The health benefits of turmeric have been known for thousands of years. So well-loved is this spice, that it’s the most widely researched and most commonly used Ayurvedic spice in the world, and for good reason!
This golden powerhouse is often used in cooking (a good homemade curry is never without turmeric), beauty recipes, and as a supplement for numerous applications. Almost every system in the body is supported by the health benefits of turmeric due to its high antioxidant content and affinity for balancing the body. It’s a truly amazing herb!
The Health Benefits of Turmeric
Turmeric is a vibrant yellow orange powder that comes from the root of the Curcuma longa plant. You may find the fresh root at your local health food store and if you do, you should pick it up! Adding a quarter inch of this amazing rhizome to your morning smoothies with a pinch of black pepper is an excellent way to reap its healing properties.
Turmeric has been used for centuries for countless ailments. It’s proven to be so amazing that even western researchers have found reason to tout its many benefits.
And speaking of these many health benefits of turmeric, here are just a few:
Turmeric Helps Support Digestion and a Healthy Liver
Turmeric is a warming herb that stimulates the digestive system to release digestive secretions. It relieves gas and bloating and has strong astringent and anti-inflammatory properties that tighten, tone, and gently soothe the digestive tract. It is often used to treat colitis, diverticulitis, irritable bowel syndrome, and leaky gut for these reasons.
Turmeric is often used for those with ulcers. Its astringent attributes tone the surface of the ulcerations which helps decrease bleeding and inflammation while preventing infection. These same qualities are also widely used for anal fissures and hemorrhoids, both internally and externally, with great results.
For those who suffer from sluggish digestion, turmeric can help invigorate your digestive juices because of its bitter and pungent taste. It promotes the release of bile from the gallbladder and liver which aides in the digestion of fats, making us feel less gassy and bloated with easier bowel movements. Turmeric also supports healthy intestinal flora which helps support a strong immune system and healthy digestion.
Turmeric also lends itself well to liver support. Its antioxidant qualities help regenerate the liver by deflecting harmful carcinogens. Using turmeric regularly is known to help prevent cirrhosis of the liver as well as other degenerative liver ailments. It also helps the liver process metabolic wastes more efficiently.
Turmeric Supports a Healthy Heart
One interesting health benefit of taking turmeric daily is its ability to normalize our cholesterol levels. It does this by preventing oxidation, a process known to damage blood vessels making them more susceptible to blockages. Scientific research suggests that turmeric actually increases blood circulation while reducing both high blood pressure and blood clotting. It is often recommended by Ayurvedic doctors to take turmeric after heart surgery for these reasons though you should talk to your doctor first before trying this yourself!
Turmeric is Amazing for Boosting Immunity
Turmeric offers broad spectrum support for our immune system and is commonly used for colds, flu, sore throat, bronchitis, and digestive upset. It strengthens and promotes the formation of new blood cells, making it useful against chronic disease, most notably cancer. Turmeric does this by regulating and normalizing the growth of blood vessels in the body.
The high content of antioxidants found in turmeric boosts immunity and can effectively cut the duration of a cold in half. It is also great for preventative use against colds and flu.
Turmeric Supports Musculoskeletal Strength and Flexibility
Turmeric is an extraordinary herb for the musculoskeletal system, especially for those with chronic arthritis and other joint conditions.
Its strong anti-inflammatory properties decrease pain and help rebuild joints by increasing circulation to the area. For those with dry constitutions, it is recommended to mix turmeric with ghee to offset turmeric’s drying qualities.
Turmeric is often used by yogis to support long lean tendons and ligaments and promote deeper flexibility.
For sports injuries and other soft tissue pain, turmeric stands out as a steadfast pain reliever. It does this by decreasing substance P, a compound that communicates pain impulses between nerve endings. It also promotes faster healing by stabilizing connective tissues while lessening scars and adhesions. Using turmeric internally is also an effective remedy for sore joints and sprains.
Turmeric is Great for the Nervous System
A while back it was believed that once you were past childhood, your neurons could no longer multiply. Nowadays, this is known to be false.
One of the main factors for this is a process known as Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF). Essentially, BDNF is a type of growth hormone in the brain linked to memory. Many common brain disorders have been linked to decreased levels of BDNF including depression and Alzheimer’s.
The curcumin found in turmeric increases the production of BDNF, which stimulates the growth of new neurons and fights degenerative brain ailments. It’s no wonder India has some of the lowest rates of Alzheimer’s!
Turmeric Speeds Up Wound Healing and Supports Healthy Glowing Skin
Turmeric is amazing for promoting healthy glowing skin. Its use both internally and externally has been proven to reduce acne, eczema, psoriasis, and promotes speedier healing of wounds.
Applying turmeric powder to an open cut will stop bleeding almost immediately.
It’s also good for fungal ailments like athlete’s foot and ringworm. All you need to do is mix turmeric with a little water or aloe gel to form a paste and apply it to the affected area. Be careful though, turmeric will stain most anything yellow!
You can also use turmeric powder on infected gums or a painful tooth. Don’t worry, this will NOT stain your teeth. In fact, brushing your teeth with turmeric actually whitens teeth!
Turmeric Eases Diabetic and Menstruation Difficulties
Turmeric is a strong ally against inflammation, making it perfect for diabetics. It also lowers blood sugar and increases glucose metabolism.
For those with PMS, turmeric is a great herb to use for moving stagnant blood, reducing clots, and relieving pain associated with menstruation. Turmeric’s antispasmodic properties also soothe smooth muscles which helps with painful cramping. I often use this turmeric supplement during my cycle to help with PMS.
The Health Benefits of Turmeric- Considerations
When using turmeric orally, it is important to add 3% black pepper to your recipe. This increases the bioavailability of turmeric which makes smaller doses more effective.
Turmeric is warming and drying so it may exacerbate hot and dry ailments or those with dry ruddy constitutions. It is often used with demulcent herbs like marshmallow root or slippery elm for these reasons.
Taking too much turmeric in one dose will result in nausea.
Using the powder is generally believed by most herbalists to be more beneficial than taking curcumin alone.
Turmeric used in cooking is generally regarded as safe for everyone, however, there are some guidelines for taking therapeutic doses of turmeric.
Avoid taking turmeric if you fit into the categories below:
• You are currently taking blood thinners or platelet-inhibiting medications
• You have a blood clot disorder
• You have acute hepatitis
• You have jaundice
• You have a bile duct obstruction
• You have hyperacidity
• You currently have gallstones
• You are pregnant or breastfeeding
Some ways to enjoy turmeric include:
Fun Turmeric Recipes and a Video!
1. TURMERIC HOT TODDY (FOR COLD/FLU RELIEF) – Adventures In Making
Boost your immunity with a twist on a classic! When I stumbled across this post I knew I had to try it. This recipe looks especially good on a cold rainy day.
2. GOLDEN MILK + THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF TURMERIC – Adventures in Making
This is the traditional remedy used in ayurvedic medicine that’s been around for thousands of years! Learn how you can make this amazing remedy at home with just three ingredients.
3. TURMERIC TIE-DYE SCARF – Adventures in Making
Learn how to make beautiful tie-dye scarves using turmeric!
4. Turmeric Yogurt Brightening Mask- Jenni Raincloud
This brightening mask will help even skin tone, lighten dark spots, and brighten your complexion for fresh vibrant skin!
5. How To Whiten Teeth Naturally With Turmeric – Mommypotamus
So remember when I mentioned that you could actually whiten your teeth with turmeric? Here’s how.
6. Wellness Shot – Turmeric Tonic With Coconut Water, Ginger And Honey – Mommypotamus
When you’re feeling a cold coming on, try this turmeric wellness shot! It will help boost immunity and cut down the duration of your cold.
7. Turmeric Bombs: DIY Turmeric Supplement – Empowered Sustenance
Here is a much more palatable way to take turmeric for pain and inflammation. I love how simple this recipe is!
8. Golden Sauerkraut – Wild Fermentation – Green Kitchen Stories
This is probably some of the most beautiful sourkraut I have ever seen! Get your beasties in with this amazing probiotic recipe!
9. TURMERIC SMOOTHIE (DELICIOUS, DIFFERENT + GOOD 4 U) – This Rawsome Vegan Life
Try this recipe to brighten and boost your morning smoothie!
10. Thai Yellow Curry Paste: Using Thai Yellow Curry Leftovers – The Spiced Life
You didn’t think I would forget to add a curry recipe did you? This one is delicious AND it gives you ideas for the leftovers as well. Everyone should know how to make a good yellow curry IMHO.
Don’t miss the video below by some of my favorite Youtubers!
What have been your favorite turmeric recipes? How about your favorite health benefits of turmeric?
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