Turmeric is a perennial herb of the ginger family and as it jazzes up your white rice and dull looking kedgeree it is also ads a myriad of health benefits to your body.
In Samoa, natives have used the powdered rhizome to treat skin ulcers, heal the navel of newborn children, get rid of pimples and relieve the pain and itching of dermatitis, eczema and psoriasis (I wouldn’t try this before a hot date though). In some cases, such as with diaper rash, the powdered rhizome is just sprinkled into the hand and then rubbed on the baby’s skin, which could mean more curry coloured nappies. In other instances, however, some turmeric is mixed with a little coconut oil and gently applied to more severe inflammations.
Among some Ayurvedic practitioners in India, it still is a common custom to use a piece of clean cloth soaked in turmeric solution for wiping away discharges of acute conjunctivitis.
Turmeric has manifested remarkable anti-inflammatory properties by inhibiting induced edema and sub acute arthritis in rats and mice and these positive results are comparable to the same effects achieved by popular anti-inflammatory medications like hydrocortisone acetate. Two half teaspoonfuls taken morning and evening in juice can help somewhat.
As a traditional remedy – Turmeric improves the action of the liver and is a traditional remedy for jaundice in both Ayurvedic and Chinese herbal medicine. However, modern medical research is also showing positive results regarding the health benefits of turmeric. Among these is the treatment of infected mice with curcumin and how this can lead to a significant reduction of parasite burden and liver pathology.
It is also an ancient herb for digestive problems such as gastritis and acidity, helping to increase mucus production and protect the stomach. Turmeric also alleviates nausea. Its anti-inflammatory action makes it useful for arthritis and other inflammatory conditions such as asthma and eczema.
And if you are worried about high cholesterol – turmeric is also used to reduce the risk of stroke and heart attacks due to its blood thinning properties.
Add turmeric to rice and lentil dishes, to vegetable dips, hummus and to your juice in the morning. Add to salad dressings, marinated olives and marinades to not only add a beautiful colour but to also add to your daily food pharmacy!