The Hype About Turmeric Get The Facts
Turmeric is the current buzz word in the natural health industry, but is its fame warranted? This pungent spice is being used both externally and internally and is being touted as a multipurpose heal all, not to mention its use as a natural teeth whitener and acne mask. So if you interested in the hype about turmeric get the facts below in this article.
What is Turmeric
Turmeric is sourced from the bulb/roots of the Turmeric Plant, which is a member of the ginger family. Turmeric is commonly used as a spice and vivid yellow colourant in cooking, ( I have even used it in my natural cake decorating recipes to colour vegan fondant) .
It can be applied topically or taken internally as a natural health supplement.
Turmeric has been used for thousands of years in traditional Ayurvedic Medicine to treat inflammation, disease and infection of the body.
It is in the bulb/roots of the turmeric plant where the numerous health benefits lie. Turmeric roots contain the active ingredient curcumin, which is of curcuminoid, a natural, potent, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. Curcuminoid also has antibacterial, anti-parasitic, anti-carcinogenic, anti-thrombotic and antiviral properties.
Turmeric As Internal Medicine
Western Medicine has recently taken a serious interest in this humble herb and has been conducting numerous studies on the medicinal health benefits that turmeric has to offer. They are however, still skeptical about calling turmeric a cure all, but they are hopeful and definitely interested and have been getting some positive results in clinical studies, such as this one reported by the BBC on whether Turmeric Protects Us From Cancer.
Another trial, testing turmeric for cardiovascular disease and health has also proved promising.
This study comparing a mainstream drug to turmeric for treatment of arthritis of the knee also shows great results, although this study was only for one type of arthritis and they concluded by saying more trials on other types of arthritis are first needed to give definitive results.
A Curcumin Study On Cognition showed positive benefits to older people taking curcumin for healthier brain cognition and for overall calmer, more content moods.
Turmeric As External Medicine
The following healing benefits have been found when applying turmeric powder externally to the body;
Because of its anti-inflammatory and various other healing properties, turmeric has shown in preliminary studies, to be significantly effective in treating psoriasis. See article.
Turmeric used to heal wounds has also been studied with promising results.
Alternative Natural Remedies Using Turmeric
Turmeric has commonly been used be Aryuvedic Practitioners alone, or combined with other herbs to treat a huge array of illness and inflammation of the human body.
It has been shown to significantly reduce pain and inflammation in the body and this article here by the California College of Aryuveda on Turmeric Healing Benefits covers it all.
You will find countless tutorials by natural beauty bloggers on how to whiten your skin and teeth and much more using turmeric. While there seems to be little harm in trying these out, be ready for the wonderful staining effect that turmeric has on everything it touches!
Turmeric Mask For Acne
I personally think turmeric is brilliant at treating acne. I recently tried it on my 12 year old daughter to help her skin and the results were absolutely visible. I also tried this mask out on myself and yes my skin was brighter and cleaner looking, although a little yellow hued for the next 24 hours, so plan ahead!
* I used organic Katsuri Turmeric powder, (a non-edible, less staining, lighter turmeric) mixed with equal parts pure aloe vera gel and let it sit for 20 mins before thoroughly washing it off.
Turmeric For Teeth Whitening
Well I tried this one out too, using the standard organic, edible turmeric powder on a wet toothbrush. I did it a few times and yes my teeth seemed to be getting whiter, but I gave up due to the unbelievable mess and staining of my sink. Also I wasn’t a fan of the turmeric aftertaste.
Safety When Taking Turmeric
I absolutely recommend sourcing certified organic turmeric, whether you are using the fresh bulbs, the dry powder, tablets/capsules. You must also make sure that the brand you use, maintains strict hygienic processing.
Always be sure to first check with your doctor if you are on any other forms of medication. Turmeric can interfere with some medications.
In the western medical world, turmeric is still a fairly new player and whilst the studies are promising, caution is still recommended.
The important thing to remember is that eating fresh turmeric as a spice on your food will not give you enough Curcumin if using it for natural medicinal purposes.
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