Turmeric is a natural spice that has been widely used on a regular basis in India and a few other South-East Asian countries for thousands of years. It has been recently discovered by the west in the last few decades.
As we all know:
- It grows as root (like ginger)
- Its scientific name is Curcuma l onga
- The active ingredient in Turmeric is Curcumin which is strongly anti-inflammatory and is most effective when used with peppercorn.
What does Research say?
There have been more than 100,000 studies conducted the world over about the benefits of consuming turmeric. Here are a few conclusions.
● Plays a potential role in analgesia and hence can be used to relieve pain –
One study found that turmeric consumption provided better pain relief to people with arthritis compared to pharmaceutical pain killers
● Inflammation is significantly reduced with turmeric consumption
● It is a potent antioxidant and helps improve immunity. It has a good effect to avoid respiratory infections
● Boosts brain-derived neurotrophic factor – prevents and treats Alzheimer’s disease
● Reduces risk of heart disease
● Can help to prevent and treat cancer
● Has been found to be a good anti-depressant
● Has anti-ageing properties
● Improves skin tone, vigour and vitality – Turmeric paste has been used in various rituals in Indian marriages
The best way to consume would be to add it while cooking vegetables, daals and curries especially as a root form rather than in its commercially available powder form which may have spurious additives.
Many people also consume turmeric in the form of pickles.