Everyone these days is touting the benefits of turmeric. No doubt it’s an incredible spice that offers numerous health benefits. There are, however, a couple of other things you should know about turmeric.
A History Lesson in Turmeric
Turmeric is a spice that’s harvested and is health-rich in its root. It’s long been used in Ayurvedic medicine, whose origin is at least 5,000 years old. Ayurveda is one of the world’s oldest whole-body healing systems and is still traditional practice today in India.
Turmeric has been used for centuries to flavor or color certain foods like mustards, curry powders, and cheeses. The root, which contains curcumin, the yellow compound, is more often used to make medicine.
The Chinese have used curcumin to treat diseases associated with abdominal pain. Ancient Hindu medicine used it to treat swelling and sprains. Hundreds of years ago, curcumin was used to ward off small pox.
How Do You Use It?
Turmeric comes in powder form, which you can sprinkle into food or make into a paste. Some people take pill supplements.
A turmeric paste can be applied topically to the body. It’s known to reduce inflammation and relieve pain.
Take two tablespoons of turmeric, one tablespoon of lime juice or apple cider vinegar, and a few drops of water. Stir until it makes a thick paste. Rub the mixture directly onto the affected area (no open wounds!) and then wrap with a cloth bandage. Your skin will be slightly yellow, but the swelling should decrease.
Benefits of Turmeric
There are an incredible number of ailments in which turmeric can be used as medicine. Shrinking inflammation seems to be its greatest strength and most positive health byproduct. Since so many diseases are linked to inflammation, it appears that turmeric may be one awesome preventative entity.
Here are some “conditions” in which turmeric can be used for:
- Joint pain and arthritis
- Stomach pain and ailments, including Crohn’s, IBS, and ulcerative colitis
- Gas, bloating, and loss of appetite
- Jaundice and other liver problems
- Fibromyalgia and lupus
Research also indicates that taking turmeric alone or with other herbal remedies greatly reduces pain from osteoarthritis.
Turmeric has also been shown to reduce the size and number of cancerous tumors.
The Other Things to Know
There’s no doubt that turmeric has a highly effective medicinal value. Using it in your cooking or taking a daily supplement is a perfect way to prevent inflammation and also help treat any of the above ailments.
Fat or Black Pepper: What most people don’t know is that in order for the positive effects of turmeric to be absorbed and actually be useful, it must be used in conjunction with fats or black pepper.
In order to increase its bioavailability, turmeric should be digested with a good fat. Healthy choices would be coconut, almond, or olive oils, nut butters, or avocados. Taking a supplement without a fat to help it become absorbed significantly lessens a medicinal or expected effect.
Blood Clotting: There has been research that has shown turmeric might slow blood clotting. It’s for this reason, it’s cautioned that people on particular medications—those that also slow blood clotting—should avoid turmeric.
If by nature or medication you are prone to bruising easily or slow blood clotting, use turmeric with caution, if at all. And as with any herbal supplement, always check in with your health practitioner, especially if you are on some type of other prescribed medication.
Turmeric has been used for millennia to treat injury, pain, and swelling. It’s fortunate that we can still use it today, safely and effectively. For other information about herbs, healing, and preventative health, check out www.GetThrive.com