Curcuma Longa is a rhizome typically associated with the bright yellow curries found in eastern foods. Do not confuse the color with the flavor, though. Turmeric has a mild astringent flavor but is very nearly tasteless, even to my exceptionally sensitive taste buds. It has been hailed as the queen of culinary and medicinal uses. It has many antioxidant, antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, anti-carcinogenic, anti-mutagenic, and anti-inflammatory properties. It has the highest amount of antioxidants found in any single serving size of super-foods. Additionally, it is also high in protein, fiber, niacin (a B-vitamin), iron, magnesium, zinc, copper, calcium, potassium, sodium, and vitamins C, E, and K. Here are the top ten researched benefits of turmeric in the diet:
1. Fights cancer causes. Anti-carcinogenic means that it aides the body in fighting cancerous cells and helps eliminate the causes of cancer, like radiation, fungi, viruses, metabolic wastes, oxygen depletion, and carcinogenic compounds from the environment.
2. Protects against arthritis. The anti-inflammatory benefits of turmeric means it actively reduces the metabolic wastes and inflammation associated with arthritis symptoms and causes. It also fights the causes of damage that results in arthritis.
3. Helps to regulate insulin. Turmeric has been shown to moderate insulin and glucose levels, as well as to increase the effects of diabetes medication. It helps fight insulin resistance better than cinnamon alone, though they make a great pair.
4. Protects and heals wounds. Its natural antiseptic, antiviral, antibacterial properties not only fight off infection — the typical causes of reduced healing time — but it also seems to speed up wound healing and reduce scarring. It is often used to treat skin afflictions like acne, eczema, psoriasis, and other inflammatory skin conditions.
5. Promotes brain health. The combined benefits of the components of turmeric can help remove plaque build-up, repair nerve tissues, improve oxygen uptake, and fight free radicals and other fungi, bacteria, and parasites that cause brain disorders and diseases like Alzheimer’s, migraines, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, and degenerative nerve disorders.
6. Aids digestion. Ever wonder why turmeric is such a common ingredients in Asian recipes? Its anti-inflammatory properties that reduce inflammation and speed healing. Because of this, it can actually help reduce symptoms of food allergies, diarrhea, constipation, ulcerative colitis, leaky gut syndrome, irritable bowel disease, and Celiac symptoms. However, it is cautioned against using if you have a gallbladder disease, so do your research. It cleared mine up, but every body is different, and we need to be cautious.
7. Detoxes the liver. Do you find the herbs for detoxing to be expensive and hard to obtain? Turmeric may be a safer and cheaper long-term alternative. It increases the natural enzymes needed to break down fats, sugars, nutrients, and metabolic wastes. It improves this so well that it helps reduce toxins found in the body. Due to its anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and anti-viral properties, it may also help improve conditions that cause common liver diseases.
8. Boosts metabolism. Turmeric helps safely improve metabolism without overtaxing the adrenals or thyroid. It also improves fat and bile enzyme action in order to break down and dissolve fats in the body. Therefore, it is a powerful aid in treating obesity and associated diseases and causes.
9. Regulates cholesterol. Possibly due to the improved function of the liver and reduced food cravings, turmeric has been found to reduce bad cholesterol, improve good cholesterol, and help balance overall cholesterol levels and maintain them.
10. Supports the immune system. This was my real reason for starting to use turmeric and for including it in my cleanse tea; I have a congenial immune system disease. (That means I was born with a defective gene that presents in less than 1% of people who have the Agent Orange damaged gene from Nazi concentration camps and other war-situations.) Turmeric contains a substance known as lipopolysaccharide. That, coupled with its antibacterial, antiviral, anti-fungal properties, aide in improving the immune system, strengthening it and helping it fight immune system overload. While it boosts the immune system, it also does not overstimulate it. My overactive immune system (which reacted to everything as an allergen) has since been moderated, not overstimulated.
Of course, I am not a doctor, and none of this is intended to be advice on treating, curing, or preventing disease. Talk with your care provider if you have any questions or concerns, and do lots of research!