The healing properties of turmeric

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Every Indian kitchen has this amazing herb. It is used avidly in Indian cooking, in worship in homes and in the temples of India, even used to enhance the cosmetic and medicinal value of creams, and touted as the most powerful anti-inflammatory with anti-carcinogen properties to boot. It’s turmeric we are talking about, a medicinal root now highly acclaimed and sought after for its medicinal properties.

It is used traditionally in the powder form and the bright yellow pigment, curcumin, is the active ingredient responsible for the bulk of it’s healing attributes. It is used generously in curries for its color and its piquant, rather dryly sharp taste and unmistakable aroma.

It has long been revered for its anti-inflammatory and detoxifying abilities. Research shows that turmeric is invaluable in helping the liver metabolize fatty tissue (and so help in weight management) and aid, as well, in the prevention of health complications arising from diabetes.

It is used in the treatment of arthritis due to its pain relieving properties and in wounds, to prevent infections from developing. It is also used in the treatment of certain eye diseases and in eliminating intestinal worms. It can be given to treat severe nighttime cough in combination with freshly ground black pepper and hot milk.

This relative of ginger, versatile though it is, comes with its fair share of side effects. It is not to be taken in cases where stomach acidity is present and prolonged exposure to turmeric can actually trigger heart burn or other problems related to the digestive tract, including mild to moderate irritation in the stomach.

Turmeric, according to research, can lead to bleeding when taken alongside blood thinning drugs and therefore, as with any herb, turmeric too, should be used for treating conditions or diseases only after consulting your health care advisor. Having said that, I hasten to add that it has been used as a medicine in Indian homes for generations now, and with amazing success.

Its versatility does not end merely with its medicinal properties, however. The naturally occurring pigment in turmeric has been used for centuries in traditional Indian art (specifically paintings on cloth and paper), where natural pigments were a must in order to maintain the integrity of the artwork, while paying allegiance to that particular artistic tradition.

To sum up, it can safely be assumed, that a jar of turmeric in every household kitchen could well pave the way to health, while offering simple solutions for various diseases as a home remedy.


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