Scaling the terrains of South-East Asia, the root, turmeric (or haldi), has been used in pastes, desserts, dishes and juices. Hailed as a super-food, turmeric delivers an innovative yet traditional; natural and ayuvedic. Simple enough in its tube-like parcel, this golden spice is brimming with healing power and has been since 1900 BCE, when turmeric was used in the ancient indian Siddha system to cure ailments ranging from gastrointestinal conditions to menstrual symptoms.
The colourful tinge to Indian curries, with its yellow staining power, the attractiveness of this rhizome extends past superficiality and reflects in its productive contribution to the diet. From anti-viral to anti-tumour, haldi has been working its magic across Asia, revealing itself to the West recently and turning heads as it does so.
Nowadays, the extraordinary spice has become known to modern medicine and as of December 2013, has been evaluated for its support with aiding fever, diabetes and possibly even Alzheimer’s conditions. Turmeric has since been hailed as a breakthrough in the world of homoeopathy, and a important, exotic gem in everyone’s diet. Further studies have shown turmeric contains anti-cancer properties. Published in the journal, Cancer Letters, the substance curcumin which is only found in the extracts of tumeric inhibited the development of animal tumours, inducing apoptosis of cancer cells. The study used in vitro tissue culture and in vivo within mice to conduct its experiment. These studies, from 1985, are being advanced. Meanwhile, research into the spice has dipped into research for the improvement of arthiritis, cystic fibrosis and other types of tumorous conditions such as colon cancer.
However, on a smaller scale, turmeric may be used on a daily basis to help cure small ailments. Due to its anti-bacterial qualities, the ground rhizome may be used as a facial paste to ensure clearer skin. Take two spoonfuls of the powder, two spoonfuls of flour, a spoonful of olive oil and a spoonful of milk, and then mix into a paste before applying to your face. Wait for twenty minutes and then wash the paste off the skin, which may be clear and glowing.
Mixing a spoonful of turmeric paste, or gobbling down a piece of the root itself, with a glass of milk before bed (and perhaps some black pepper) may allow the anti-inflammatory curcumin to be absorbed into the bloodstream and may aid the elimination of pathogens in the body. As an added benefit, this also may allow for a smoother bowel movement, which may be a mood enhancer.
Dandruff? Mixing any oil of choice and turmeric powder and applying to the scalp may help reduce dandruff levels by a significant amount. Likewise, HairEvo states curcumin has been reported to prevent hair reduction by preventing the scarring of alopecia. In cases such as these, a protein which regulates fat cell differentiation is deleted, ensuing baldness. Curcumin works to activate the transcription of this protein, so more of it is produced.
The University of Maryland Medical Centre has noted turmeric may aid the production of bile which helps with ulcers to IBS. Maryland Medical Centre has noted turmeric aids the production of bile which supports with digestion. The anti-inflammatory properties of the spice soothe the stomach in a matter of days.
Other uses for turmeric include using the powder as a natural dye, enlivening and spicing up bland foods, and adding flavour, colour and vibrancy to curries, giving your meal an extra kick. Turmeric may be a multicultural benefit which adds variety to the diet, as well as a way to replace the pills and their long term effects on the liver. This rhizome spice advocates a healthier lifestyle and research into further benefits are being acknowledged and advanced at a rapid pace.
The super-food spice has yet to be completely revealed to the population; there may still be unlocked benefits to turmeric that are being researched and discovered. In the mean time, there may be commended about this one particular spice, from skin benefits to tumours: it is clear turmuric may be a beneficial addition to one’s lifestyle.
What is the best use of turmeric?