Turmeric. What is it?
Part of the ginger family, turmeric, has been a staple in Middle Eastern and Asian cooking for thousands of years.
It has also been used for thousands of years in Indian Ayurvedic, and Chinese medicine systems. It is commonly used in the East to clear infections. It is both an internal and external anti-inflammatory.
In India, it is commonly used as a home remedy to treat a wide variety of ailments, from stomach aches to arthritis. The Chinese utilise turmeric as a topical analgesic, using it for colic, hepatitis and chest pain.
Typically, western medical practitioners have only recently begun to recognise the health benefits of turmeric. In fact that turmeric may be one of the most effective nutritional supplement available today. Oddly enough the East has known this for millennia.
Since it has woken up, Western science has started to investigate, and confirm what the Indian Ayurveda has known for a very long time, that turmeric really does contain compounds with medicinal properties
These various compounds are called curcuminoids, the most important one is curcumin,
Although the curcumin content of turmeric is only around 3%, curcumin is the main active ingredient in turmeric. It is the element that provides powerful anti-inflammatory and strong antioxidant effects
The clinical studies on the herb mostly seem to use turmeric extract, that contains mostly the precious curcumin,
As the therapeutic dosages can exceed 1 gram per day. It would be rather difficult to reach these levels just by using turmeric in your meals or health smoothies..
To experience the full medicinal effect of the spice, then you need to take an extract or a supplement that contains significant amounts of curcumin.
Turmeric benefits for arthritis
It’s well known that rheumatoid arthritis attacks the joints and can cause pain, swelling, stiffness, and loss of function to the sufferer. Turmeric has been used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine as a treatment for inflammatory disorders like rheumatoid arthritis. It can also help individuals suffering from osteoarthritis, acting as a painkiller, it increases mobility in the joint and reduces stiffness. As an antioxidant the curcumin element is able to help neutralise free radicals, This is important for arthritis as it is thought that the free radicals are mostly responsible for the painful inflammation and damage to the joints. Turmeric has a combination of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. People with joint diseases like arthritis have reported finding relief with turmeric treatment.
Turmeric Benefits for Acne Sufferers.
Actually there is a long list of potential skin care benefits of turmeric, and the associated compound curcumin. These include the treatment of acne, pimples and hyper-pigmentation. Other skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis have been cited as being helped by turmeric treatment.
- It is antibacterial and anti-fungal. It inhibits the bacteria that cause breakouts.
- The curcumin in turmeric has anti – inflammatory properties that helps to reduce inflammation, swelling, and pain.
- Importantly cucumin has strong anti-oxidant properties which helps to reduce and remove free radicals and prevent future breakouts.
- Its anti-septic properties helps to remove the deposition of bacterial infection in the skin pores.
- It has analgesic and astringent properties which cleanse toxins from the pores.
In India turmeric is often used in a face mask to treat skin problems.
We don’t recommend this method though, as it will leave the skin with a yellow hue, which typically might take 5-7 days to subside.
if you must try turmeric directly on the skin then there are various methods and skin cream recipes, one of the simplest is:
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
- One or two tablespoons milk cream.
Mix together until into a paste, and gently place paste onto your skin as evenly as possible. Leave for about 15 minutes, then wash off with cold water and gently pat your skin dry to avoid creating any excess irritation.
Another pleasant way to take onboard turmeric is in an infusion.
- Boil water and stir in ½ teaspoon of turmeric powder per two cups of water, and 1 teaspoon of peeled and minced ginger root.
- When boiled reduce heat and simmer for about 5 minutes.
- Then remove from heat, stir in 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice and 1 teaspoon of raw honey, and drink.
You can try it with milk instead of lemon juice if you prefer.
Before taking any curcumin remedies it is important to know that the active ingredient curcumin is mostly metabolized before it can be absorbed into the body. Piperine taken with the remedy, usually in the form of black peppercorns inhibits certain digestive enzymes, allowing more of the curcumin to be absorbed into the blood stream.
If you are interested in trying curcumin as a treatment option, the easiest way to start is of course to use supplements. Be sure they contain piperine to assist the absorption into your system.