Turmeric is a substance that is associated with Asian spice and a component of the curry mixture. Although this association is the most correct, turmeric, due to its health-promoting properties, has also been used in traditional Far Eastern medicine for years. The plant has a positive effect on the human body, which makes it arouse more and more interest among the inhabitants of the whole globe.
Turmeric - what is it exactly?
Turmeric is obtained from the root of the long turmeric, a plant from the ginger family, which grows mainly in India and China. It looks like ginger. The long thistle in natural conditions reaches up to one meter in height, and its straight stem ends with a large floral ear with flowers with tubular calyxes.
In Europe, turmeric is also known as Indian saffron. The plant is so called because of its golden color and oriental flavor. It is most often used as an ingredient in the well-known curry spice.
Turmeric is also called the spice of longevity. This is due to the fact that it is widely used by the inhabitants of the island of Okinawa, who are famous for their long life.
A unique ingredient in turmeric, i.e. curcumin
Turmeric owes its yellow color to turmeric, an organic chemical compound that constitutes polyphenol with anti-inflammatory properties.
Despite its many wonderful properties, curcumin is poorly absorbed and absorbed during digestion, so you should choose the right company to increase its bioavailability.
One way to increase curcumin is to combine it with black pepper fruit extract. Also, the essential oils contained in the root of turmeric help to increase the absorption of curcumin. For this reason, it is preferably recommended from the whole turmeric root and not just the substance isolated from it.
Properties and effects of turmeric
Turmeric has long been used in folk medicine due to its numerous health-promoting properties. Scientists fascinated by the action of the substance are still conducting new research that reveals to us its next secrets. According to already confirmed information, we can say that turmeric can:
- be anti-inflammatory,
- stimulate the secretion of bile,
- have an antibacterial and relaxant effect,
- have antioxidant effects and, as a powerful antioxidant, help fight free radicals,
- relieve gastrointestinal ailments,
- support the secretion of digestive juices,
- strengthen the circulatory system,
- lower blood sugar levels,
- support the removal of toxins and cleansing the body.
Available data suggest that long-term use of turmeric may also support the fight against excessive kilograms, as it limits the development of body fat and accelerates its burning. Thus, it can positively affect the development of muscle mass. Therefore, it is a substance that should appear in the athlete's diet.
In turmeric we also find a compound known as tumeron. It supports the multiplication and differentiation of brain cells. This means that frequent use of turmeric in the diet can have a positive effect on improving memory. Research is ongoing on whether turmeric can reduce the risk of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease, as its properties are promising.
Turmeric in everyday life
Where can we find turmeric? Let's check!
Turmeric in dietary supplements
Turmeric can be supplied to the body in tablet form as a dietary supplement, where it usually occurs along with other ingredients that increase its bioavailability. Taking the substance in the form of a supplement is usually recommended for therapeutic purposes.
Turmeric in the kitchen
It is also recommended to use the spice when preparing dishes, not only those known in Asian cuisine. Already a pinch of turmeric is enough to give the dishes a unique aroma. The spice tastes great as an addition to stewed vegetables, rice or poultry dishes.
Fresh turmeric is perfect for grated or sliced and poured with water. Then you can prepare a health-promoting infusion from it. Ground turmeric, in turn, is fantastically suitable for dyeing dishes (as a yellow dye) and as an addition to dishes as a spicy, oriental spice.
On the basis of turmeric, you can also prepare a popular Ayurvedic drink called golden milk. The liquid is based on cow's milk or vegetable drink and contains many spices, and the main role in the mixture is, of course, played by turmeric. It's a great way to boost your immunity and fight infections.
Turmeric in cosmetics
The substance is also used externally as compresses for wounds or burns. In addition, it can have a soothing effect on the skin and support the fight against acne or eczema. In addition, it is a valuable ingredient used in cosmetics. Due to its antioxidant properties, it is used in anti-wrinkle preparations and delaying the aging process.
Contraindications and side effects
There are no contraindications to supplement the diet with turmeric and take preparations with its addition.
However, attention should be paid to the possible interactions of the substance with the medications used. Turmeric enhances the effect of anticoagulants and antidiabetic drugs, so people taking these specifics should consult a doctor before delivering a spice known as Indian saffron to the body.
Caution should also be exercised by people who have gallstones and suffer from obstruction of the bile ducts, because turmeric may intensify pain.
When taking dietary supplements containing turmeric, you should always follow the recommendations on the leaflet or product packaging and do not exceed the recommended portions of the preparation.
In turn, using turmeric as a spice, it is more difficult to control the amount of substance used in the diet, but moderation is always recommended.
After consuming excessive amounts of turmeric, undesirable side effects such as diarrhea, vomiting, headache, rash, stomach irritation may occur.