Turmeric, also called sulfur of the Indies, is a highly appreciated plant because it offers great gastronomic versatility and it is attributed medicinal properties against cancer, high cholesterol or osteoarthritis, among other diseases. It is native to southwestern India and belongs to the same family as ginger.
Intense yellow in color and with an unmistakable odor, this spice comes from the orange root of a herbaceous plant belonging to the ‘Zingiberáceas’ family located in India and Indonesia.
Its scientific name is ‘turmeric longa’ and it has a historical tradition. In fact, there is evidence that its earliest uses date back to 610 B.C. at 320 B.C. when it was used as a dye for wool thanks to its deep yellow-orange color. Later, it was adopted by Hindu gastronomy as a food coloring, to give a peculiar flavor to foods and to be part of the popular curry.
In India turmeric is considered a symbol of prosperity and a physical and spiritual purifier. A mixture of turmeric and lime water is still used in worship rites at numerous temples.
The root and rhizome of turmeric contain curcumoids and curcumin, coloring matters to which clear antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects are attributed.
They also contain an essential oil with zingiberene, polysaccharides and mineral salts such as iron and potassium.
Curcumin, which is not soluble in water, does have a great capacity to dissolve in fats and stimulate the secretion of bile.
Relieves stomach upset
Turmeric is a very effective natural remedy for an upset stomach. Having anti-inflammatory properties, it prevents acidity and calms heartburn, as well as digestive disorders in general.
Treat liver disorders
Thanks to ‘curcumin’, turmeric is an excellent bile tonic. Even, the rest of its hepatoprotective components serve as adjuvants to eliminate stones in the gallbladder and promote liver drainage. Having anti-inflammatory properties, it is recommended for people with jaundice, liver cirrhosis, and gallbladder disorders.
Helps treat cancer
Surprisingly, the rhizome of this plant contains at least ten anti-cancer components, among which are curcumin and beta-carotenes. These elements have protective properties against various types of cancer, including colon, skin, breast, and duodenal cancer.
In addition, it greatly helps the body to resist the effects of debilitating medications and strong treatments such as chemotherapy.
It is a powerful anti-inflammatory
The curcuminoids that turmeric has give it great anti-inflammatory properties, becoming almost as effective as some anti-inflammatory drugs, but without the side effects of these.
For this reason, it is recommended for disorders in which inflammation exists, such as menstrual disorders, Crohn's disease, bowel diseases, irritable colon, colitis, arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, obesity, etc.
Protects from cardiovascular disease
Another benefit of the components of turmeric is its cardioprotective properties, which is why consuming it frequently treats and prevents the risk of heart disease.
But this is not all, it also helps reduce bad cholesterol and triglycerides. They recommend that, in addition to eating a healthy, low-fat and natural diet, foods should be seasoned with turmeric in order to naturally prevent cardiovascular diseases, such as heart attacks.
Works as a natural antidepressant
For thousands of years, traditional Chinese medicine has used turmeric to treat depression, sadness, and unhappiness. Turmeric extract, or what is the same, turmeric powder, stimulates the nervous system, activates the immune system and awakens the mood.
It is ideal for reducing stress levels, since it produces an increase in serotonin. For this reason, it is widely used in people with seasonal or emotional depression, as well as other related disorders.