Editor’s Note: Just as we learned mango is king of the fruit, in this post we hear which spice rules the world! A terrific follow up to our last post, Natural Healing Tips, Cathryn Johnson enlightens us about the benefits of consuming turmeric.
When eating out, we face a lot of choices. And often when we think of healthy food, we think of bland, tasteless “delights.” But, recently I discovered that some of the most flavorful food in the world can actually have health benefits.
East Indian food is famous for its color, aroma and generous use of flavorful spices. Most people are well aware of the exotic taste these spices offer, but few are familiar their health benefits.
One of the most commonly used spices in Indian cooking, often referred to as the “King of Spices,” is turmeric. Turmeric, which is also known as Indian Saffron, haldi or curcuma, has the same powdery consistency of ground red pepper. It is a slightly bitter, saffron-colored spice that is generally responsible for the color of Indian curries.
Turmeric is a flowering plant that is found in various parts of tropical Asia. Historically, Indian merchants used turmeric as a dye. It was not until much later that the health benefits of turmeric were discovered.
One of the first discovered healing benefits of turmeric was by the people of India who used it as a natural antiseptic or antibacterial agent. Even today, in India, turmeric is often applied to disinfect open wounds, much as we apply rubbing alcohol in the West. Turmeric is thought to help the healing of skin. Some research even shows that turmeric can prevent, or even heal, melanoma.
Turmeric also has anti-inflammatory effects that make it a natural arthritis treatment. Some would argue that it works as good as any of the over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs on the market today, but without any of the side effects. Turmeric is even said to serve as a natural pain killer.
New studies show that turmeric may aid in the fight against cancer. When combined with cauliflower, turmeric can prevent prostate cancer and even help in the destruction of existing prostate cancer cells. Eating a diet that includes turmeric has also been shown to reduce the chances of childhood leukemia. And studies in mice show that turmeric may even help combat breast cancer.
Turmeric is not only used in India for its medicinal value, but also in China, turmeric has long been used to treat depression.
These are just a few of the benefits of adding turmeric to your diet. Other potential health benefits range from liver detoxification to slowing the effects of multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer’s disease.
There is no recommended daily allowance (RDA) for turmeric. However, it is suggested that the average adult can take approximately 500 milligrams a day. An upset stomach or other gastrointestinal issues can result if excessive doses of turmeric are taken.
With all of these potential health benefits available to you, why not venture out for Indian food today?
About the Author
Cathryn Johnson is a freelance writer. She is currently a resident writer for Online Nursing Schools, which researches areas of nursing education, online nursing programs, and healthcare. In her spare time, she enjoys travel, theater and having fun in the sun.
One of my friends (originally from India) swears turmeric heals colds, too. He recommends mixing turmeric and honey in warm milk. Do you know of any home remedies made from turmeric?