Turmeric is the root of the Curcuma longa plant. It is an India spice from the ginger family. Turmeric is recognized for its bright yellow color, giving curry powder its particular hue. It has also been used to add color and taste to commercial mustard, butter and cheeses.
Turmeric contains curcumin, a powerful antioxidant that can neutralize free radicals and potentially slow down the signs of aging. Free radicals can damage the DNA, cell membrane and even cause cell death, therefore increasing the risk of heart disease, cancer and other diseases.
- Anti-inflammatory: Thus it has protective properties against various inflammatory diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, arthritis, atherosclerosis, dermatitis, and colitis.
- Antimicrobial: For centuries in India turmeric has been applied to minor cuts for its antiseptic properties. Bruises and bumps are also treated with turmeric in order to reduce swelling and inflammation. A great home remedy to aid sports injury healing: Mix turmeric with water to form a paste and apply to the wound. Be aware, that applying turmeric for long periods of time can cause a yellow discoloration of the skin that may be difficult to remove.
- Anticarcinogenic: Lately curcumin has gained much attention for its chemopreventive* properties.
* Chemoprevention is the use of medications, vitamins, or other substances in the diet, such as antioxidants, to prevent, suppress or delay the development of cancer.
Animal research demonstrates that curcumin inhibits the three stages of carcinogenesis: initiation, promotion and progression of cancer. More research is being conducted to test the same effects in humans, and so far these studies strongly support that curcumin’s antioxidant properties, inhibit tumor development, growth or metastasis in humans.
Recommended dosage for adults:
- Cut root: 1.5 – 3 g per day
- Dried, powdered root (ground): 1 – 3 g per day
- Standardized powder (curcumin): 400 – 600 mg, 3 times per day
- Fluid extract (1:1) 30 – 90 drops a day
- Tincture (1:2): 15 – 30 drops, 4 times per day
Incorporate turmeric to your home cooking, in your favorite recipes, to add color, flavor and health benefits!
- Add 1-2 tbsp of ground turmeric or cut root to your favorite soup recipe. Cook as directed.
- Drink turmeric tea. Bring four cups of water to boil, add 1 tsp of ground turmeric, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes, add lemon, ginger, or honey to taste.
- Steam your vegetable of choice, such as cauliflower, broccoli, collard greens, or yam. Add 1 tbsp of safflower oil and 1 tsp of ground turmeric to a saucer, then lightly sauté them. Add salt to taste. It will taste wonderful!
People who are allergic to ginger or yellow food colorings are more likely to be allergic to turmeric.
Consult your doctor if you are taking any blood thinner medication before taking turmeric, since it can make the effect of the drug stronger and increase your risk of bleeding.