The turmeric (Turmeric or Curcuma longa) has been used for its healing properties for 4,000 years in the Vedic culture of India, when Turmeric was the main spice, also possessing religious significance.
In the Greek-Arabic medicine of the 1st Ad. century, based on the teachings of Hippocrates, Galen and Abitsianou and in the four tampermints of Ayurveda, Turmeric was used as a bile duct in jaundice, as well as externally in ulcers and inflammations.
Today, turmeric is widely used in cooking and is a key ingredient in the curry mixture (in 20-30%), from where the flavor and yellow color of the mixture comes. It is also used in mustard and in the coloring of some butters and cheeses. As a food additive it has the code e 100.
The turmeric comes from the rhizome of the Curcuma Longa plant, belonging to the family of Zingiberaceae and is native to tropical regions of South Asia. Its root has a strong bitter taste and orange yellow color.
The turmeric is also found with other names such as turmeric, Yellow-Root, Gold-Root. Turmeric has a significant nutritional value because it is rich in fiber and nutrients such as manganese, iron, copper and potassium.
In the genus Curcuma distinguish more than 36 OIDs, of which the most important are the following:
- Curaromatica SALISB (Aromatic koukoumas)
- Curlonga L. (Common turmeric)
- Curcuma Zedoaria
According to recent research, turmeric or curcumin intake, a natural pigment contained in turmeric, benefits in:
- Stomach discomfort (dyspepsia)
- Brain, Memory
- Anterior uveitis
- Colon cancer
- Risk of heart attack after bypass surgery
- Crohn’s disease
- Diabetes Predisposition (people with prediabetes, not to develop diabetes)
- Irritable Bowel syndrome
- Smooth Lichen
- Lupus nephritis
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Skin lesions due to cancer
- Ulcerative colitis
Turmeric side effects
According to studies, turmeric is safe when taken orally or applied to the skin for up to 8 months.
Turmeric usually does not cause any significant side effects. However, some people may experience stomach upset, nausea, dizziness, or diarrhea.
Special precautions and Warnings
Pregnancy and breastfeeding: during pregnancy and breastfeeding, the turmeric is considered safe when consumed in quantities commonly found in food. However, it is not safe when taken from dietary supplements during pregnancy. There is insufficient information to assess the safety of turmeric supplement intake during breastfeeding. For this it is preferable not to use in breastfeeding.
Turmeric consumption is contraindicated in the following cases:
- Gall bladder problems
- Bleeding problems (slows blood clotting)
- Diabetes (curcumin may reduce blood sugar in people with diabetes)
- Hormonal disorders (turmeric acts as estrogen)
- Iron deficiency (large amounts of turmeric can inhibit iron absorption)
- Surgery (slows blood clotting)
- Anticoagulants/Antiplatelet drugs
- Turmeric Market
Turmeric is available in spices-herbs, organic products and some pharmacies, in the following forms:
- Powder-Containing capsules
- Liquid Extract
- Turmeric Water
- Because Bromeline (proteinolytic enzyme) increases the absorption and anti-inflammatory effect of curcumin, it is often combined with turmeric products.
According to scientific studies, for adults the daily dose of turmeric, when taken orally, is:
- Turmeric rhizome Powder: 450 mg curcumin to 3 G, divided into 2 or more doses.
- Standard powder (curcumin): 400-600 mg, divided into 3 doses per day
- Dry rhizome Turmeric: 1 to 1.5 gr. After being immersed in lukewarm water for 15 minutes and consumed twice a day. Corresponds to approximately one teaspoon.
- Liquid Turmeric Extract (1:1): 30 to 90 drops per day
- Tincture of Turmeric (1:2): 15-30 drops, divided into 4 doses per day
- For therapeutic conditions (dyspepsia, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, etc.) are considered doses of turmeric from 2-3 G. Divided into two to four doses daily.
- It is estimated that in India, the average daily consumption varies between 2-2.5 G. Turmeric powder, corresponding to 60-200 mg curcumin per day.
Not recommended for young children under two years of age. Turmeric supplements have not been studied in children, so there is no recommended dose. For older children and people over 65 years, start with a low dose.
According to research, Piperine which is the active ingredient of black pepper significantly increases the bio-availability of curcumin by 2000%.
Uses of turmeric in cooking
- Make your own curry: with 2 tablespoons of cumin, 2 tablespoons of cardamom, 2 tablespoons of coriander, 1/4 cup of turmeric, 1 tablespoon of dry mustard and a teaspoon of cayenne. Mix all the ingredients together and store the curry mixture in an airtight container.
- When you boil pasta or rice you can add a little turmeric to the boiling water.
- The taste of the turmeric fits perfectly in the olive oil or grilled vegetables and potatoes.
- When you feel the cold approaching or you are already cold, in a cup of hot water, mix half a teaspoon of turmeric with a teaspoon of honey. Drink it warm up to three times a day.
- Paint your eggs at Easter with turmeric and they will gain a golden color. Just boil the turmeric in a little water (with a little vinegar added) for about 15 minutes. Let the mixture cool, strain the liquid into bowls (e.g. yogurt) and then dip the eggs.
- Add turmeric to potato salad with egg and it will give you nice aroma and a sharp yellow tint to your salad.
- Stir brown rice with raisins and cashews with a pinch of turmeric, cumin and coriander.
If you are looking for more Super-Foods that will help you live longer and healthier, check this list from FoodNurish.com