The Turmeric Herb and Its Many Benefits

tumericTurmeric is one of the ingredients used when you make curry.  It is an herb with a rather sharp taste and a golden color.  It comes from the root curcuma longa plant and is sometimes called the “Queen of Spices” and is sometimes called “Indian saffron”.  Turmeric has been used in Middle Eastern and Southeast Asian cooking for generations.

Turmeric is a good source of many nutrients such as potassium, dietary fiber, iron, manganese and various vitamins.

Turmeric has been used for many years by Chinese and Indian medicine to treat infections and inflammations of the body.   It is often used to help with a variety of health problems.  Turmeric is said to contain antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, anti- carcinogenic, antibacterial and antifungal properties.

Curcuma which is the main component in turmeric appears to block the enzyme that causes cancer in the head, neck and mouth.  It may also aid in the  prevention of prostate cancer by stopping the growth of existing cancer cells and preventing the growth of new cancer cells.  It may also aid in preventing or treating colon and skin cancers.

Some additional health benefits of turmeric are believed by many to be:

Relief of some of the joint pain associated with arthritis and possible reduction of free radicals that damage body cells.

Improvement of glucose control in diabetics and reduction of insulin resistance.

Reduction of cholesterol levels by increasing receptors for the LDL (bad cholesterol) to clear more LDL from the body.

Improvement of  liver functions by increasing the detoxification systems

Curcuma which is the active ingredients in turmeric may inhibit the spread of fat tissue thus assisting with weight management.

Turmeric may strengthen the immune system, protect against Alzheimer’s disease, slow the progression of multiple sclerosis, improve digestion, aid in treatment of inflammatory bowel disease,  and aid those suffering with  cystic fibrosis.

Turmeric is an inexpensive spice available at any grocery store.  You can sprinkle it on salad, eggs, vegetables, meat or seafood.  Add it to salad dressings or soup. It is best used raw, but you may cook with turmeric.  It goes well mixed with rice and can be rubbed  into meat before cooking.  There are numerous recipes available using turmeric.  If you  do not want to use the spice turmeric is available in capsule form.