Turmeric or Haldi is a herb that is so commonly used in Indian households that it is taken for granted that no home in India lacks it. It is used as a spice in food, as a home remedy for an injury or cough cold etc in milk or for application on wounds
The active constituent of turmeric is curcumin which has several medicinal properties. According to research done in USA, it is found that turmeric has antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, antioxidant, and anticancer activities and also has a potential to reduce the risk of various malignant disease, arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, and other chronic illness including rheumatoid arthritis.
There are several benefits of the super food, turmeric –
1. PREVENTS HEART DISEASE: Curcumin improves endothelial function that covers the inside of the heart and blood vessels, protects age-related loss of function, and reduces your likelihood of developing heart disease.
2. PREVENTS DIABETES: Curcumin contains anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that lead to a significant decrease in blood sugar, prevent diabetic nephropathy, as well as increase plasma insulin.
3. TREATS DEPRESSION: Researchers suggest that curcumin boost levels of a brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and shows greater antidepressant effects and is an effective treatment for major depressive disorder.
4. SUPPORTS SKIN HEALTH: Curcumin contains antimicrobial and antioxidant properties that help to treat a variety of skin conditions like acne, atopic dermatitis, photoaging, and psoriasis.
5. PROTECTS FROM FREE RADICALS: Curcumin protects your body against damage caused by free radicals that are generated in our bodies caused by environmental pollutants like cigarette smoke, liquors, and industrial chemicals.
6. BOOSTS IMMUNITY: Turmeric is anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal properties that protect the human body from a variety of infections and boosts immunity.
7. TREATS ARTHRITIS: Curcumin contains inflammatory properties that are an effective treatment for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) disease, which spreads to the eyes, lungs, skin, heart, and blood vessels and ultimately lead to physical disabilities.
How to extract maximum benefits from turmeric –
1. Curcumin is also fat-soluble, which means it breaks down and dissolves in fat or oil. No wonder then, it was added to a meal being cooked with ghee and fats. Also, it is often used as a drink in milk at night.
2. Turmeric tea, brewed using grated turmeric root or pure powder, is considered one of the most effective ways to consume the spice.
3. Since, curcumin is poorly absorbed in bloodstream, it is when taken with pepper enhances the absorbtion of curcumin by 2000 percent while making it more effective.
4. To prepare Haldi Chai or Turmeric Tea, you can use 2 teaspoons of ground Haldi powder in about four cups of water – boiling for about 10 minutes before straining it. You can flavor it with honey and whole milk, or cream, coconut oil or ghee to dissolve curcumin and make it available for absorption by the body.
5. Now various supplements of turmeric are also available in the market but it is advisable to consult with the doctor for the same.