Sunshine and summer and everything happy, that’s our colour yellow! People tie turmeric strongly to this happy colour. Ayurvedic practitioners have been using Turmeric for thousands of years. This has created for itself a pivotal place in our medicine, our kitchens and our hearts.
Curcuma longa is the scientific name of the most commonly used variety of Turmeric. Other varieties of turmeric used in Ayurveda are Curcuma amada, Curcuma aromatica and Berberis aristata. People use it as a fresh root, dry powder and more recently, in extract form. People refer to it as “Haridra” and several varieties have been identified for their medicinal properties. The taste of this herb is bitter and pungent and it has a balancing effect on all three doshas; Vata, pitta and Kapha.
People commonly use the root of Turmeric for medicinal purposes. Here onwards, the uses and benefits of using turmeric have been explained.
Turmeric for inflammation
Our bodies go through a bad diet, a crazy work weekend polluted roads sometimes which leads to high-stress levels. All these stresses cause some form of inflammation in the body. Doctors have linked chronic inflammation to several diseases. If people consume it regularly it can help fight inflammation and create a balanced inner environment.
Turmeric for wound healing
People have often used turmeric in Indian kitchens for small cuts and bleeds. Doctors have concluded that turmeric can help with all stages of wound healing. The sprinkling of the powder of turmeric on small cuts and bleeds can help to stop the bleeding. Additionally, the anti-infective properties of the herb help in avoiding infection.
As an antioxidant
The body undergoing constant wear and tear produces free radicals in the process. Free radicals cause oxidative damage and are basically the mechanism behind many diseases and ageing. Turmeric helps neutralize these free radicals while at the same time, boosting the body’s natural antioxidant enzymes.
It’s also a beauty secret
People have been using it as a beauty ingredient for ages. Often considered auspicious, the application of a paste of turmeric is a pre-wedding ritual that adds a yellowish glow to the skin of the to-be bride and groom. Due to its antiseptic properties, it helps fight skin infections and acne when used properly. Therefore, beauty companies are using Turmeric in several high-end serums and creams due to its anti-ageing property. Further, when used regularly, it helps in retarding hair growth and has been used vastly for retarding facial hair growth in women.
Turmeric in diabetes
Researchers have been studying the role of this herb in diabetes and the regulation of blood sugar levels. Used in combination with Amalaki, in the form of Nishamalaki, it helps in maintaining healthy blood glucose levels, especially in pre-diabetic conditions. It further helps in moderation of Insulin levels to a healthy level.
When it comes to blood-related disorders
Turmeric acts as a vasodilator and helps in maintaining a good flow of blood within the vessels. This plays a major role in atherosclerotic diseases where the circulation when hampered, can cause serious consequences.
Here, it helps in maintaining a healthy endothelium (lining of the vessels) which when combined with its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory action, helps in conditions like heart disease.
Turmeric in menstrual disorders
In a few menstrual disorders, the menstrual blood flow could be very scanty. Simple use of turmeric water can like an emmenagogue. Emmenagogues are agents which help in stimulating or inducing menstrual flow.
In the case of liver disorders
Regular use of turmeric helps in detoxifying the liver and promoting its function. Again, the role of this herb in improving circulation and that as an antioxidant, helps in maintaining good liver function.
The fancy turmeric latte that you have been seeing constantly in your Instagram scrolling, has been used for the longest time in cases of a stuffy nose and colds. It is hot and dry in nature, in the combination with something like watered-down milk it helps to reduce the symptoms almost instantly!
The burning of turmeric is similar to burning sage. The smoke that results from it is very intense and sharp and helps in reducing inflammation in the upper respiratory tract.
Doctors are using turmeric in its pure and extract form, to possibly avoid the incidence of cancer in humans. This role is being intensely researched upon due to its easy availability and relatively lesser cost.
How to use it
Turmeric is to be considered medicine and not just as a spice and used accordingly. Due to its hot and drying nature, it is to be used sparingly even in food. Therefore, as a medicine, it is usually used with another adjuvant like ghee or milk.
As with any Ayurvedic herb, if with the sole intention to mitigate/cure any disease, it is always better to consult an Ayurvedic medical Professional and then take it as advised.