Turmeric is a versatile spice that has many medical values in it. “If I had only a single herb to depend upon for all possible health and dietary needs, I would without much hesitation choose the Indian spice turmeric” says David Frawley (founder and director of the American Institute of Vedic Studies) “There is little that it cannot do in the realm of healing and much that no other herb is able to accomplish”.
Turmeric is composed of hundreds of molecules with varied biological properties. One particular database can trace 326 biological activities of turmeric. There are at least 20 molecules that are anti-biotic, anti-oxidants – 10, anti-tumor – 12, cancer preventives – 14 molecules, anti-inflammatory – 12 and the list goes on. It has a name “kanchani” which means “the golden goddess”. It is also considered an outstanding herb in Ayurvedic texts.
The properties of turmeric would be startling to list out-
alterative – tends to cure or restore good health
digestive – promoting proper digestion
stimulant – quickening healing process
appetizer – stimulating appetite
antispasmodic- relieve muscular contractions
antibacterial – inhibits bacterial growth
analgesic- relieves pain
anti-inflammatory- reduces inflammation
carminative – relieves gas in alimentary tact
diuretic – helps to increased urine output promoting body get rid of excess water
antitumor – treats cancer
antioxidant – stops reactions of oxidation
anti-allergic – prevents the allergic reactions
antiseptic – makes body free of disease-causing organisms
astringent – constricts organic tissues
cardiovascular – helps in healthy blood vessels
vulnerary – heals wounds
cholagogue – stimulates gallbladder contraction to promote bile flow
hemostatic – stops bleeding
Turmeric also has an effect on healing fevers, poison, cough, insanity, diarrhea, urinary tract infections, cough and external wounds. This single herb balances all three doshas – Kapha, Vata and Pitta.
It is used in first aid due to its antiseptic, vulnerary and anti-biotic properties. It helps to stop bleeding and heals the wounds quickly. Current cancer research suggests that including turmeric in diet regularly can suppress the “initiation or post-initiation stages” of cancer cells. Ayurveda uses the alternative property of turmeric in purifying and moving blood. It protects the liver and heart from invading pathogens and help to rebuild new cells.
Turmeric has a regulative effect on menstrual cycles in women and aids in child birth too. The anti-oxidant effect of turmeric helps in protecting the lungs from pollution. It increases your metabolic health, brain health, boosts immunity, protects the cardio vascular system. It is used for skin health and its property of neutralizing the free radicals helps in relieving the joint pain and decreases joint damage. In India turmeric is a part of the routine diet and takes a special place in the tradition too.
It is indeed a wonder herb to be taken for a promising good health and glowing skin.