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Here’s everything you didn’t know about the many benefits of turmeric

Updated on:23 January 2021, 16:45pm IST
The health benefits of turmeric are legendary. But we are sure you don't know everything about the humble haldi yet.
Parul Malhotra Bahl
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There’s a lot more that haldi has to offer. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
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As a part of Ayurvedic curative medicine turmeric or “the golden spice” has been around for millennia. This warm spice has its intense yellow colour as well as its medicinal properties because of curcuminoid compounds, especially curcumin. In early days turmeric had an enviable place in our kitchen. Right from healing cuts and wounds and adding glow to a new bride’s face to getting a good night’s sleep, turmeric came to our rescue. 

Due to lack of awareness and belief in age old curative remedies, turmeric somehow lost its glory. More than just a culinary spice or carrying religious significance turmeric possesses potent medicinal properties and applications which are much beyond our awareness.

Today’s woman who is handling both work and home efficiently has definitely called for more stress. Women intrinsically by nature will keep accumulating stress and thereby manifest hormonal imbalances and menstrual disturbance, the most prevalent health issues women and young girls are dealing with today. 

Here turmeric can come to the rescue again! Being a warming herb turmeric is considered helpful in both regulating menstruation and balancing hormones. It has emmenagogue properties which help in stimulating menstrual flow. Moreover turmeric’s antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory properties help relieving menstrual pain.

To add more value there are many more such medical issues which turmeric can resolve.

  1. It helps treat skin conditions

Right from reducing acne, dark circles, lightening scars and marks, and moisturizing dry skin to reducing stretch marks, the list of turmeric’s skin benefits is endless. Turmeric’s antibacterial and antioxidant properties make it a potent cleanser for the skin and remedy for various skin conditions. Thus since ages as a part of a traditional ritual new brides and grooms are applied turmeric paste as it makes the skin glow and keeps harmful bacteria away from the body.

Turmeric has many skin benefits. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
  1. Reduces gas and bloating 

Being a bitter digestive and carminative, turmeric helps in improving digestion and reduces gas and bloating issues. Mostly it is the undigested fat which causes digestive issues. Turmeric is a cholagogue, which stimulates bile production in the liver. This encourages excretion of bile in the gallbladder and thereby improves the body’s ability to digest fats and prevent or dissolve digestion issues.

  1. Improves inflammatory conditions 

Due to its strong anti-inflammatory properties turmeric has been used to treat various inflammatory diseases like a few respiratory conditions (asthma, bronchial hyperreactivity and allergies), gastro intestinal discomfort associated with irritable bowel syndrome and other digestive disorders associated with inflammation in the body. 

  1. Relieves pain in joints 

It’s known that inflammation causes swelling and pain. As turmeric’s anti-inflammatory properties help reduce inflammation it helps in relieving pain as well. Studies have shown patients with osteoarthritis of the knee getting benefited from curcumin but needs more support from research. But traditional medicine has been using turmeric for its anti-inflammatory properties to relieve joint pain since ages.

  1. Helps cleaning and healing wounds 

Turmeric’s antibacterial and antiseptic properties make it a perfect remedy to clean and heal cuts, burns, bruises and even diabetic wounds.

Here’s what important point to keep in mind when consuming turmeric 

Despite curcumin being the major compound in turmeric its bioavailability in the body is quite limited. Thus having turmeric alone will never help. To enhance its availability consume turmeric with the combination of any one or both of the following:

Make your skin glow with turmeric! Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Black pepper 

Studies have shown that the compound piperine found in black pepper enhances the absorption of curcumin in the blood thereby increasing its availability.

Fat-containing foods 

Curcumin is a fat soluble compound. And so consuming it with fat containing foods like curries and milk will enhance its availability in the body.

Different ways of incorporating turmeric in your daily diet

  1. In a hot cup of milk add 1/4th teaspoon turmeric and a pinch of black pepper.
  2. In Indian curries add turmeric and black pepper as a part of curry masala.
  3. In a hot cup of pumpkin soup add 1/4th teaspoon turmeric and a pinch of black pepper in addition to other ingredients.
  4. For a healthy salad dressing mix 1 tbsp olive oil + 1 tbsp raw apple cider vinegar + 1/4th tsp turmeric + 1 tsp raw honey + salt, black pepper and oregano to taste + juice of 1 lemon.
  5. For a green smoothie take 1 cup spinach + 1 cup kale + 1/4th tsp turmeric + 1 orange + 1/2 banana + pinch of pepper + juice of 1 lime + juice of 1 lemon + 1-inch nub of ginger + 1 cup water. Blend them all together.

Parul Malhotra Bahl Parul Malhotra Bahl

Parul Malhotra Bahl is a clinical nutritionist and a certified diabetes educator with an experience of over 12 years in the health industry. She did her Post Graduate DDPHN from Delhi University followed by MSc. Nutrition from Bristol University, U.K. She has worked with multiple renowned hospitals like Medanta The Medicity, Sir Ganga Ram hospital, and Sitaram Bhartia Institute. Currently she is running her own practice under the name of Diet Expression (www.dietexpression.com)