Get to know the health benefits of turmeric and the various ways you can take it for your well-being. And learn a little bit more about the active ingredient in turmeric and the benefits of curcumin to the body.
The Health Benefits of Turmeric and How to Take It
What Is Turmeric?
“A root is a flower that disdains fame” – Khalil Gibran
Take a peek in your pantry. Chances are, you have a shaker of turmeric sitting among the other spices. But what is this rusty orange powder and why has it been so revered for centuries? Are the health benefits of turmeric still as potent today as they were thousands of years ago?
Let’s take a look at the secrets of its ancient past and uncover just what it is about this ragged rhizome that keeps us coming back for more.
Ancient Roots Recap
Turmeric [TER-muh-rihk] is the root of a tropical plant closely related to ginger. It is famed for its bitter, pungent flavor, and intense yellow-orange hues. The yellow chemical called curcumin gives it this color.
Turmeric powder is the main spice in curries and other South East Asian dishes. On top of that, it’s also one of the most well-known spice used for medical purposes.
Timeline: 600 B.C.
For over 5,000 years, turmeric has been used throughout India and Asia for culinary purposes and perfume. Historically, both Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine have celebrated the healing powers of turmeric, too.
Whether for the blood purification of poisoned kings, or opening up the three body meridians (liver, lungs, and heart), this illustrious root has been sought after for centuries. Today, its superpowers are comparable to the strength of many medications.
What is Ayurvedic medicine? Ayurveda, or Ayurvedic medicine, is an ancient holistic way of healing developed in India 3,000 years ago. It focuses on creating a balance in mind, body, and spirit for healing.
What Is Turmeric Good For?
Today, there are various ways to take the turmeric supplement. But first, let’s look at the health benefits of turmeric. So what makes turmeric so great for our modern lives? It’s…
1. Acts as an Anti-Inflammatory Agent for Joint Pain and Muscle Aches
The active ingredient or component in turmeric is the flavonoid curcumin, a revered king of anti-inflammatories. Its ability to insert itself inside the cells that aren’t working effectively and amplify them makes it a powerful pain reliever, particularly in achy joints and muscles.
People with chronic inflammation like rheumatoid arthritis find the anti-inflammatory agent in turmeric helpful in relieving constant pain.
2. Fights Bacteria Causing Acne with Its Antimicrobial Properties
Aside from being a natural anti-inflammatory supplement for internal conditions, the turmeric plant can also fight bacteria externally. Due to its tremendous anti-bacterial qualities, turmeric is a wondrous beauty aid in beating acne and hugely effective when applied topically as well.
Next time you need a 5-minute skin fix, try a dollop of raw honey mixed with turmeric powder for a powerful face mask.
Pro tip: Add a dash of Frankincense oil for amplified healing benefits.
3. Helps Maintain Blood Sugar to Manage Diabetes
With over 6,000 clinical studies and research finding turmeric to be more beneficial than nearly 20 medications, it’s no wonder it is excellent in aiding blood sugar issues such as diabetes.
Turmeric is rich in antioxidants and helps utilize carbs in the body, which makes it 500-100,000 times more potent than common diabetes medications.
Diabetes, if not managed properly, may lead to more serious complications. Ingesting the plant’s antioxidant properties in the forms of turmeric tea, pills, or other forms regularly can help balance blood sugar and, in turn, prevent complications from arising.
4. Calms Brain Inflammation Due to Anti-Inflammatory Qualities
The potent anti-inflammatory qualities in turmeric help to calm inflammation in the brain and keep the left and right hemispheres in sync leading to higher cognitive functioning. The ultimate hack in higher thinking!
5. Brings Down the Swelling in the Gut for a Healthier Digestive System
Inflammation of the gut can lead to many mishaps of the digestive tract. Adding turmeric to your diet can calm the swelling associated with many symptoms, particularly dairy intolerance and a leaky gut.
Pro-tip: Mixing freshly ground turmeric with high quality, grass-fed kefir drink is a great way to resolve milk sensitivities and replenish the gut with good guy bacteria.
6. Detoxifies the Liver to Remove Free Radicals
The super turmeric root is spectacular at supporting liver detox as it boosts the master antioxidant, glutathione and superoxide dismutase (SOD) for ultimate cellular function.
Not only will this help rid the body of free radicals, but it will also help prevent the formation of cancer cells.
What is superoxide dismutase? This is an enzyme that promotes the breakdown of free radicals, in turn, helping with the treatment of some diseases.
7. Cleans Arteries to Lower Cholesterol Levels
If you have plaque in your arteries, the curcuminoids in turmeric have proven to be effective in lowering both cholesterol and blood pressure. Because of this, it lowers the chances of blood clotting, keeping your blood vessels safe and lowering the risk of developing heart disease as well.
Supplementing turmeric into your diet is an effective way to prevent future problems and mend already existing dilemmas. But with so many turmeric options available, where does one begin?
How much turmeric should you take? Should you take turmeric capsules, turmeric tea, turmeric exact, or straight up turmeric powder? How do you start taking turmeric?
The answer is simple. Just begin. Adding even a little turmeric to your diet is better than nothing!
Here are a few fun ways to include this superhero food in your lifestyle:
1. Drink Turmeric Shots in the Morning to Reduce Inflammation
Got a juicer? Next time you stroll through produce aisle, grab a handful of fresh turmeric (usually located near the ginger). Add a splash of lemon and sea salt.
Pour yourself a shot glass full first thing in the morning and you will feel a spring in your step.
This is a great way to get the health benefits of turmeric in its purest form. Yet, not everyone can tolerate its bitter taste. If you can’t quite swallow a shot (even with lemon and sea salt), there are still other ways to ingest it.
2. Make a Cup of Turmeric Tea or Soup to Soothe Yourself
Steeping and then sipping your turmeric is an excellent way to uptake more nutrients. Health and fitness expert Dr. Josh Axe has a delicious turmeric tea recipe that will soothe your mind, body, and spirit.
Here are some simple turmeric recipes you can follow:
- Simply stir in coconut milk, water, ghee, honey, and ground turmeric in a saucepan.
- Simmer for 2 minutes, strain the sediments, then serve in your favorite mug.
The 15-minute turmeric soup:
- Mix a simple veggie broth with a knuckle of turmeric, scallions, and black pepper.
- Set to simmer and 15 minutes later you have a knockout nutritional meal.
3. H20: Liquid Gold Edition
Dr. Andrew Weil, known as the father of integrative medicine, believes in the healing benefits of turmeric as well. He prefers his beverage cool and unsweetened.
Here’s his recipe:
- Simply add a heaping ½ teaspoon of turmeric to 2 cups of boiling water.
- Simmer for 10 minutes.
- Pair with lemon or ginger for optimal benefits.
4. Take Turmeric Supplements for Less Hassle
Taking turmeric in capsule form is the most simplistic way to gather all of the amazing benefits without the mess (turmeric definitely stains!) or in liquid form with this amazing organic product Purathrive that we love:
With over 42,000 new toxins entering our environment daily, it is necessary to armor our immune system with the strongest natural resources available. Turmeric has proven to be a medicinal staple that has stood the test of time. Not only is it easily accessible, but it is extremely cost effective.
Even adding a shaker to your spice cabinet can make a huge difference in your overall health without a heavy burden on your bank account.
If you’re interested in the health benefits of turmeric, give it a try. You don’t have to worry about how to use turmeric since there are plenty of recipes available online. What’s more, it’s organic and can be incorporated into meals and recipes.
Adding a dash of turmeric or a drop of PuraThrive to your meal can be the beginning of incredible healing and vitality!
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Sources for this article:
The Food Lover’s Companion by Sharon Tyler Herbst
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on March 11, 2017, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.