Turmeric has been an important medicinal & culinary commodity used since many centuries in the South Asian sub continent. It is a rhizome (root herb) from the ginger family, indigenous to South Asian countries in origin.
Turmeric also called as ‘Curcuma longa’ is derived from Arabia which means both saffron & turmeric. It has been used as a strong colouring agent to give deep yellow colour to curries or gravies of the South Asian cuisines or as a dyeing agent for clothes.
Turmeric has several essential bioactive health compounds called curcuminoids, the main among them is curcumin. These compounds impart the unique health protective & medicinal properties to turmeric.
Turmeric, however, has been most commonly been used to arrest or stop blood loss due to cuts or wounds.
Following are some of the remarkable & unique medicinal benefits of turmeric :
Ostoearthritis (OA) is characterized by swelling & pain in joint extremities along with joint stiffness. There is production of pro-inflammatory cytokines which damage the joints. Curcumin in turmeric & other bioactive compounds inactivate the enzymes which release the inflammatory cytokines. Hence, in this way, turmeric plays a role in controlling arthritis symptoms due to its anti-inflammatory action.
An Immunity Booster
Curcumin decreases levels of inflammatory cytokines in the body which are responsible for developing auto immune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel diseases. It was also found in studies to stimulate the production of macrophages for destruction of drug resistant strain of bacteria causing TB. It also improves the phagocytic activity of the macrophages.
An Effective Wound Healer
Turmeric is an excellent anti-bacterial & antiseptic agent which prevents the entry of germs on open cuts or wounds. When applied on wounds, they initiate the formation of new skin cells & collagen on the area to fasten recovery of the wound. Its anti-inflammatory action arrests swelling & pain in the area along with loss of blood as well.
Excellent Antioxidant Properties
Curcumin possesses excellent antioxidant properties, through which it fights off cell damaging free radicals which have gained access through food, drugs or air. This is accomplished by neutralizing free radicals themselves and, they also boost the body’s antioxidant system to function against these free radicals. This action of curcumin is beneficial against carcinogenic factors entering the body as well.
Turmeric has been widely famous in its uses as an aesthetic aid to enhance beauty & charm. Turmeric is used to lighten skin tone, clear off acne & pimples & also reverse skin tan & pigmentation. Due to its role in controlling free-radical mediated cell membrane damage, which is one of the causes of skin aging, turmeric helps to retard the progress of the aging process. Hence, turmeric have been used in several cosmetic lotion, face creams & topical applicants to improve skin health.
Daily Dosage :
Turmeric extracts are available in a variety of forms today as tincture, curcumin tablets or supplements, dried root powder, fresh root or fluid extract.
A minimum of ¼ tsp of turmeric is safe to begin with daily over & above the daily amounts used in meals.
The dosage of other supplements can be heeded as per the physician’s advice or as suggested on the label.