Against Viruses, Overeating & Skin Problems: Everything You Need To Know About Turmeric, The World’s Most Popular Superfood
Turmeric (by the way, did you know that it is correct to pronounce kurkUma?) Has long been the number one product for everyone who is interested in healthy lifestyle and proper nutrition. It is added to foods, drinks, cosmetics. This spice surely surpasses ginger and lemon in popularity. And, for example, Natalya Osmann always keeps turmeric in her purse – it helps to maintain health and energy during numerous flights. During a pandemic, turmeric is another way to support the body.
The BeautyHack editors deal with experts – nutritional physician, Ayurveda doctor and beautician – what is the power of turmeric. And is it really worth keeping it with you at all times? (Spoiler alert: definitely yes, but not for everyone)
Actually, the main thing you need to know to deal with this superfood: turmeric is a plant, and its main active ingredient is curcumin. Often they say “curcumin” to mean “turmeric”, so it’s always about the powder, and not about some isolated substance.
There is turmeric root, but it is difficult to buy it. The powder of this plant is more accessible, but it is not inferior to the strength of the effect of the freshly ground root. There are also supplements with turmeric – but you cannot drink them without first passing tests. Turmeric is added to cosmetics too.
How each of these variations affects the body, we will figure it out.
Natural antibiotic, anti-cancer agent and other properties
One of the most important and well-known properties of curcumin is anti-inflammatory… And thanks to the high content of antioxidants, this substance strengthens the immune system five times, and sometimes more: better than the usual vitamin C! This is a really effective remedy for the prevention and treatment of colds, especially in the season of viruses and colds.
Curcumin is also capable of fight germs in the mouth. There are many curcumin gels and liquids recommended for conditions such as gingivitis (inflammation of the gums). They have been proven to be as effective as chlorhexidine.
Curcumin is prescribed and to maintain a figure… It reduces cravings for sweets and fats.
In addition, the substance lowers bad cholesterol (LDL) in the blood and normalizes the blood composition.
Still is powerful natural antibiotic, regulates bowel function. Research has shown that this ingredient is able to lower markers of inflammation such as interleukin and C-reactive protein (CRP). This means that curcumin can help treat acute and chronic diseases such as bacterial, viral, fungal, rheumatic, and others. In Germany, it is used to treat problems related to the gastrointestinal tract, as well as in Chinese and Indian medicine.
There are studies confirming that the substance is an anti-cancer agent.
Curcumin is able to slow down the growth of cancer by 58%.
The greatest efficiency was found in the fight against tumors of the mammary, prostate and pancreas.
Curcumin also affects brain function: it reduces stress by neutralizing the action of one of the most damaging free radicals – peroxynitrite. As a result, cognitive functions are improved, and performance is increased.
Turmeric for prevention: where and how much to add
As a spice, turmeric is combined with most foods. Most often, its powder is added to rice and potatoes. It can also add spice (and also usefulness) to your breakfast: add turmeric, for example, to oatmeal, omelet, pancakes, toast, bread. For any dish, just half a teaspoon of this seasoning is enough.
Turmeric drinks are also popular. For example, Natalia Osmann adds it to milk or water. “If I’m not feeling very well, I just stir literally a teaspoon of turmeric with milk or water and drink it. To get used to the taste, you can stir half a spoonful, “Natalya told us (read her interview here). The blogger also noted that sometimes ginger and honey are added to milk or water with turmeric.
Sati Casanova often makes turmeric tea. In a two-liter thermos, she mixes one teaspoon of turmeric, half a teaspoon of grated ginger, 5-7 pieces of cloves, a handful of rose hips and berries of currant or lingonberry. She pours all the ingredients with boiling water, insists and then drinks the drink during the day. “This tea is useful not only for immunity, but also for cleansing the body, it can be drunk with detox, as it also helps to remove excess fluid and relieve swelling. The only thing: the drink has a slightly sour taste, so it may not be liked by sweet lovers. In this case, you can add a little brown sugar or honey, ”the singer advised the readers of BeautyHack.
Ayurvedic turmeric treatment and contraindications
It is recommended to use turmeric oil and plant root and extract. The root is a source of iron, iodine, vitamins B and C, phosphorus.
Turmeric extract has analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects, so gargling with a mixture of a pinch of turmeric and salt in half a glass of water helps with inflammation of the tonsils (tonsillitis) and inflammation of the pharynx (pharyngitis).
With bronchitis, you should breathe burnt turmeric. But you need to do these inhalations very carefully: use half a teaspoon of the powder.
For mild (first) degree burns, it is effective to use a paste of aloe and turmeric juice.
However, with all the beneficial properties of turmeric, it should not be used for gastritis and irritation of the gastrointestinal tract, as well as with increased Pitta dosha. It is usually characterized by symptoms such as pale yellowish skin color, frequent hunger, and irritability and temper. You can accurately calculate your dosha (or body type according to Ayurveda) on the Internet, by answering a few questions about yourself.
Is turmeric in creams safe?
In India, girls make homemade masks using turmeric: they add olive oil, honey, ginger or papaya to it. But in our conditions, such mixes can cause allergies or individual intolerance, therefore, before repeating the recipe for a face from the Internet, it is better to take tests and consult with a specialist.
Fortunately, many beauty brands now (especially those that specialize in natural ingredients) are producing turmeric products for all skin types. And often they solve several problems at once, including moisturizing the skin and having an anti-aging effect.