Turmeric root is one of the healthiest foods known to man.
Normally used as a spice in Indian curries, turmeric is now earning its due rewards because of its incredible and varied health benefits.
The deep golden yellow root comes from a plant called Curcuma longa. Turmeric is used as a spice, condiment, textile dye, and an all-natural herbal healing remedy in traditional Indian and Chinese communities. It is also abundant in volatile oils and different kinds of curcuminoids.
Alternative name: Indian saffron
Who would benefit from it?
Turmeric root is safe for adults and children (in lesser dosages). Turmeric can be eaten as a raw root, dried powder or taken as a supplement for prevention. I personally eat a lot of raw turmeric because it grows wild in the tropical country I reside in. I can buy the root very inexpensively and my favorite way to eat it is diced and then tossed in a small cup of water and swallowed. If you try this, just brush your teeth right afterward and your teeth won’t stained at all. Plus, you’ll be amazed at how your toothpaste will turn lime green!
- For the skin, it has an antibacterial property that pacifies acne. It also kills the resistant virus found in boils and treats scabies, eczema, and chicken pox.
- It has many effective anti-inflammatory substances, the most powerful being curcumin.
- It aids in PMS.
- It helps in delaying the onset of dementia.
- It prevents the growth of blood vessels in tumors, thus preventing the supply of vital nutrients to cancer cells.
- It is an antioxidant. Some women use turmeric as an ingredient in home face masks.
- It prevents strokes and heart attacks.
- It controls insulin activity and is best paired with fenugreek.
- Together with onion, it helps prevent the growth and proliferation of polyps that contribute to colon cancer.
- According to clinical trials, turmeric root showed positive results in people with arthritis and irritable bowel movement
There are many studies and clinical trials that prove the efficacy of turmeric. The main pharmacological substance in turmeric root is curcumin, one of the many curcuminoids found in turmeric. Curcumin halts the activities of inflammatory substances. Inflammation is often touted as the base of many fatal diseases. Curcumin also prevents cell mutation. In cancer, transcription factors are considered to be the main switch that controls all cancer cells. Curcumin works by targeting the transcription factors, thus killing the genes important for the growth of cancer cells.
Because of its popularity, some people sell low-quality red-orange turmeric (rather than golden yellow) that is artificially colored with lead. Keep this in mind when buying turmeric and do some due diligence to determine a good source. I posted the top-rated turmeric product on Amazon below if you’d like to compare it with others you know of.
Should You Consider Taking It?
Turmeric root is without doubt a superfood that every household should have. Whether powdered or whole root, it packs the same benefits. To increase the body’s absorption of curcumin, take turmeric with black pepper and virgin coconut oil.
Curcuma aromatica: The Wild Turmeric
Wild turmeric (Curcuma aromatica) is one of the three species of turmeric widely used by humans. For centuries, it has been used both for food and medicine, a staple for both Asian cuisine and traditional treatment methods such as Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Just recently, it has attracted much attention from the medical and scientific community both for its therapeutic properties and potential for future medicinal use. This plant has a wide range of health benefits, which will all be discussed in detail later. The active ingredient of wild turmeric, curcumin, has a wide range of health benefits, including improved liver function, while also being a potent anti-inflammatory agent.
Wild turmeric is an herb closely related to other turmeric species, as well as other roots and plants such as ginger. Considered as a perennial, this plant enters a state of dormancy during the winter. Once spring arrives, the plant becomes active once more before rapidly growing during the summer months. The foliage will then die off in late autumn to prepare for dormancy.
Wild turmeric can grow as tall as 16 inches, with stalks that are almost as long as the plant’s height. Just like its relatives, turmeric (Curcuma longa) and ginger, this plant produces rhizomes, a critical survival adaptation. Like its aforementioned relatives, these same rhizomes are being used for both food and medicine.
Wild turmeric is used the same way as its domesticated counterpart. The rhizome is usually ground to create a powder, which can then be used to either add flavor to food or to prepare beverages such as turmeric milk. Another popular use for this product is as a skin tonic. A paste is made using the rhizome powder, which can then be rubbed into the skin. The plant is even used for some traditional ceremonies in countries where it is grows naturally.
Benefits of using Curcuma aromatica
- Potent antimicrobial agent
- Anti-inflammatory properties
- Multi-purpose topical agent
- Enhanced liver health
- Antioxidant properties
Details and Other Uses
Anti-inflammatory properties Keeping inflammation at bay is one of the keys to treating some of the most common ailments of the human body. Turmeric’s main active ingredient, curcumin, is known to reduce inflammation by controlling the inflammatory response of our immune system. This is made possible by lowering the COX-2 enzyme levels, which are responsible for the creation of inflammatory agents such as prostaglandins. It also inhibits the expression of NF-kB, which is another cellular messenger that triggers the inflammatory response.
Liver protective properties Protecting the liver is important for achieving long-term wellness. The use of Curcuma aromatica is linked to hepatic protection of different levels. This is mainly achieved through its powerful antioxidant properties. With potency matching that of natural antioxidants such as Vitamins C and E, curcumin is highly effective at eliminating free radicals, which helps in reducing stress on the liver. Aside from reducing free radicals, its anti-inflammatory effects are also seen as highly beneficial for preventing liver diseases such as hepatitis.
Skin protection Curcuma aromatica is most popularly used as a skin protective agent. You can create a wild turmeric-based skin application and be able to resolve all kinds of skin ailments. Among the skin issues you can fix with the help of a wild turmeric skin formula are scabies, acne, eczema, boils, and bad body odor. Aside from this, you can also use wild turmeric for skin whitening, healing scars, and evening out skin discoloration. It is safe for sensitive skin; so safe that you can even use it for babies! Wild turmeric is one of nature’s best options when it comes to skin protection.
Anti-cancer Cancer is one of the leading causes of death around the globe. Finding an answer to this devastating disease is considered complicated at the very least. However, studies have shown that you can use turmeric both for preventing and treating different kinds of cancer. Experimental studies have shown that curcumin has the ability to eliminate malignant cell formation and reduce tumor size. At the same time, curcumin is also linked to blocking three crucial steps in the development of cancer: tumor promotion, angiogenesis, and tumor growth. In the near future, Curcuma aromatica (and other forms of turmeric) could prove to be promising anti-cancer agents.
If you are taking medications, be careful when using turmeric because there are about 70 drugs that react with turmeric.