Turmeric(Curcuma Longa) is a sharp tasting spice derived from a root and is commonly used as a culinary spice in South Asia.This spiceccomes from the underground stem(rhizomes) of the turmeric plant.It has a sharp,woodsy taste and pungent aroma.It has been widely used as a traditional remedy to cure many ailments in Ayurvedic as well as Chinese medicine.
The main nutrient in turmeric is Curcumin which is consumed in diets and is used as herbal remedy in many countries.Curcumin in turmeric has strong antioxidant,anti-inflammatory,anti cancer and cortisone -stimulating properties..
Other compounds include ascorbic acid,carotene,polysaccharides and ar-turmerone.These compounds also have medicinal properties.
Health Benefits of Turmeric
- It helps to stimulate the gallbladder and improve bile flow.This helps in treating many gastrointestinal problems.
- It helps to remove bloating,gas,heart burn and acid reflux.
- It can be applied on the skin to treat wounds,insect bites,eczema and other inflammatory skin conditions.
- Turmeric has as a powerful anti-inflammatory property which helps to relieve symptoms of arthritis and inflammatory bowel diseases.
- Some medical studies have also proved that curcumin in turmeric has several anti-cancer properties.These studies suggest that curcumin should be considered as an anticancer agent and must be included as part of daily diet.Some studies have also shown that curcumin inhibits the growth of certain tumors.
- It has the power to thin blood and reduce the ability to form clots.This helps people with high cholesterol and high blood pressure.
- Research has also shown that use of turmeric or curcumin might protect against Alzheimer's disease, stomach ulcers and heart diseases.
How to select Turmeric
It is advisable to buy turmeric powder from reputed manufacturers.Go for organic brands if possible as this will ensure that the product is free from adulteration.
Store in a cool and dark place away from heat and direct sunlight.Always store in a dry and clean jar and seal the lid after use.
- Pregnant women should always consult doctors before taking turmeric supplements.
- If taken in high doses it may cause nausea and diarrhea.
- People suffering from liver problems,gallstones and jaundice should not take turmeric.
- Turmeric may have possible interactions with some drugs,so it is advisable to consult your doctor before taking any curcumin supplement.