicines due to its therapeutic properties.
Turmeric is a bright yellow colored herbaceous rhizome (root) belonging to the ginger family native to the Himalayan mountains. Curcumin compound in turmeric imparts a bright yellow color to it and is the main reason for its medicinal properties. Turmeric has a long list of health benefits because of its medicinal properties and nutritional value. It has anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and therefore can be used in many forms. Turmeric root is ground to prepare turmeric powder which is widely used as a spice. Turmeric milk and turmeric tea are equally beneficial. It can also be directly applied on the skin.
Health Benefits of Turmeric:
Turmeric has been found beneficial in treating and preventing several health issues like arthritis, diabetes, gastrointestinal issues, wounds and cuts, pain and aches etc. It makes your immune system stronger, thus improving your body’s resistance against a number of health issues. Some of the health benefits of turmeric are as follows.
1. Anti- Cancerous Property:
We all know that cancer is a dangerous disease. However, only a few of us are aware of the fact that its prevention is present in our kitchen itself. Turmeric possesses anti-cancerous property which can be attributed to the presence of a chemical called curcumin that not only kills cancer cells but also prevents their formation and growth. Turmeric has been found effective in preventing stomach, lung, colon, prostate, skin, breast, and liver cancers. You can incorporate turmeric in your diet to prevent cancer.
2. Liver Health:
Turmeric is good for liver health. It is a natural detoxifier. It removes toxic substances from the blood by producing several enzymes. Turmeric intake stimulates these enzyme production and helps in eliminating toxic substances from the body. Its intake repairs damaged cells of the liver and fights several liver problems like cirrhosis, hepatitis and jaundice.
3. Alzheimer’s Disease:
Alzheimer’s (brain disease) is a form of dementia, which mostly occurs in old people. Turmeric is effective in preventing and treating Alzheimer’s disease as it decreases the plaque level in the brain and stimulates oxygen flow in the brain. It prevents neuron from degenerating, prevents memory loss and reduces inflammation.
Turmeric helps in treating indigestion problem. It stimulates bile production, which is essential for proper digestion and fat absorption. It also helps in getting rid of heartburn, bloating, gas problem and eases bowel movement as well.
5. Heart Health:
Turmeric helps to prevent various heart diseases like Atherosclerosis by clearing blocked arteries and reducing inflammation. It minimizes the risk of heart attacks and strokes by preventing plaque and reducing bad cholesterol. Overall turmeric use is conducive to heart health.
6. Relieves Arthritis:
Arthritis is a condition marked by joint inflammation. Though turmeric cannot entirely cure this condition, its anti- inflammatory property can definitely help in reducing joints inflammation and pain.
7. Lowers Cholesterol (LDL) :
Healthy cholesterol is important for heart health. High levels of bad (LDL) cholesterol can lead to various heart problems like heart attacks, strokes, atherosclerosis, etc. Apart from regular medications to control cholesterol level, the addition of turmeric to your diet lowers ‘bad’ cholesterol level (LDL) naturally, thus preventing several health issues caused by high cholesterol level.
8. Treatment of Diabetes:
Diabetes is a common condition nowadays, but it can be controlled by adding turmeric to your diet as it balances sugar level and maintains the insulin level. Its regular use can also prevent the onset of diabetes. However, it is advisable to consult your healthcare provider before its use if you are taking any diabetes medication.
9. Treatment of High Blood Pressure:
If you have high blood pressure you can incorporate turmeric in your diet as it lowers blood pressure naturally. Turmeric reduces inflammation, which is also a cause of high blood pressure and maintains blood flow of the heart. So turmeric can be a natural remedy for high blood pressure, but ensure to consult your physician before using it for this purpose.
10. Weight Loss:
Turmeric can be helpful for overweight people struggling to lose weight. Turmeric intake helps burn excessive fat by increasing your metabolism rate. Turmeric detoxifies your liver naturally, which is responsible for fat metabolism. As metabolism speeds up, calories burn faster.
11. Reduces Depression:
Turmeric has been found effective in reducing depression mainly due to its antioxidant and anti- inflammatory properties. Studies have shown that supplementing turmeric with anti-depressant drugs enhances their effectiveness.
12. Heals Wounds:
Turmeric is an age old remedy in India for healing wounds. Application of turmeric on bleeding or open wounds, reduces pain while its anti- inflammatory property reduces inflammation. Being an anti-biotic, turmeric kills the infectious bacteria of the wound.
13. Improves Immune System:
Healthy immune system means lesser number of health issues. The antibacterial, anti-fungal and antiviral properties of turmeric helps in killing various bacteria and fungus which are responsible for causing illnesses like cold, flu etc. Drinking a glass of turmeric milk is a natural way to improve your immunity.
14.Treatment of Diarrhea:
Turmeric can help you in treating diarrhea as its anti- bacterial and anti- viral properties help kill infectious bacteria, virus and parasites of intestine which cause diarrhea. For diarrhea treatment, you can mix turmeric powder in plain water or milk and drink it regularly.
15. Treatment of Headache:
Turmeric helps in reducing headaches like migraine, cluster headache, etc. due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. As headache is usually caused by nerve inflammation, the anti-inflammatory property reduces nerve inflammation and pain.
16. Antioxidant Property:
As stated above, the anti-oxidant property of turmeric helps eliminate free radicals from the body. Free radicals can cause several health problems like premature ageing, heart problems, skin diseases etc.
17. Treatment of Jaundice:
It is a common saying that you should not take yellow colored food when affected with jaundice. But surprisingly turmeric helps in jaundice treatment. In case of jaundice, you can drink a glass of warm water with a pinch of turmeric in it 2-3 times a day.
18. Treatment of Bronchitis:
Bronchitis is a disease characterized by lung passage inflammation. The anti-inflammatory property of turmeric reduces inflammation and helps in treating bronchitis. It also kills infectious bacteria which cause cold and flu along with bronchitis.
19. Eliminates Intestinal Worms:
Turmeric is an effective home remedy for removal of intestinal worms. If you are troubled with intestinal worms/parasites, all you need to do is take food with turmeric or drink a glass of water with turmeric for quick results.
20. Treatment of Conjunctivitis (Pink Eyes):
Conjunctivitis is an inflammation of conjunctiva (outer layer of the eye). Turmeric is used in its treatment as it helps in reducing inflammation of conjunctiva and its anti-biotic property reduces the symptoms. For the treatment of conjunctivitis, you can soak cotton balls in turmeric water (2 teaspoon in a cup of boiled water) and compress it on the affected eye.
Benefits of Turmeric for Skin and Hair:
The medicinal properties of turmeric make it usable in various skin care products. Consumption and topical application of turmeric provides the following benefits to your skin and hair.
21. Acne and Pimple Cure:
Acne and pimple makes you feel uncomfortable. Turmeric is very effective in treating and preventing them both. It removes excess oil and opens clogged pores which cause acne and pimples. Its anti-inflammatory property reduces acne inflammation while its anti-bacterial property kills acne causing bacteria. For acne, you can use a face pack comprising of sandalwood and turmeric powder.
22. Removal of Facial Hair:
Turmeric and gram flour (besan) scrub can help in removing facial hair. You can prepare this scrub by mixing turmeric powder and gram flour in milk. Apply it on your face and remove it by massaging in circular motions with fingertips. This should be done regularly for 4 weeks to get noticeable effect.
23. Skin Lightening Properties:
There are many fairness creams available in the market, but if you are looking for any natural remedy for lightening your skin-tone, turmeric is the answer. You can mix turmeric powder, gram flour and lemon juice and apply it as a face pack. Use this face pack regularly for 2-3 weeks to get beneficial results. Application of this face pack also evens out your skin tone and removes tan.
24. Treatment of Wrinkles:
The antioxidant property of turmeric helps fight signs of ageing like wrinkles. You can consume turmeric orally to prevent the occurrence of wrinkles. Apply a face pack prepared with turmeric and curd/milk for 10 minutes and then rinse with cold water. This pack is effective in removing fine lines and wrinkles.
25. Treatment of Stretch Marks:
Stretch marks are common during puberty and pregnancy. To lighten your stretch marks, you can add turmeric in your creams or make a paste of milk and turmeric, curd and turmeric or lemon juice, turmeric and milk. Daily massage with any of these mixtures will help fade stretch marks.
26. Treatment of Burns:
Burns and their marks look extremely unappealing. Turmeric is an effective cure for them. The antiseptic property helps in healing burns. Turmeric also reduces inflammation and pain. You can mix turmeric with cold water or aloe vera gel and apply it 2-3 times a day. It also reduces burn marks.
27. Beneficial for Oily Skin:
Turmeric is good for oily skin. It controls oil, removes dirt and clears clogged pores. For oily skin, you can prepare a mixture of fuller’s earth, rose water and turmeric. Apply this for 10-15 minutes and rinse it off with cold water.
28. Good for Dry Skin:
Turmeric mask is also helpful in treating dry skin. You can prepare a mixture of egg white, lemon juice and turmeric powder. Apply this mixture on the dry portions of your body. This will moisturize and soften your skin.
29. Eczema Treatment:
Eczema is a skin inflammation accompanied by itchy, red and patchy skin. As pointed out earlier, turmeric reduces inflammation. Its antibacterial property kills bacteria which cause itching and redness. You can use turmeric in different ways. You can apply milk and turmeric paste on infected areas or boil turmeric in water and use it in rinsing the affected area.
30. Beneficial for Hair:
Turmeric is also good for your hair as it prevents dandruff, scalp problems and promotes hair growth.
Turmeric milk is a healthy drink which helps in treating many health issues. Turmeric and milk both eliminate free radicals because of their antioxidant properties. Free radicals are a cause of many health issues. Turmeric milk helps in treating cough and cold, and indigestion as well. Being a great detoxifier, it purifies blood and gives you healthy glowing skin. Turmeric milk is an age old drink used in Indian kitchens and its consumption is certainly a better option than consumption of plain milk.
Turmeric milk is very easy and quick to prepare. Just add a ½ inch turmeric root to 250 ml milk and let the milk boil for 10-15 minutes. The milk will turn yellowish in colour. Remove the turmeric root and your turmeric milk is ready. You can also add ginger or honey for additional benefits.
Turmeric is beneficial for health and so is turmeric tea. This tea is effective in preventing cancer, menstrual cramps and heavy flow. It also treats arthritis, improves bone health, removes toxic substances from the body, relieves pain and aches, and detoxifies liver.
Turmeric tea is quite simple to prepare. Mix turmeric and milk and allow it to simmer for a few minutes. Then add cinnamon or cloves, ginger piece and honey for sweetness. Strain it after a few minutes boil and enjoy your healthy turmeric tea!
Nutritional Value of Turmeric:
Turmeric is a good source of vitamin B6 and Vitamin C as well as minerals like calcium, zinc, manganese, iron, potassium, copper, and magnesium. The in-depth nutritional value of turmeric can be understood from the table given below.
(Source: USDA National Nutrient data base)
|Principle||Nutrient Value||Percentage of RDA|
|Total Fat||9.88 g||33%|
|Dietary Fiber||21 g||52.5%|
|Vitamin A||0 IU||0%|
|Vitamin C||25.9 mg||43%|
|Vitamin C||25.9 mg||43%|
|Vitamin E||3.10 mg||21%|
|Vitamin K||13.4 µg||11%|
Thus, the wide array of health benefits makes turmeric an impressive spice. But even turmeric consumption necessitates certain precautions to avoid the side effects. Breast feeding women and individuals with gall bladder problem should consult their healthcare provider before using turmeric in their diet. It is also equally important to use it in the correct proportion. Turmeric can interfere with diabetes and high blood medications. You should also be careful if you are going for any surgeries as it has blood thinning properties.
Hope you got an abundant insight on turmeric benefits for health, skin and hair. Do you like to include this in your diet? Or have you already been aware of its usage? Do share your valuable comments with us.