A lot of you have probably heard about turmeric — a plant in the ginger family — especially if you’re a foodie who uses it (sparingly) to season marinades, stews, sauces, curries, bean dishes and soups in ways that magnify other flavors.
But you may not know that turmeric has a long history for its use as a medicine. In fact, historians estimate turmeric has been used for medicinal purposes for some 4,000 years. Moreover, turmeric been revered as a key part of Ayurvedic medicine (a system of natural healing) for a very long time.
What makes turmeric so beneficial in the kitchen and in natural healing: Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric and a polyphenol featuring anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It’s an excellent source of iron, potassium and manganese too.
Historically, turmeric earned its reputation as food as medicine as a natural anti-inflammatory, but researchers have studied it extensively for many other conditions.
- Promoting healthy skin as an antimicrobial.
- Controlling free radicals in your body that could lead to chronic disease.
- Protecting the health of your brain.
- Easing feelings of anxiety and depression.
While all of these potential benefits sound great, please be sure you talk to your family doctor before taking turmeric, especially if you’re pregnant or you’re taking a supplement like ginseng or garlic that could slow down clotting.
Love and chi,
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Johns Hopkins Medicine
Forks and Knives