Discover the best ways to take turmeric to improve your health
With its vibrant orange-yellow colour and earthy taste, Turmeric is a herb that has been in the spotlight in recent years – and there’s a good reason why.
Native to Asia, Turmeric has been used for centuries in China and India, both for cooking and medicinally.
Turmeric has also become a popular herb in the west due its therapeutic properties and ability to effectively address a range of ailments.
Learn about the amazing health benefits of turmeric and the best ways to take turmeric to improve your health.
What are the health benefits of Turmeric?
Turmeric contains a group of compounds called curcumenoids which have powerful medicinal properties. The most notable compound is curcumin which is known for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. Turmeric can be used to reduce both acute and chronic inflammation, and studies have shown it has a stronger anti-inflammatory effect than hydrocortisone (a steroid medication used for swelling and inflammation).
Curcurmin also boosts Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF), an important protein in humans that promotes the growth, development and survival of nerve cells, especially in the brain. Having good levels of BDNF improves brain function and lowers your risk of neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s and multiple sclerosis.
What is Turmeric good for?
- Helps to fight inflammation in the body by blocking the action of pro-inflammatory molecules (cytokines). Turmeric has shown to be effective for people suffering with inflammatory conditions including rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis and inflammatory bowel disease.
- Protects cells from free radical damage due to its potent antioxidant capability.
- Promotes healthy skin due to its restorative, antioxidant and antimicrobial properties. Turmeric is especially helpful for chronic inflammatory skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis and acne.
- Supports the body against cancer-causing agents and tumours. The curcuminoids in turmeric act by inhibiting several processes that contribute to the survival, proliferation and spread of tumour cells. Curcuminoids also interfere with tumour growth by cutting off the blood vessel formation which feeds tumours.
- Balances an overstimulated immune system which is a driving factor for allergies, autoimmune and chronic inflammatory conditions like arthritis.
- Improves cardiovascular function. Turmeric has an anti-coagulant effect (meaning it can prevent blood from clotting) which helps sticky and congested blood to flow better.
- Supports brain health. Turmeric has shown to cross the blood-brain barrier (a membrane that regulates what enters the brain area from the blood), reducing inflammation and the build-up of protein plaques that are associated with Alzheimer’s disease.
- Cleanses the liver and aids detoxification by boosting enzymes that help clear toxins from body. Turmeric also prevents the liver from becoming damaged by toxins due to it high antioxidant content.
- Protects the stomach from infections and overacidity by helping to increase mucous production in the gut.
How to take Turmeric
Turmeric can be taken internally as a powder, capsule, tablet or liquid herbal, or applied externally to the skin. Here are some ways that turmeric can be used:
- Add turmeric to your cooking – and not just to curries! Turmeric can be added to salad dressings (with olive oil and apple cider vinegar), hummus, roasted vegetables, soups and grated onto salads.
- In smoothies – you only need 1/4 – 1/2 tsp. Here is a great smoothie recipe.
- Make a turmeric latte (also called golden milk).
- Drink it first thing in the morning – this is a fantastic way to flush the liver out and cleanse the body. Add ½ tsp of turmeric with a dash of pepper and 1/2 a fresh lemon to a glass of warm water.
- Prepare a poultice which is a paste made with olive oil, water and powdered turmeric. The paste can then be spread on a warm, moist cloth and applied to the body to relieve inflammation and promote healing. This is great for infections and relieving inflamed, itchy skin.
- Make a soothing face mask by mixing 1.5 tsp of turmeric powder, 1 tsp of raw organic honey and 1 tbs of coconut milk together. Apply it to a clean face and leave on for 20 minutes. Rinse off with warm water.
Boost your health naturally
Turmeric is excellent herb for boosting overall health that can be used in cooking and drinks, externally on the skin or as a supplement. With its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and medicinal properties, turmeric can support all the body systems, including the brain, skin and immune system. To learn more about how you can use herbs to improve your health, take a look at CNM’s Herbs for Everyday Living short course.