Table of Contents
As an important part of Ayurvedic medicine, and inevitable in Buddhist and Hindu spiritualism, this South Asian plant is widely known exotic-root herb, both for its medical and culinary purposes. This deep orange-yellow powder has a hot peppery flavor and it resembles the mustardy smell.
That is why we love curries and Middle Eastern cuisine. On the other hand, this spice has extraordinary use that many of us did not know about.
Let us see what we can do with it.
1. Live longer with turmeric tea
The people in Okinawa are said to be the nation with the world’s longest average life span. They drink turmeric tea every day. To make a tea and live longer, boil four cups of water, add one teaspoon of ground turmeric, and let it simmer for 10 minutes. Strain it and add honey or ginger to taste.
2. Create temporary tattoos with turmeric
Since turmeric is safe to use on skin, one can really enjoy creating tattoos. Turmeric was used as an ornament in old Hindu bridal ceremonies. Before the wedding, usually one to three days, tattoos were applied to the woman’s arms, legs, and head. Many said that often groom’s initials were hidden in the tattoos, which he is supposed to find on the wedding night. If he finds it, the couple will have good luck and eternal happiness. If not, he must give his bride a gift.
Turmeric powder was used before henna was adopted in bridal rituals, and today it is used to add a second color to a henna tattoo. You can find turmeric powder in shops almost everywhere, and apply it with a small stiff brush or cotton swabs.
Image credit: 4uart.blogspot.com
In order to do that, you need to damp your brush or cotton swab with water. After that, you should sip it in turmeric powder and rub around until it becomes yellow. Use it to color the areas of henna pattern. Let it dry, and when the turmeric area is dry, tub it over with tissue to polish off the excess. You should not wash that area for 12 hours after applying, because it needs time to penetrate the skin. Turmeric can last for 2 days on the skin, but one can make it stay longer by rubbing more turmeric each day.
3. Tame swimmer’s ear with turmeric powder
Many recommend natural remedies for swimmer’s ear problems. People usually use garlic oil to push the water out of the ears. It is more beneficial if one adds turmeric to the mix.
4. Dye Easter eggs naturally
Many use beet juice, onionskin, and blueberries to make a colorful eastern surprise. Turmeric can be of great help as well. Surely, it is always better to dye eggs naturally than to use artificial colors.
5. Cook with turmeric
Turmeric is a wonderful spice that can be a surprising ingredient in many dishes. Whether you mix it with meat (usually chicken) or use it in salads with rice, and spinach, or with noodles, turmeric is a marvelous addition to tasty meals.
On the other hand, you can use it to make a cake. One of the most popular desserts is Lebanese desert. Although it is not too sweet and has a little earthy flavor, you should not miss to make it.
As for its health benefits, turmeric has strong anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties. Turmeric has no cholesterol, but it is rich in dietary fiber and B – complex vitamins. Fresh turmeric root contains good amount of vitamin C that is a powerful antioxidant, and minerals such as iron, potassium, calcium, copper, zinc, magnesium, and manganese.
The most important compound in turmeric is curcumin, a polyphenolic compound that gives that orange color to it. According to the research, curcumin has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-arthritic, anti-tumor, and anti-ischemic properties.
This herb also contains important essential oils, such as cineole, termerone and curumene. Due to these qualities, turmeric is effective in cancer treatments and against infections, high blood pressure, and strokes.
Turmeric can also:
- Treat upset stomach – 500 mg of turmeric four times a day can help with stomach problems,
- Help in sprain treatment – a paste made from salt, turmeric and water is usually the treatment,
- Ease osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis,
- Helps the liver stay stronger and help delay liver damage that can lead to cirrhosis, and
- Help minimize Alzheimer’s symptoms.
6. Turmeric for Skin
Acne is a common problem that can be caused by medications, bacteria, and blockage of skin pores. More and more people are using natural methods to treat this problem, and turmeric is one great remedy. Due to the curcumin, turmeric can effectively remove acne and enchase the immune system and skin to stop the acne of appearing again.
For the treatment, mix 5 tablespoons of sesame or olive oil and 8 tablespoons of turmeric powder. Stir it well until the mixture turns into a creamy paste. Before applying the mixture, take a hot shower to help soften the skin and open the pores.
Avoid harsh antimicrobial soaps before this treatment, turmeric has great antimicrobial properties, on the other hand, these soaps can cause your skin to become too dry. Apply the mixture one hour before going to bed by massaging it into the affected areas for about 10 minutes. Let it dry overnight.
This mixture will reduce the size of the acne. Take a shower in the morning, but do not be surprised because of the yellow color of turmeric, this is only temporary, and it will go away in a week. With a facial tonic, you can instantly remove it.
Eczema is itchy and painful and appears as red scaly patches on the skin. When applied on the skin, turmeric can reduce the redness and inflammation, due to its numerous benefits, in particular, anti-inflammatory. The paste is usually made with honey, yogurt, or milk.
The paste should stay for 20 minutes, after that you can rinse it with cool water. Mix a few tablespoons of turmeric, with honey, yogurt, or milk. Stir it until the mixture is dissolved and apply it on freshly cleansed skin. Avoid wearing favorite garments because turmeric can permanently stain towels and clothing.
A face mask made of turmeric is great for skin rejuvenation and for wrinkles and lines. Regular face mask promotes soft, supple skin and helps lighten uneven pigmentation.
For great skin, you can drink turmeric powder and soya milk. Mix a tablespoon of turmeric powder and one cup of soya milk, and drink up to three cups a day to help reduce skin inflammation.
This face mask is also great for rosacea. Ruddy skin, dilated capillaries, and small pimples characterize this problem.
One should not confuse turmeric with Javanese turmeric root. Common side effects of turmeric include diarrhea. One should not use turmeric with prescription medication for reducing blood sugar level. It can also affect pregnant women.
Do not consume large amounts of turmeric.
DeJager, P. (2010). Turmeric: The Ayurvedic Spice of Life. Pioneer Imprints.
Majeed, M., Badmaev, V. and Murray F. (1999). Turmeric and the Healing Curcuminoids. McGraw-Hill.
McBarron, J. (2012). Curcumin: The 21st Century Cure. To Your Health Books.
Wexler, B. (2008). Turmeric: Spices of Life. Woodland Publishing.
Image credit: GetStencil.com
Last article update: 9/12/2019