This golden-colored spice is used in traditional cooking in India, giving curry and mustard its color. It is high in antioxidants and is anti-inflammatory. A cousin of ginger, it is used to add color and flavor in many dishes. But did you know it has many other uses as well?
Just add more it to your recipes, or ask your doctor about possibly taking turmeric in pill form, and see the many health benefits. Its compounds, curcumin and turmerone, are proving to be a helpful natural medicine.
Usage information is detailed at the end of the article.
Should you use fresh or dried turmeric?
Most of the items below use dry powered turmeric. With cooking, use fresh turmeric root or ground turmeric. Keep in mind that about one inch of grated fresh turmeric equals one teaspoon of ground turmeric.
21 Healthy Ways You Should Be Using Turmeric:
1. Immunity Boosting Tea.
This turmeric tea recipe that you can use every day to boost immunity or as an extra punch when you are sick. Not only will it feel good in your throat, this tea recipe will fight inflammation.
2. Alleviate arthritis.
Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, traditional Chinese and Indian medicines have used turmeric for many years to treat arthritis. The Arthritis Foundation also promotes it, pointing out several studies that show its benefits as a natural supplement.
3. Prevent Alzheimer’s disease.
According to many studies on the subject, turmeric naturally blocks the formation of the beta-amyloid. These proteins are responsible for clumping together to block brain function as it relates to Alzheimer’s. This is great news! Read more on Dr. Weil: 3 Reasons to Eat Turmeric.
4. Treat ringworm.
To make a paste, mix a teaspoon of the spice with a little water, and then spread on ringworm. Leave for 10 minutes and wipe off. Read more on Ringworm Home Remedies.
5. Prevent cancer.
Its antioxidant power protects cells from free radicals that damage cellular DNA; it also helps the body to destroy mutated cancer cells so they can’t spread. It does this by enhancing liver function and also inhibiting a protein that causes tumors to form.
Read all about how turmeric helps fight several types of cancers on World’s Healthiest Foods: Turmeric.
6. Prevent Type 2 Diabetes.
Turmeric has been studied and shown to prevent the disease in those who have prediabetes. Doctors say that it is because the spice lessens insulin resistance. Read more about the studies here: Does Turmeric Reduce Blood Sugar?
7. Digestive issues.
Bile absorbs fats in the small intestine; but sometimes bile doesn’t move like it should. For indigestion, turmeric can help the body release bile by stimulating the gallbladder. So add more turmeric to your diet to get things moving along. Read more at Turmeric from University of Maryland Medical Center.
8. Reduce cholesterol.
Animal studies have shown turmeric to consistently lower LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, and also keep the LDL from being oxidized. Read more here: Can Turmeric Lower Your Cholesterol Levels? The results are promising, though hopefully studies on humans will show the same thing.
9. Heal wounds.
Turmeric reduces inflammation and has a lot of healing power. All it takes is a little turmeric powder to heal a cut or burn. Simply sprinkle a little on the area or to the bandage to aid in healing. To make a turmeric healing paste and read more how it works, see: How to Help Heal Cuts and Wounds With Turmeric. It can also disinfect the area.
10. Treat jaundice.
When your bile ducts become obstructed, bile can mix with your blood and eventually cause jaundice; one of the sure fire signs is yellowing of the skin and eyes.
To treat it, try the jaundice tea recipe. It just takes water, honey, turmeric, honey and black pepper.
11. Detox the liver.
Turmeric naturally removes toxins from the blood by producing enzymes and repairing damaged cells. This is very beneficial to the liver. Eating turmeric helps fights cirrhosis and hepatitis. Here’s a study Pharmacological actions of curcumin in liver diseases or damage.
12. Ease heartburn.
In a study, turmeric was found to be effective against heartburn, most likely for its anti-inflammatory qualities. Read more here: 6 health benefits of turmeric from The Huffington Post.
13. Helps the brain.
Turmeric has been found to increase levels of brain-derived neurotropic factor, or BDNF. This is a hormone that can help the brain make connections and ultimately keep your brain strong and clear. Also, Aromatic turmerone, a compound in turmeric, is being researched to repair stem cells. Check out this study on Aromatic-turmerone induces neural stem cell proliferation.
14. Improve skin.
In a study of people who had skin damaged by ultraviolent radiation, researchers applied turmeric extracts. Within six weeks of treatments, they saw improvements in skin hydration and sebum content. Read more at Food Facts: Turmeric
15. Help ease depression.
In a study with patients on Prozac and patients on turmeric, researchers found that turmeric was very effective in managing depression, and that patients tolerated it very well. The study was published in Phytotherapy Research.
The all-natural alternative might be a great help for many people. Here’s a link to the study: Efficacy and safety of curcumin in major depressive disorder: a randomized controlled trial.
16. Get rid of headaches.
A lot of medications on the market help take away headaches, but many have side effects. Instead try the all-natural turmeric, which includes cyclooxygenase inhibitors, the same things put into headache medicine. Here’s more information: turmeric for migraines.
17. Natural Makeup: Foundation pigment.
Do you have trouble finding just the right color of makeup foundation? Add a little turmeric until you reach the color you are after. Just add as little or as much as you need to adjust to your skin tone.
18. Dye Easter eggs.
Who needs a store-bought dye kit for Easter eggs? You already have some great options in the kitchen, including turmeric.
Following these natural egg dye directions: boil water, vinegar and turmeric, then add an already hard-boiled egg. Leave in for 5 minutes or much longer (even overnight) depending on how deep of a color you want.
19. Face mask
Make a face mask using milk, turmeric and raw honey. Use about a teaspoon of honey and a teaspoon of turmeric. Then add milk. Keep the consistency thick so it will stay as a mask on your face and not drip. Be sure to wear an old shirt; turmeric stains. Let the mask harden on the outside edges. This will take about 20 minutes. Carefully rinse without splashing.
20. Cracked heels
With its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, turmeric makes a great treatment for cracked heels, especially cracks as a result from an infection. Try mixing a paste with olive, castor or coconut oil. Spread the turmeric paste all over the feet, even between the toes. Wrap feet with an old towel, and leave on for 20 to 30 minutes. Rinse off. Remember turmeric can stain yellow, so don’t do this treatment prior to exposing bare feet. For full instructions, read 12 Amazing Ways to Heal Cracked Feet.
21. Turmeric Smoothies
Not really liking the flavor of turmeric or not sure how to prepare the root? Toss it in smoothies! The Kitchn covers this topic well with this article: Turmeric Root Smoothies.
Here are some great tasting smoothie recipes:
Tropical Turmeric Cleanser Green Smoothie Kale, coconut milk, pineapple, mango, lemon, ginger and turmeric make for the perfect flavor combination with great health benefits for detox and Vitamins A & C.
Carrot Ginger Turmeric Smoothie
Anti Inflammatory Smoothie
Dosage Information on Turmeric:
Be sure to read this website for any turmeric interactions with medicine. Turmeric from University of Maryland Medical Center suggests these dosages for adults:
Adult Dosage Guide:
Cut root: 1.5 to 3 g per day
Dried, powdered root: 1 to 3 g per day
Standardized powder: 400 to 600 mg, 3 times per day
Fluid extract (1:1): 30 to 90 drops a day
Tincture (1:2): 15 to 30 drops, 4 times per day