Turmeric is one of the most ancient spice with its use dated back to 4000 years ago and is considered one the most healthiest spice according to Indian Ayurveda. It was used since ages as a culinary spice in most of curry based meals with potent health benefits on daily basis in the form of powder & for marination of meats.
Turmeric has been widely studied for its medicinal & healing properties. The most important ingredient in turmeric with medicinal property is ‘Curcumin’. The benefits of turmeric consumption is endless but Top 5 benefits are listed below.
- Anti-Inflammatory – It has been widely used an anti-inflammtory agent for joint pains, traumatic injury, post surgery inflammation, ligament and tendon injuries to reduce inflammation and speeding up recovery. In Ayurveda it has advised as an anti-rheumatic for joint pains and inflammation.
- Anti- Carcinogenic – In multiple studies cur cumin has been shown to have anti-carcinogenic properties. It does so by reducing oxidative stress & prevent free radical damage to cells and organs due to external & endotoxins.
- Immunity Booster – Curcumin has anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral properties when consumed on daily basis by protecting our body from various pathogens and viruses. It also support the Detoxification pathways in the liver thereby help us to get rid of certain toxins by rendering them less harmful and neutralising the free radicals.
- Neuro-protective – Curcumin prevents brain degeneration and age related brain decline in terms of memory and cognition. It reduces oxidative stress which is main reason decline in brain functioning. It has been shown to have promising results in reducing the severity of Alzheimer and Parkinson disease related to brain health.
- Cardio-protective – It has cardio protective properties by way of improving Endothelium function. Endothelium is the innermost functional layer of arteries and any dysfunction or damage to endothelium leads to cardio vascular conditions such as stroke or heart attack. Curcumin prevents damage to endothelium by neutralising free radical and reducing oxidative stress (the main causes fo endothelium dysfunction). It also prevent blood clotting and atherosclerosis.
How to use Turmeric effectively to reap the full benefits as a spice
The problem with turmeric is that it contains only 3% of Curcumin extract on dry weight basis. The other problem with Curcumin is that its is poorly absorbed from the gut when sourced from turmeric. To reap the full benefits when using Curcumin or Turmeric the following methods can be used:
- Making a micoremulsion of raw turmeric with ghee or coconut oil which is by default done when making curry paste where there is heat along with some oil before consumption increases the bioavailability of curcumin
- By boiling raw turmeric in water for 10 mins and then consumed immediately can release curcuminoids
- Using Curcumin supplement is an another option. Few of patented products like BCM-95, Meriva and Phytosome Curcumin has been shown to increase blood curcumin levels in various studies.
Raw turmeric has been found to be intoxicated by heavy metals such as Lead so it is wise to use Organic version only.
Avoid using Curcumin when on blood thing drugs as Curcumin also has blood thinning properties.