I have been using turmeric for a long time in my cooking. I love to cook Indonesian food and turmeric is one of the herbs or seasoning I use in there.
Just not too long ago I found that turmeric has a lot of health benefits and starting to do more research and reading about it on how I can implement it more in my diet.
I have found over 6000 studies that proof the health benefits of turmeric.
I just wonder sometimes why modern medicine does not make use of this knowledge.
The probable reason is that you cannot put a patent on anything that is found in nature so they are not able to sell it to us as a medicine.
What is Turmeric
Turmeric is a plant that grows up to a little over 3 feet tall and grow in the south and south west of Asia.
It needs a lot of rain to grow and temperatures between 70 and 95 degrees to grow.
Turmeric is known under a variety of names and you might even have it in your spice rack in your kitchen for making curry. It is part of the ginger family. And is also known as
- Yellow root
Fresh versus powdered Turmeric
It can be bought fresh in some stores and as a powder in about any grocery store.
The 1 inch fresh turmeric is equivalent of 1 tablespoon fresh grated and 1 teaspoon ground turmeric.
Like any herb or seasoning I think fresh is always better, but in the case of turmeric we have to problem that it is hard to find in the stores. Your best change would be an Asian market to find this wonderful root.
The fresh turmeric contains oil and that will be lost in the powder and even a small part of the curcumin will be lost while processing.
There are more advantages for raw or fresh turmeric over powder
Quality: You know what your buy. Powder can have some additives like fillers in it.
Economical: Cheaper to by raw then it is to buy the powder.
Aroma: Raw turmeric has a lot more aroma compared to powdered turmeric
Grow your own: Under the right circumstances you can grow your own turmeric in your backyard from one bulb.
How much and how to use Turmeric
To use it on a daily basis a ¼ ounce (6 till 7 gram) is a good amount. This is in grounded form about 1.5 teaspoon. You can see that this amount is easy to implement in your daily food.
Just use common sense and like any other medicine you just ask your doctor what to do when you use any other medication, during pregnancy or need to have surgery done.
I found research that tells that Turmeric is not easy absorb in our body.
By adding a little black pepper to it we can help our body absorb more of it.
By making it combine with a healthy fat it will even be absorb better.
This means that using it in your your cooking it the most effective way to use Turmeric.
The heating also seems to be helping in releasing the oil in the Turmeric and making it easier for our body to absorb it.
Health benefits of Turmeric
In many studies it is reported that the use of Turmeric has more advantages than then a lot of the prescription drugs the doctors prescribe us.
I found a list of prescription drugs and the use of Turmeric instead gives a better result.
- Anti-inflammatory drugs
- Diabetes drugs (Metformin)
- Cholesterol drugs (Lipitor)
- Anti-depressants (Prozac)
- Anti-coagulants (Aspirin)
- Pain killers
- Diabetes drugs (Metformin)
- Arthritis medications
- Inflammatory bowel disease drugs
The list is a lot longer but these 10 are the ones that give the best result in curing a disease.
One of the most powerful advantages of Turmeric is the lack of side effects that all over the counter or prescription drugs have. I will talk a little more in depth about a few of them that I think can benefit us most.
Inflammation and Turmeric
As you can read in many of my other articles I believe that inflammation can cause a lot of problems and in my opinion is at the basis of many diseases.
If we can take care of an inflammation and in that way boost our immune system, we can stay a lot healthier.
Turmeric is well known to help control inflammations. There is a study in the Oncogene journal that stated that aspirin and ibuprofen are the least effective and Turmeric is far more effective as an anti-inflammatory compound.
Diabetes and Turmeric
Diabetes is a disease with high numbers here in the US. It is number 7 on the list of leading causes of death in the United States, but we all know that diabetes has a great impact on other diseases and can amplify there symptoms. This makes me think that is should be higher on the list.
There has been a study that the curcumin in Turmeric is 400 times more potent than the commonly prescribed drug Metformin.
Turmeric and its anti-inflammatory and antioxidants can delay many complication caused by diabetes like neuropathy and retinopathy that damage the blood vessels and cause blindness.
Cholesterol and Turmeric
High cholesterol is a common disease caused by the fact that many people develop pre- diabetes and this causes oxidative stress. Oxidative stress damages the inside of the blood vessels and because of this damage cholesterol will begin to build up to patch the damage, but this leads to high LDL levels.
The well-known drug Lipitor is also well known for harming the kidney and the liver and this can lead to a number of deadly side effects.
The Curcumin in Turmeric has shown in a study to be equal or more effective than the regular diabetes medications in reducing the oxidative stress and inflammations in the treatment of diabetes.
Turmeric side effects
There are reports of some people have allergic reactions to turmeric. Most of them have this after their skin being exposed to turmeric and they described it as a mild rash that itched.
Like always we also have to use turmeric in moderation. By using high doses there are reports that they can cause compliant like: Nausea, Increased menstruation, hypo-tension, diarrhea and a few more.
This means that Turmeric can be used to help and cure many diseases that are now only cured by prescription drugs. I do not say to quit using the drugs your doctor subscribed for you, but give the use of turmeric a thought. Always consult your doctor before starting to use higher doses of any natural medication. You can however use smaller amounts in your food, smoothies or juices to start using the many benefits of Turmeric.