Turmeric – an ancient spice from the tropical turmeric plant and a member of the ginger family.
Indications are it is an Asian spice originated in southern India. It is yellow in colour, has a warm bitter taste, is widely used in medicines and to colour foods and cosmetics. It was not commonly used in western society until more recently where it is has resurfaced as a powerful antioxidant with huge health benefits. It has become “trendy to talk turmeric”.
I previously used turmeric in curries, nothing more and it was an absolute eye-opener when I researched the numerous health and healing benefits of curcumin, the key compound in turmeric.
I introduced turmeric into my daily diet at least six months ago, use it in many of my cooked dishes, homemade soups and in milk or fruit drinks (both freshly grated and the powder product). It can be easily sprinkled on yoghurt, added to hot Milo and I add it to my container of mixed natural nuts.
Wherever I use it, everything tastes a little different and delicious.
The list of health benefits is exhaustive and is music to my ears. It is widely used as an alternative to prescription drugs as an anti-inflammatory, anti-depressant, anti-coagulant, pain killer, cancer fighter, anti-arthritis, anti-inflammatory bowel disease, anti-cholesterol and for diabetes management. In some countries it is worn as an amulet for protection against evil spirits!
I recommend the use of this spice to all men and women to improve their health. Personally I find that the older I get the more important it is to be actively prescriptive with the food I consume. I include ingredients in my diet that are beneficial to my health and taste great, and turmeric is one of them.
Furthermore, extensive research has been conducted on the psychological impacts from turmeric consumption. Although the research has been mainly applied on laboratory animals, researchers are also measuring the impacts from human intake and are impressed with the effectiveness turmeric has in correcting depression symptoms. The Phytotherapy Research journal published results on a specific study on 60 volunteers diagnosed with major depressive disorder (MDD) such as manic depression. They were split into two groups to determine the effects on patients treated with curcumin against Prozac. Not only was it discovered that all patients tolerated curcumin well, but they discovered curcumin was as effective as Prozac in managing depression.
According to the authors, “This study provides first clinical evidence that curcumin may be used as an effective and safe therapy for treatment in patients with Mild Depression.”
I am keen to live a long healthy and fulfilled life and encourage my female friends to do the same i.e. to take care of their well being. However with the Yin there is a Yang and with all the wonderful herbs and spices, we should not take things purely on face value. Due to our unique individual idiosyncrasy’s I recommend you conduct your own research, investigate potential side-effects on long term and high dosage usage and more importantly, speak with your doctor.