Anti-inflammatory powerful, soothing, protective, turmeric (or turmeric) is a spice that reveals many other benefits than its simple food use. For more than 2,000 years, turmeric has been considered a “long life” spice and its rhizome is the subject of many scientific pieces of research. But what are the turmeric virtues of health? What are the qualities offered by this spice? How to consume it to make the most of its effects? Let’s take a closer look at turmeric, a spice used in cooking and therapy.
Origins, description, and composition of turmeric
Origins and description
The turmeric is a herbaceous plant native to Malaysia and India. Its stems can reach a meter in height and inside, multiple rhizomes of yellow to orange color are present.
The leaves of the plant are green and spread over two rows. They can be between 7 and 25 cm wide and up to 50 cm long.
On the side of the ears, they can measure up to 20 cm. The flowers are sterile and the cuttings rhizomes allow propagation.
A spice with many functions
For more than 4,000 years, turmeric has been used in traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurvedic medicine to protect the digestive organs and stimulate digestion. But in recent years, turmeric is the subject of many studies because of its important anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
In the kitchen, turmeric is a popular spice (especially in Indian cuisine) to season dishes and keep them fresh.
The composition of turmeric
Turmeric is very rich in antioxidants. Its main compounds are:
- Curcuminoids, natural pigments with antioxidant properties and the main one is curcumin. The latter is a powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant. By the way, do you know that turmeric is one of the five most antioxidant plants in the world?
- Essential oils.
In what form do we find turmeric?
You all know turmeric powder, but other forms are available.
Turmeric powder is obtained after the rhizome has been boiled and dried. It is then used in cooking to flavor and color soups and ingredients such as rice or potatoes. It also fits well in a sauce and even a fruit salad. And to correct the acidity of a dish, the turmeric is perfect!
In addition to the powder version, turmeric can also be used as capsules, essential oil and even fresh. Here are some explanations about these variants:
Fresh turmeric: for this version, the turmeric looks like ginger. To consume it in this way, you must peel it and rap. But think of using gloves, because its stains are stubborn and difficult to remove.
Capsules: if you want to use it as a dietary supplement.
In essential oil: for this version, it is directly extracted from the root.
In poultice: to treat skin problems (the recipe for making it is below).
What are the benefits of this spice on health?
The roots of turmeric are used in traditional Chinese medicine, Indonesian, Japanese and Thai, which gives them multiple virtues: anti-inflammatory, improvement of general health, prevention of certain ailments …
In herbal medicine, the part used is the rhizome, the underground part of the plant. It is stung in sections, harvested several months later, peeled, boiled and reduced to powder.
Here is more in detail the different benefits of turmeric on health.
Note: to enjoy these virtues, you must take turmeric longa.
The turmeric root is distinguished by its curcuminoids, powerful anti-oxidants yellow.
Antioxidants neutralize free radicals and thus protect cells and their membranes.
Good to know: Free radicals are molecules that cause oxidative stress and act on premature aging.
In the turmeric root, the essential oil can also be found (up to 5%). The latter is rich in curcumin, sesquiterpenes, and zingiberene, elements are also known for their antioxidant and soothing properties. Other properties of these elements: they have stimulating properties for the secretion of bile and liver.
An interesting anti-inflammatory
Because of its anti-inflammatory effect, turmeric can relieve chronic inflammatory pain such as arthritis, tendinitis, osteoarthritis or rheumatism. After a fracture or rupture of the ligaments, for example, turmeric also increases the rate of remission. Indeed, turmeric purifies the body while providing powerful antioxidants allowing the blood to circulate better. This purification also provides the body with minerals and vitamins to heal the affected area and to relieve the affected area.
Protector of the digestive organs
To protect the stomach, liver and intestines, turmeric is effective. In Ayurvedic medicine, turmeric was already used to treat liver diseases and to remove gallstones. This plant also has an action on liver diseases such as hepatitis, jaundice or cirrhosis.
Turmeric is also beneficial to relieve bloating and in case of diarrhea, this spice can treat them (effect demonstrated by some studies). Against constipation, turmeric also has a positive effect and when combined with ginger, turmeric is effective in relieving nausea.