Turmeric properties, it’s uses, healing capabilities and powers are endless. It is a magical healing golden powder. You may know this golden spice most from its use in curries and other Indian and Eastern dishes. But it is much more than just a spice for your food!
Although turmeric is only just becoming more popular and well know in Western nutrition, it has been used for thousands of years in eastern culture and traditional medicine.
What is turmeric
If you haven’t heard of turmeric before it is, in fact, a flowering plant that is part of the ginger family. Native to India and Southeast Asia, due to its need for 20-30c temperatures and high rainfall to grow & thrive.
It is the root of the plant that is dried and ground to a deep orange powder (often called Indian Saffron because of its colour). This powder can be used to flavour food, as a dye (most notably the robes of Buddhist monks), and as a medicine too.
The history of turmeric
As I mentioned, Turmeric originated in India and Asia and has been used for thousands of years in Ayurvedic, and traditional Chinese medicines.
The first records of turmeric go back over 4,000 years, not just for cooking, but for healing wounds, bruises, and skin conditions. It was also burnt to clear congestion, and even used to heal smallpox and shingles.
It is the colonisation of India by the British military in the 17th century that first introduced turmeric and curry to the West. Although it was initially only used for food and known as a spice, Indians selling the powder were also touting it as a ‘cure all’.
But it is only very recently as more holistic and natural healing and wellness methods have become more mainstream and people rely less on pharmaceutical products that Turmeric has become so popular.
Turmeric properties and healing uses
Turmeric is a powerful antioxidant and painkiller. It reduces inflammation in the body, boosts your immune system and cleanses the blood.
Personally I have found it to be THE most effective thing to reduce and manage my pain, especially my joint pain that comes with my chronic illness.
Here are all the things you can take turmeric for:
As an anti-inflammatory turmeric not only helps your body fight internal inflammation, it can also be taken as a safer alternative to ibuprofen for pain relief.
Taken daily it can help to fight conditions such as heart disease, arthritis, and muscular aches and pains that are inflammation related.
If you are looking for more natural remedies for pain relief I go into more detail in my posts here.
2.Heal you gut
With its anti inflammatory properties turmeric is good for treating inflammatory bowel conditions such as colitis and IBS.
By reducing the inflammation and irritation in your gut it allows your body to heal itself from the inside out.
Include in a superfood green smoothie to ensure you are getting a lots of greens, or add to a bone broth for double the healing powers.
3.Boosts your immune system
Taking turmeric on a daily basis can help your body to fight of germs and bacteria. With its antioxidant and antimicrobial properties it is perfect to help your body fight all those nasties.
Make a cold fighting tea with coconut milk, turmeric, ginger and black pepper. The properties of black pepper allow it to help turmeric be absorbed into the bloodstream.
4.Fights free radicals
Our bodies naturally create free radicals, but in this modern environment pollution, radiation, cigarette smoke, and herbicides also cause free radicals. The damages of which increase with age. Due to all these additional outside influences our bodies need extra help in combating the effects of free radicals.
Antioxidants are what the body needs to fight free radicals, which is where turmeric comes in.
Turmeric has scientifically been show to increase antioxidant capacity and therefore fight free radical damage, which in turn helps your immune system, brain function, protects your heart and your skin from the effects of free radicals. Turmeric even helps to fight against cancer!
Because of its anti inflammatory and antioxidant properties turmeric is wonderful to use on your skin.
I’ve been using a turmeric face mask religiously for a few years now. I apply once a week and it helps keep my skin clear and radiant. I already shared the face mask recipe that I use in another post, if you want to try it for yourself.
It not only clears your skin and relieves rosacea and spots, but it also lightens dark circles and sun spots, helps remove unwanted hair, and leaves your skin feeling soft and fresh.
Ayurvedic medicine says that you must cook with the herbs you use. In other words, take turmeric as part of a dish or meal every day, because this is better and easier for your body to absorb than just taking it in capsule form.
For some healthy ways to incorporate turmeric into your diet daily I have collected some of my favourite recipes below.
I may have got a little carried away with recipes, but there’s definitely plenty there to get you started!