Turmeric, which I love to call a miracle medicine of the gods has been used by the Indians and Chinese for thousands of years to not only flavor and color their food, but also to heal and prevent several disorders of the body. The polyphenol called curcumin which renders curry powder yellow has much more going for it then just spicing up food.
The potential benefits of this miracle root is still being researched everyday by modern scientists and nutritionists and everyday there is something about turmeric to “aha” about! Here are some examples of the magic turmeric performs in the human body:
Protects against cancer:
Inflammation is the main cause of several diseases, mostly cancer. It is a natural anti-inflammatory, also a very powerful antioxidant that protects cellular DNA from free radical damage, inhibits cancer cells from growing and shrinks and destroys tumors by helping cut off blood supply to them. This antitumor affect has successfully shown in several studies where the sizes of tumors have reduced by significant percentages.
Turmeric combats against other inflammation triggered IBDs like Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis and Multiple Sclerosis, and reduces pain caused by arthritis and osteoarthritis by inhibition of a major cellular inflammatory agent called NF kappa-B.
Enhances liver functions:
Turmeric is known as the best friend of the diseased liver. Research in Thailand and Korea was unearthed to indicate that the levels of three enzymes responsible for liver damage lanine aminotransferase (ALT), serum aspartate transaminase (AST) and gamma-glutamyltransferase (GGT) were significantly reduced. (Fact attributed to Journal of Medical Association of Thailand)
Curcumin kindles the liver to release bile and the gallbladder to liberate it. Since bile increases the absorption and digestion of fats, specialists believe that this attribute of turmeric improves digestion and may help control weight.
Protection against Parkinson’s
Evidence is on the rise that advocates that turmeric may advance protection against progressive neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s, dyskinesia and especially Parkinson’s. Continuous exhaustion of dopamine-producing nerve cells in the brain area causes Parkinson’s. The synthetic drugs that treat the disease provide only periodic relief for the symptoms and gradually increase complications and side effects.
The antioxidant facilities of turmeric can penetrate the brain by crossing the blood-brain barrier and affecting electrical and biochemical activities in the brain.
So how much turmeric can you have in a day?
Turmeric has not shown any negative side effects on high dosages. But According to University of Maryland Medical Center, the permissible dosages of various forms of turmeric (for adults):
Cut root: 1.5 – 3 g per day
Dried, powdered root: 1 – 3 g per day
Standardized powder (curcumin): 400 – 600 mg, 3 times per day
Fluid extract (1:1) 30 – 90 drops a day
Tincture (1:2): 15 – 30 drops, 4 times per day
How can you add more turmeric in your day to day meals?
Add turmeric and honey to warm milk or almond milk and enjoy a delightful drink.
Saute vegetables in garlic, turmeric, cumin and coriander.
Enjoy turmeric rich curry powder in almost anything you cook.
Turmeric is a great spice to add to soups, especially lentil soups.
Season chicken with turmeric, garlic, salt and pepper before grilling it.
Don’t forget to comment about how you get your daily dose of turmeric!