Beyond its pungent taste and warm hue, the benefits of turmeric reveal it to be of powerful medicinal use, as well. It is a popular herb that is proving to be as useful in natural cures and home remedies as it is a flavorful spice. Cultivated largely in India, the health benefits of turmeric are quietly becoming popular in western cultures in recent years, as well. Learning about a variety of turmeric benefits helps a person decide on how it can be used individually to support good overall health.
It is also commonly referred to as:
- Indian saffron
A perennial plant, turmeric is classified as a member of the same family of plants that produce ginger. As a plant, it typically grows between 35 and 59 inches in height. Its leaves are oval in shape, large and feature yellow flowers that grow in the shape of a funnel. The stems of the plant are yellowish on the surface, but range from dark orange to reddish brown on the inside.
Typical Preparations and Benefits of Turmeric
The main bulb of the plant is often dried for use as a medicinal treatment. As well, the stems are thoroughly cleaned, boiled and allowed to dry before using in food or medicinal treatments. When prepared in this way, it is easy to use as an analgesic or a poultice, or it can simply be added to food.
Turmeric’s taste is very bitter by itself. Normally, it is combined with other flavors before it is used. It is the most active ingredient contained in curry powders and mustards, which are used to flavor and color many exotic food preparations.
Common Uses of Turmeric
In Asian medicine and folk remedies, turmeric is routinely used in the treatment of:
Clinical testing of the effectiveness of this herb has largely focused on one of its primary compounds, curcumin, which is touted for its ability to inhibit cancer at various stages of its cellular development.
Clinical trials further reveal that curcumin is also helpful in battling:
Curcumin’s improvement on the symptoms of those suffering from ulcerative colitis is believed to be due largely to its high antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agents. As researchers continue to study its effectiveness, it is also being tested for the treatment of gastric ulcers.
Considered to be a safe food for consumption, in very rare cases those with allergies have suffered from contact dermatitis and even anaphylaxis after coming in contact with or consuming turmeric. For these individuals, a risk of developing kidney stones may also occur with frequent turmeric consumption.
One of the most common side effects of turmeric, when used in excess, includes gastrointestinal discomfort although it seems the benefits of turmeric outway the side effects.
Commonly used in Indian and Chinese herbal treatments, the benefits of turmeric have been realized for centuries for its safe, effective use. It is also widely used as a dye for textiles, as it is celebrated for its luxurious yellowish-orange coloring. As a popular flavoring, a dye and a medicinal herb, this amazing plant deserves its place among one of the most popular herbs of all time.