Benefits Of Turmeric
Turmeric, also known as the Indian saffron or golden spice is a flowering plant of the ginger family, Zingiberaceae. It is known as Curcuma longa scientifically and it is native to India, southeast Asia and some parts of central America. The turmeric plant is rhizomatous, herbaceous and perennial. They are usually gathered for their rhizomes. If the rhizomes are not going to be used fresh, they are turned to powder by boiling in water for about 30-45 minutes then dried in a hot oven and ground into the powder spice which is a deep yellow orange turmeric powder. This spice powder is usually used as a colouring agent in many Asian cuisines.
The turmeric powder has a warm, bitter, pungent flavour. It is mildly aromatic with scents of orange and ginger
Turmeric powder has curcumin as the main active ingredient in it. This active ingredient has powerful anti-inflammatory properties and also it is a very strong antioxidant. Turmeric actually gets its health benefits primarily from curcumin.
Uses of turmeric.
In culinary practices all over the world. In Asian cuisines, Indian dishes, Iranian khoresh dishes, in south African dishes, Moroccan dishes etc.
It is used to make fabric dye in most Indian clothing.
Used as an indicator paper in science practices.
It was used in traditional wedding ceremonies by the Hindu and south Asian Muslims.
In Micronesia, turmeric powder was applied for embellishment of the body, clothing, utensils and for ceremonial uses.
It was also used in southeast Asia as traditional Ayurveda medicine.
Properties of turmeric
The health benefits of turmeric.
Prevents and treats Alzheimer’s disease.
Helps prevent and treat cancer
Lowers the risk of heart disease
Lowers the risk of brain disease
Fights aging and age-related chronic diseases
Helps with digestion
Improves liver function
Aids in detoxification
May slow down or prevent blood clots
Turmeric benefits to the skin.
Helps increase skin elasticity to fade away fine lines and wrinkles hence slow down antiaging process.
Provides a lustrous glow to the skin
Helps treat psoriasis
Helps with acne scarring
Helps treat eczema
Boost skin health
Exfoliates the skin
Helps fade away stretchmarks.
How to use turmeric for great skin.
You will need turmeric powder, bentonite clay, an essential oil like frankincense, milk, rose water, water (any of your choice). Mix the ingredients together to make a fine paste. On a freshly cleansed face, apply the paste evenly all over the face and let it sit for about 10-20 minutes. Rinse it out with lukewarm water.
As a face scrub
You will need turmeric powder, sugar crystals, an essential oil of your choice and a carrier oil of your choice. Mix the ingredients together and apply on a freshly cleansed face. Scrub the face gently for about a minute or two and let it sit on your face for about 10 minutes and scrub once more then rinse off with lukewarm water and use a gentle cleanser to cleanse your face.
As an ingredient in soap making.
Turmeric has been used in soaps to brighten the skin and help with scarring.
Safety precautions when using turmeric.
First you need to check if your body has any reactions to turmeric. So, if you are to consume it, you need to take a little turmeric before you increase the quantity.
If you are to use turmeric topically on the skin, you need to test it on your fore arm by applying a dime sized amount and wait for 24 to 48 hours to see if you will react to it. Reaction can be seen by any irritation, redness or swelling on the skin.
Turmeric temporarily stains the skin and anything it gets into contact with. This is normal so you need to be careful when using turmeric near items you don’t want to stain.
Turmeric has a low bioavailability meaning that your body metabolism burns it off quickly and your body doesn’t absorb it quickly.
If you are under medication, turmeric may react to them so it is advised to consult your doctor to find out if you are clear to use turmeric alongside medication.
If you are to undergo surgery, stop using turmeric two weeks prior to the surgery to avoid the risk of over bleeding.
Do not use turmeric on your skin if you are allergic to the spice in food.
By Eila Oketch.