Indian food is loved by many people mainly due to the spices that give an appetizing aroma and delightful taste. These entice a person and after eating, he is left with an indelible impression. What many people do not realize is that these spices are not meant to only increase the taste or enhance the flavor; each spice has its own medicinal property and corresponding health benefit. Ayurveda states that each food contains at least one of six tastes namely sweet, salty, sour, bitter, astringent and pungent.
One of the best Indian spices is turmeric. Based on the Ayurvedic classification, Turmeric has three tastes. It is pungent, astringent and bitter. It can be consumed by all three body types but excess intake causes heating. Turmeric has anti-bacterial, decongestant, anti-septic and anti-flatulent properties.
Turmeric is obtained from the rhizomes of the Curcuma long plant and is a member of the ginger family. Curcumin is without doubt, the most active component with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
Health Benefits of Turmeric According to Ayurveda
Turmeric maintains the intestines and guards against gastric disorders.
It is useful to disinfect cuts, wounds, burns as well as skin infections.
Turmeric is also known for its blood cleansing properties.
Liver detoxing is one of the most important advantages of adding turmeric to one’s regular diet.
Curcumin increases bile flow and aids in the breakdown of fat during digestion.
People suffering from diabetes are advised to consume turmeric regularly as it helps regulate blood sugar.
Arthritis pain can be treated by turmeric as a result of its pain relieving properties.
Turmeric has been shown to have anti-cancerous properties by several studies.
Turmeric can be used as a simple domestic cure for a variety of health ailments
For curing tonsillitis, pharyngitis or cough, a mixture of a cup of milk along with a teaspoon of turmeric is recommended. This mixture is to be boiled and drunk at bedtime.
Gargling with a mixture containing half a teaspoon of mineral salt and half a teaspoon of turmeric powder in a cup of warm water is an effective cure for a sore throat. This must be done several times a day.
Applying a mixture of one teaspoon of aloe vera gel and half a teaspoon turmeric powder to the affected area cures wounds, fungal infections, athlete’s foot and cuts.
Applying a paste consisting of turmeric and water reduces swelling.
By applying Turmeric powder to the affected areas, canker sores and swollen gums are relieved.
Drink a mixture of one teaspoon of turmeric powder boiled with one cup of milk to cure dry cough, asthma and other upper respiratory problems and congestion.
Drinking a glass of warm water along with a single teaspoon of turmeric is recommended after brushing teeth as a preventive measure.
Various Treatments with Turmeric
There are several methods to intake turmeric. The most common method is to use turmeric powder. Turmeric can be taken in the form of tablets, liquid extracts, tincture, etc.
The ancient ayurvedic system proposes a lot of uses for turmeric and they are listed below:
1. Turmeric is used to treat allergies. Urticaria is a skin ailment that causes several rashes and itching on the skin. Turmeric is used as a medicine of choice to treat this skin ailment.
2. Turmeric along with mustard oil can be used to treat injuries and injury related swelling. It even prevents blood loss from wounds and cuts. Hot milk with half a teaspoon of turmeric is also a recommended medication which should be drunk.
3. Burning a piece of raw turmeric produces fumes that are an excellent cure for blocked noses.
4. Taking 1-3 grams of turmeric powder with warm water is found to be an excellent wormicide. For children, half a gram is found to be sufficient and this can be given with a little jaggery.
5. A number of female disorders can be cured by the intake of turmeric. Turmeric is most beneficial during the lactating and postnatal periods.
6. After meals, taking equal quantities of black salt and turmeric powder with warm water helps in proper digestion. Problems such as indigestion, constipation and gas can be avoided by this simple tip.
7. The fumes produced as a result of burning turmeric are found to be effective to cure the pain and toxicity caused by biting of poisonous organisms such as spiders, scorpions, etc. Mixing sesame seed oil and turmeric and massaging at the place of bite also helps in recovering from a poisonous bite.
8. When mixed with gram flour and sandalwood powder (should be 100% real, not puja powder), turmeric has the ability to make the skin soft and glowing. It even removes blemishes. Supplementing with a little butter or oil is also advisable.
Turmeric contains a volatile oil in 5-10% percentage of its composition making it heavy and pungent. Other components of turmeric are turpentine, curcumin, minerals, proteins, Vitamin A, carbohydrates and lubricants.
Apart from being used as a simple household remedy, turmeric has the ability to cure several serious health ailments
1. As little as 6 grams of turmeric powder must be added to buttermilk and given twice a day to a patient. Through rigorous following, this cures jaundice in about 4-5 days. Another tip is to take 12 gm of turmeric powder with 50 gm of curd.
2. A 100 gm decoction of Indian gooseberry, Nut-grass and turmeric along with a spoon of honey is highly beneficial for patients suffering from Kapha.
3. A 10-20 gram decoction of turmeric cures recurring fevers and also strengthens the liver.
4. A soft cloth dipped in a turmeric decoction should be used to clean and cover the eyes if a person is suffering from conjunctivitis. Another method is to boil 1 gram of turmeric in 25 ml of water and to put this water repeatedly in the eyes. This cures pain and redness in the eyes and can be used to treat all manners of seasonal eye disorders.