The Benefits of Turmeric

The many uses of turmeric that range from food, to medicinal, to cosmetic
By: Alexandria Addesso

Have you ever heard of the spice turmeric? If you have ever eaten Indian curry, or several other Indian dishes, you have probably eaten turmeric before. Turmeric is also found in real mustard, but not always in the bright yellow varieties. So, what is all the fuss about turmeric? The truth is, it can not only be used when preparing food but also as a healing herb and in beauty regimens. Turmeric became a staple of the culture and cuisine of India thousands of years ago and the turmeric root has been pivotal in Ayurvedic medicine. India currently produces more than 80 percent of all the world’s turmeric. With more than 3,000 studies published in peer-reviewed journals in the last twenty-five years showing the amazing health benefits of turmeric, it has made quite an entrance into the Western medicinal world. The medically beneficial compounds that it contains are called curcuminoids, the most important of which is curcumin. Curcumin is a powerful anti-inflammatory and is a very strong antioxidant as well.

Scientists have found that chronic, low-level inflammation plays a major role in almost every chronic disease that persists in the West. This includes but is not limited to heart disease, cancer, metabolic syndrome, Alzheimer’s and various degenerative conditions. The scientific study titled Anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin, a major constituent of Curcuma longa: a review of preclinical and clinical research, found that the curcumin found in turmeric to be as effective as some over-the-counter drugs. It is also known to help with joint health and encourages healthy cholesterol levels. When made into a paste with water or a natural oil turmeric can help fight skin problems and diseases that range from acne to psoriasis and even moluscum contagum. Some women swear by turmeric to reduce the appearance of stretch marks. It can be made into a paste by this time by mixing it with clotted cream or curd. Simply apply this paste to your stretch marks before you bathe. Wait for about 20 minutes – allowing the treatment to soak in and then wash the paste off while showering. This same treatment can also be used for scars.

Far Most recently using turmeric in face masks has become a popular trend. You can make a simple face mask by mixing 2 tablespoons of flour, 1 teaspoon of turmeric, 3 tablespoons of milk or yogurt, and a few drops of honey.

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