Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is known as one of the world’s healthiest herbs. Often referred to as the “Queen of Spices”, turmeric has a peppery, hot and bitter flavor and a mild mustardy fragrance that is reminiscent of orange and ginger.
Where does the spice turmeric come from?
Turmeric comes from the root of the plant Curcuma longa and has a brown skin and orange flesh. Turmeric is native to southern Asia and has long been used as a powerful anti-inflammatory herb in China and India. Turmeric was originally known as “Indian saffron” because of its deep yellow color and has long been used as a spice, textile dye, and healing remedy.
What does curcumin do?
Curcumin is a substance in turmeric, that has a variety of antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory and anticarcinogenic properties. Studies have shown that curcumin has major benefits for our body and brain – it boosts the immune system, improves digestion, helps in healthy blood and liver function, helps in certain skin conditions like eczema and allergies, relieves aches and pains related to arthritis and reduces inflammation of joints and muscles.
What are the side effects of turmeric?
Turmeric is a herb that does not cause significant side effects. However, some people can experience nausea, dizziness, stomach upset or diarrhea. It has been proven that taking high amounts of turmeric can prevent the absorption of iron, so this herb should be used carefully by people with iron deficiency.
Turmeric is mostly used as a spice, but there are other forms available such as tincture, capsules, fluid extracts and tea. Turmeric tea is very delicious and soothing beverage that it’s also known for its numerous beneficial properties. Take a look at some of the biggest health benefits of turmeric tea:
One of the biggest health benefits of turmeric is that it has anti-inflammatory properties. Curcumin is a bioactive substance that fights chronic inflammation and prevents numerous serious diseases such as cancer, heart diseases, Alzheimer’s and metabolic syndrome. Turmeric has long been used as a natural remedy for arthritis. Turmeric also promotes healing with cuts and open wounds and reduces the risk of infection. This powerful spice can also fight cancer by slowing down the production of the cancerous cells.
Turmeric can be safely used in the treatment of diabetes by helping control insulin levels. Turmeric increases the effect of diabetes medicines and improves glucose control. It can also help to reduce insulin resistance and prevent the occurrence of Type-2 diabetes, thanks to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. However, when combined with strong medicines, this herb can cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), so it is best to consult your doctor or healthcare professional before taking turmeric supplements or drinking turmeric tea.
Turmeric stimulates the gallbladder to produce bile, which in turn improves digestion and reduces bloating, heartburn and gas. Turmeric is helpful in treating inflammatory bowel diseases like ulcerative colitis. However, it should be noted that people who suffer from any kind of gallbladder disease should not take turmeric supplements as it may worsen their condition. People who are suffering from digestive problems should consume turmeric in raw form.
Protects The Brain
Aromatic (ar-) turmerone is a bioactive compound in turmeric that protects the brain. A study has shown that ar-Turmerone promotes repair to stem cells in the brain. These stem cells are involved in recovery from neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and stroke. This compound could be used in the treatment of these diseases in the future. Another compound in turmeric, curcumin improves overall memory in Alzheimer’s patients. Turmeric supports brain health by removing the plaque from the brain and improving the flow of oxygen.
Prevents Liver Disease
Turmeric acts as a natural liver flush. It removes all the toxins and bile from the liver’s system, making it function more efficiently. Turmeric also improves blood circulation and supports good liver health. Again, it should be noted that people who have problems with their stomach or liver, should always consult a doctor or healthcare provider before adding turmeric tea to their diet.
Lipopolysaccharide is a substance found in turmeric, which boosts the body’s immune system. Turmeric has numerous antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties, so it strengthens the immune system. A strong immune system reduces the chances of suffering from flu, cold or a cough. However, if you do get a cold or the flu, just brew yourself a cup of turmeric tea or mix one teaspoon of turmeric powder in a glass of warm milk and you will feel much better.