Some good news for organictarians and all nature lovers in general – the world is slowly but surely starting to realize the essence of living a natural life. The global acceptance and the popularity of Ayurveda is one clear indication that we are finally beginning to respect the laws of nature, as it is meant to be. Not only that, even the most popular cosmetic products, branded medicines and groceries and packaged foods are desperately and frequently using the words “herbal”, “natural” and “organic”, to showcase their health benefits, as though they were 100% natural and safe. This is understandable; time and again, herbal products and other natural things around the world have proved to have an amazing power of curing different health issues. Cosmetic and artificial products tend to mimic their natural cousins.
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One thing is for sure – every manufacturer likes to call his products “natural”. If you are a fan of natural products, it is always going to be a challenge to differentiate the so-called natural products from the real ones.
In an effort to run behind natural products, we tend to forget the humble and easily-available products that have always been within our reach. I am talking about turmeric (more popularly known as curcuma longa). In this article, let us talk more about the popularity of turmeric powder, its health benefits, its traditional value, how to use it and all things related to it.
How popular is this golden wonder?
Turmeric powder is extremely popular as it is not only the world’s most commonly used Ayurvedic spice, but one of the most widely researched products as well. This natural wonder carries unbelievable health benefits as it can be used in:
- As tropical application for beautification of face and skin
- As a dietary supplement with tons of health benefits
Who says “anything tasty can’t be healthy”? Turmeric powder is the sole reason why your home-made curries are so tasty. So next time you taste that delicious Indian dish, remember, it is turmeric that does the magic.
Almost every system in the human body is greatly strengthened by the strong antioxidant qualities of this product.
In India (where the product actually originated), traditional brides were layered with turmeric pastes (also known as Haldi ceremony) on their hands, legs and faces, just before their weddings, to create a special glow effect.
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The rich benefits of turmeric powder
It is safe to assume that very few ingredients or spices around the world offer the same kind of health benefits that turmeric does. This vibrant orange/yellow-colored powder taken from the roots of Curcuma longa (a plant), has been used throughout Asia and in different parts of the world for centuries. Turmeric powder is known to have a particular affinity for human blood, as it can circulate its hefty health benefits throughout our body. It has an uncanny knack of supporting different functions and systems in the human body as listed below:
- Its antioxidant functions keep our cells working optimally
- It promotes digestion naturally
- It can support the nervous system and the brain
- Promotes comfortable joint mobility
- Strengthens liver functions
- When taken with amalaki and neem, turmeric is capable of promoting healthy blood sugar levels
- Provides great nourishment for the circulatory system and the heart
- Strengthens the immune system
- Known to promote mental and physical well-being
- Known for its pain relieving and healing properties
The traditional connection between Ayurveda and turmeric
Note : Refer the glossary of terms associated with Ayurveda, to understand what words like rasa, agni and ama mean.
Turmeric was used in early Ayurvedic period to balance kapha, pitta and vata. It also has beneficial effects on rakta dhatu (meaning: circulatory system) and rasa. The spice is capable of kindling the agni, assisting in reducing the kapha and ama.
As stated above, ama is one ingredient that is traditionally used for the smooth functioning of blood, joints, liver, digestive tract and immune system. Its naturally pungent and bitter taste as well as its heating nature, gives it the cleansing and mobilizing energy. It is believed that Haridra (another term for turmeric) offers Divine Mother energy, which in turn grants prosperity. Turmeric is extremely popular in yogic traditions too. It can cleanse the chakras and the subtle channels and also support processes in hatha yoga.
Using turmeric appropriately
As of today, turmeric is available in the form of liquid, tablet and powder. Powder is the most versatile form as it can be used as a paste, as a supplement and for cooking. Obviously, cooking is the most gentle and natural way to enjoy the mass benefits of turmeric in your everyday life.
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Being a great supplement, turmeric powder can be added to warm milk or warm water and complemented with honey, for better taste. One to four grams or ¼ of a teaspoon of powder is the recommended quantity. You can even try liquid extract or turn the powder into paste form.
The perfect method to prepare the paste: In order to enjoy a luxurious treat and take full advantage of its nutritional value, prepare the paste using two teaspoon of gram flour along with ¼ teaspoon of turmeric. Add enough quantity of milk (as required). You can also add one drop of your favorite flavor of essential oil – may be lavender or rose. For a little more moisture, in case of dry skins, consider adding a little almond oil.
Caution: Using turmeric powder on the skin, as a beauty enhancer is an age-old, traditional practice in India. However, for people in the West with lighter skin, it is recommended to try a small patch on the arm, chin or neck first, as some users may be prone to yellow staining. Consider using turmeric tablets which is more convenient and adds more strength to your daily intake.
Turmeric powder is also available in small quantities, as a supplement in many products. One such provider worth mentioning is the BioCBD Plus™. While the amount of turmeric may be less than other capsules, BioCBD Plus™ products are water soluble. Thus, more of the beneficial turmeric powder reaches the blood than other forms of ingestion. The range of products offered by BioCBD Plus is not only rich in highly bioavailable turmeric powder but boswellia, saffron and many other ingredients of nutritional value.
Modern and advanced research
Going back to where I started – the world is slowly reviving its age-old practices for the good. Turmeric, the most popular Ayurvedic spice, is the primary focus of many labs and researches in the western world. Its extraordinary benefits steal the interests of popular organizations including the Medical Center at University of Maryland and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Lab tests are actively seeking answers to what form of turmeric helps you derive all its health benefits.
For ages, the Ayurveda system developed in India, has been using turmeric in the form of dried as well as fresh spice powder for various health benefits. In recent times, researches have proved that curcumin is the primary ingredient responsible for the invaluable benefits.
There have been theories and contradictions which state that turmeric/curcumin is low in bioavailability and a section of researchers are already working to improve it.
Caution: It is recommended that you consult your practitioner before consuming any form of turmeric (including turmeric powder) if you are:
- Taking medications related to platelet inhabiting or blood-thinning
- Suffering from jaundice, acute hepatitis, ulcers, bile duct obstruction, gallstones or hyperacidity.
While we wait forever and ever, for the health instructors and law makers to formulate and legalize their theories, let’s take some time to look back at what our fore-fathers have recommended. There is no harm in making minimal use of the natural, herbal products, trying the ancient traditional things that are well-known for their health benefits. After all, these herbal products have served mankind for centuries.
One can only hope and pray that there are more companies like BioCBD Plus™ that relishes and capitalizes the good benefits of natural herbs.
But why wait for other companies to act? Why not start adding turmeric to your daily diet?
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