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The Benefits of Turmeric Root – The Golden Wonder Herb

The benefits of turmeric root

Turmeric is a golden spice with a strong, slightly musty, citrusy flavor. Our ancient ancestors have used it for nutrition, and medicinal qualities for thousands of years. Turmeric root's botanical name is Curcuma longa and is native to South East Asia and India.
 
Only recently have people in the West have discovered the benefits of turmeric root and it's created a boom in its production. But what exactly is the reason behind its sudden popularity? And why, unlike many other superfood fads, has the interest in turmeric not faded? The report will focus on answering those questions as well as the health benefits of turmeric root.
 
The benefits of turmeric root have gone from fad to a legitimately acknowledged herbal medicine. It's safe to say; Turmeric root is here to stay!

The History of Turmeric:

Ayurvedic Medicine

the benefits of turmeric root

Turmeric root production has always been much more abundant in India. Even in Roman times, if you wanted turmeric root for a spice for dying clothes, it had to come along the silk road.
 
But turmeric's history goes back even further than that.
 
Archaeologists found ancient pots in New Delhi with a residue of turmeric root dating back to 2500BC. That means that we have been using turmeric in our foods for four and a half thousand years. And turmeric was and still is, an essential cultural and medicinal herb in India.

An Auspicious Plant

The Hindu faith considers turmeric to be an auspicious, sacred plant. It was so crucial to Hindus that they used it in meaningful ceremonies. For example, on his wedding day, a groom would tie a thread, dyed with turmeric, around his wife's neck. This symbolism was to acknowledge her power and wisdom in managing the home, which in the days before modern appliances, was a complicated job.
 
Turmeric-dyed clothes are also used as a barrier against harm, to ward off evil spirits and protect loved ones. 

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And, it was also used to add color and taste to food, and still is to this day. Although used for millennia in India, Turmeric root first became popular in the West in the mid-1700s, when curries became popular.
 
It lost popularity after the decline of the British Empire and has only recently re-entered Western diets. But across Asia, it never faded in popularity.

A Medicinal Herb

And yet, despite being four and a half thousand years, it was not until 500 BC that turmeric root gained some power as a medicinal herb.
 
All countries and cultures have their own form of herbal and traditional medicine.
 
And while some scoff at people who still use herbal remedies today, the fact remains almost all modern medicines came from plants and forms the basis of our modern medical system. For example, codeine and morphine, some of our best painkillers, come from opium, from poppy seeds

The Use of Turmeric Root in

Ayurvedic Medicine

The Benefits of Turmeric Root

Which brings us to Ayurvedic medicine. Ayurveda is India's traditional medicine. The word itself comes means “the science of life”. Ayur means life and Veda means knowledge or science. Much of the wisdom of Ayurveda and a lot of the treatments are actually turning out to be completely correct and viable.
 
For instance, in around 500 BC turmeric became a hit in the Ayurvedic medicine community. These ancient people discovered it had no toxic effect on the body and its natural healing properties helped with all sorts of ailments. So, doctors began prescribing it for everything. And I mean everything.
 
Turmeric was burnt and inhaled to reduce congestion and hay fever. They rubbed turmeric juice into wounds, burns, and bruises to heal them. Turmeric pastes were also used for blemishes, eczema, acne, shingles, and smallpox scars.
 

Additionally, people consumed turmeric for digestion and heart health. It became so popular that Ayurveda developed a hundred names for turmeric. For instance, Jayanti means “one who is triumphant, over disease”.

The energetics of Turmeric are: Bitter, astringent, and pungent. It is said to decrease Kapha and increase Pitta and Vata.

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The Benefits of Turmeric Root

health benefits of turmeric root

Turmeric is known to help particularly in three areas:

  • Digestion

  • Inflammation

  • Metabolism

Digestion

Turmeric has been proven time and time again to improve digestion. It reduces heartburn in people who have overeaten and speeds up digestion in people who suffer from bloating and stomach cramps. This is because turmeric increases the acidity of our stomachs. This makes us much more effective at digesting our foods and ensuring it passes through us faster. For this reason, turmeric is also a good solution to constipation.

Inflammation

Inflammation is the cause of countless modern ailments like arthritis, hay fever and cirrhosis of the liver. 
 
Normally inflammation is a healthy response which draws blood and heat to injured areas, helping you to heal faster.
 
Chronic inflammation, that is, inflammation that does not go away can cause damage to our organs, muscles, and joints. Turmeric reduces inflammation. It does not get rid of it, so if you need a little inflammation to help you heal you will still have it. But taking turmeric can reduce the pain suffered by people with inflammatory conditions.

Metabolism

And finally, turmeric boosts your metabolism. This means that your body burns energy more effectively.

More Benefits

Turmeric has been found to:

Help cancer patients regain energy during chemotherapy
Reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes
Reverse some of the damage done by dementia.
 
All this happens because when you take turmeric your body starts burning glucose faster. And glucose toxicity is a very common factor in making illnesses worse.

Caution

Because turmeric has strong medicinal effects, it can interact with other medicines you may be taking. For this reason, if you suffer any of the following conditions or take any of the following medication, please consult with your doctor.
 
If you have stomach ulcers, IBS, or other digestive disorders, talk to your doctor before taking Turmeric because turmeric increases the acidity of your stomach contents, which could make symptoms worse.
 
It is also not a good idea to take turmeric alongside an antacid, not because it's dangerous, but because they will just cancel each other out.
 
Additionally, talk to your doctor before taking Turmeric if you have:
  • A blood condition
  • Are pregnant
  • Or take medicines which may affect your blood pressure, such as aspirin or statins

Supplementing With Turmeric

First of all, consider doing things the traditional way:
 
Put turmeric powder in your food. This is the way that most people, throughout most of human history, have consumed turmeric.
 
There are countless recipes which use it, so you'll find no shortage of options. This is an especially great idea if you find that you enjoy the taste of turmeric.
 
One word of advice, though, is not to cook it too hot or too long. Avoid pressure cookers or other cooking methods which sustain a temperature over a hundred degrees Celsius. And even below boiling temperature, don't overcook it by cooking it too long. Sauces and pickled mixed with powdered turmeric at room temperature are one of the best ways of getting some in you.

Turmeric Tea

the benefits of turmeric root

Many people also take turmeric tea. Again, you don't want to boil or steep it too long. Instead, use hot water, but make sure it becomes still and is no longer boiling before you mix your tea.
 
If you make it from the fresh raw root, a tablespoon is a usual amount you put in turmeric tea. Although some people prefer a little less, and some people will increase the dose to get more benefits from it. When I don't fresh Turmeric root, this is my favorite Turmeric Tea. 
 
Turmeric tea can also have other medicinal herbs, and spices added to it, to improve the taste. Ginger, chamomile, lavender, sage, and rose are all excellent additions to turmeric tea.
 
Some people add sugar to their turmeric tea, but this is not advised, due to the many health problems sugar can cause. That said, honey has many antibacterial and medicinal properties too, so perhaps a tablespoon of honey in your turmeric tea would be nice.


Fresh Turmeric Root

 

 

the benefits of turmeric

If you can get your hands on fresh turmeric root, then have some pulp or juice. This has added benefit because it has not been cooked or processed at all! So whatever compounds are giving you the benefits will be intact.

As is often the case with plant-based herbal remedies, the fresher your turmeric, the greater the benefits. Use a juicer to extract the fluid from the root, as it's often hard and fibrous and not easy to make juice any other way. But if you dice it very, very small, you can put it in almost any blender and use the pulp in sauces, smoothies, and desserts.


Golden Milk

the benefits of turmeric root

Golden milk has been popular in Asian countries for a long time. It's considered to be an ancient recipe, and you can see dramatic health benefits from drinking it. You can make it at home or buy it at some health food stores. These stores may also sell different versions of golden milk and it's possible to find both dairy and vegan versions.



How to Make Golden Milk

Some recipes use coconut milk instead of dairy milk. Other recipes add cinnamon and more spices. There are also versions that add extra fat such as butter or ghee.

the benefits of turmeric root

My Recipe

Moon Milk is another popular health drink made with Turmeric and other adaptogenic herbs to calm and relax your body. You can learn more and the Moon Milk recipe here.

Turmeric Capsules

Finally, there are little capsules of turmeric you can take if you aren't keen on the taste of the plant. These are the best option for someone who doesn't like the taste of turmeric. Some pills are tablets of compressed turmeric, whereas others are capsules filled with turmeric powder.

Make sure that if you choose the pills they smell, as this is a sign that they will break down in your stomach and be absorbed. You will not digest odorless pills as well.

As long as you make sure of this, both of these forms are good supplements. But stay away from curcumin supplements and turmeric in gel forms. Curcumin because it is not effective, and gel turmeric because there isn't enough turmeric in them to have an effect



health benefits of turmeric root

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About the author

Jackie Parker

2 Comments

  • I have been using Turmeric for years in capsule form to control my arthritis along with a few other natural remedies and dietary adjustments. I have noticed that the swelling in my arthritic joints has been significantly reduced. Do you think that the capsule form of Turmeric is a viable alternative if turmeric root is not available? It seems to work for me.

    Ramona

    • Hi Ramona, It’s always better if you can ‘taste’ the herb you’re taking… but if you feel that you’re seeing results with capsule form, then stick with it. You can purchase Turmeric root fresh from Amazon. I put the link in the article for your convenience. If you decide to try it, please let me know your results. Take care and much love, Jackie

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