Turmeric health benefits

Turmeric is a culinary spice widely used in South Asia and is the source of American mustard's bright yellow color. Turmeric, also called Curcuma longa is a herbaceous plant that belongs to the ginger family. Once harvested, it is washed, dried and then ground into a powder which is then used for a variety of purposes. It is native to Asian countries, and forms a staple part of foods cooked in India and Pakistan.

Turmeric is a powerful healer due to its anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties. The health benefits of turmeric have been recognized by Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine for hundreds of years. It has been used to treat problems such as indigestion, flatulence, arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, diabetes, HIV, high cholesterol, heartburn, jaundice, liver disorders, and menstrual disorders. Turmeric can also be applied topically in poultices to reduce inflammation and to relieve wounds, cuts, and bruises. Turmeric is a natural pain killer. Turmeric reduces the risk of blood clots and prevents the build up of plaque in the arteries, which helps in the battle against stroke and other clot-related problems. There are also studies showing turmeric is beneficial for reducing bad cholesterol and improving good cholesterol.

If taking turmeric to manage different clinical conditions, evidence suggests the use of 500 mg of turmeric 4 times a day for stomach problems and 500 mg twice a day for managing patients with osteoarthritis.

To supercharge turmeric's healing abilities, don’t skimp on the black pepper! When you mix turmeric together with black pepper you greatly enhance your body’s absorption of it. If you can find turmeric in root form, you can even juice it and add some lemon, lime, and honey for a delicious healing drink. Turmeric and curcumin can also be taken in supplement form if you want to get daily anti-inflammatory benefits — look for it at your health food store.

How to use turmeric

1. Spice up your food.

Add this spice to anything, besides sweets, for a new flavor and a ton of health benefits. You can use turmeric to add some zest to cooked vegetables, eggs, and meat dishes. You can also add it to boiling water you're using to make pasta, rice, soups, and more.

2. Drink it as a tea.

Bring four cups of water to a boil. Add one teaspoon of ground turmeric and reduce to a simmer for 10 minutes. Strain the tea through a fine sieve into a cup, add honey and/or lemon to taste.

3. Mix it with castor oil for a skin detox.

Castor oil with tumeric powder is a powerful toxin releaser for your skin. For women, it is great to apply to the breast and under arm because it will pull out harmful toxins from the lymph nodes and fat cells of the breast.

Side effects

Turmeric has to be used with caution in pregnant women, as it is believed that turmeric has effects on the uterine wall. It can cause bleeding by preventing blood clotting, and should therefore be avoided if undergoing surgery. Turmeric should be avoided in patients who are taking blood thinning medication, as it can result in excessive bleeding in the event of an injury or ulcer in the stomach. Lastly, turmeric is strictly forbidden for those who are undergoing chemotherapy.

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