18 Amazing Turmeric Benefits (Haldi)
If you prepare flavourful and colourful curries and dishes and have a word of appreciation from your loved ones today, it’s because of one of the most important ingredient in curries.... a deep yellow to orange coloured powder viz. TURMERIC also called Haldi in Hindi. Ayurveda and other traditional medicine systems practiced in India have relied on this pungent spice for centuries not just to avail of its flavourful instinct but also due to its umpteen distinctive healing properties too.
The turmeric powder which is found in every “masala dabba” is obtained by boiling the roots for hours, drying them for weeks and then grinding them in huge grinders to get the powder. Although extremely popular as an important herb of the kitchen, turmeric gained importance as a health herb only in 1970 when researchers found its most active health compound viz. Curcumin. This is the same compound which gives haldi its typical yellow colour and the one that stains your wooden spoons. Here’s the lowdown of some of the most promising nutritional and health benefits of this spice.
18 Health Benefits of Turmeric
1. Digestive Aid : Turmeric stimulates the flow of bile, which helps in digestion of food thus helping to overcome indigestion and proving itself as a digestive herb (1) . Use it in daily cooking as done in the recipe of Oats and cabbage roti.
2. Turmeric Benefits as an Antiseptic : The herb’s antiseptic action lends credence to its traditional use in treating dysentery and diarrhoea, which is caused due to micro-organisms (2) . Adding 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder to a glass of warm water and consuming it 2 to 3 times a day helps to cure dysentery.
3. Tackles obesity : Haldi may help in reducing the growth of fat cells in the body. Research has also stated that the active compound Curcumin is effective in reducing obesity by suppressing the inflammatory processes (3) .
4. Iron Booster : Turmeric, being rich in iron, is highly valuable in the treatment of anaemia and both the root as well as the powder should be a regular part of an anaemic diet. Palak Chana Dal and Bajra Carrot and Onion Uttapa are good additions to increase your iron intake.
5. Anti-inflammatory Property : One of the health benefits of turmeric is it’s anti-inflammatory property due to the active compound, Curcumin, which helps to relieve inflammation of the joints and thus is a ladder to relieve pain related to arthritis. Mixture of the two roots Ginger and turmeric is effective against Rheumatoid Arthritis severity and complications (4) . A study states that curcumin from turmeric is more potent anti-inflammatory and anti-proliferative agents than drugs like aspirin and ibuprofen (5) . Warm Honey Lemon Water with Turmeric is an excellent recipe to add to your diet for its soothing anti-inflammatory effects.
6. Anti-Ulcer Property : Turmeric has been proven to protect the lining of the stomach and prevent ulcers (6) . This is one more reason for those healthy individuals to make turmeric a part of their regular diet. Check out the recipe of Pyazwali Bhindi.
7. Wards of Cold and Cough : The curcumin in haldi also helps to ward of the bacteria’s causing cold, cough and throat irritation. Fresh turmeric powder and ajwain (carom seeds) mixed in a glass of warm milk taken once or twice a daily is the most useful curative measure. You can try the recipe of Ajwain and Turmeric Milk and Haldi ki Goli to relieve cold and throat irritation.
8. Overcome Insomnia : A glass of milk with a little turmeric powder taken just before going to bed daily is the best remedy for insomnia.
9. Diabetes Management : Turmeric benefits in diabetes management by lowering blood glucose levels and ameliorating the long-term complications of diabetes. Its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects are useful in the treatment of diabetes patients. Curcumin through various processes reduces the production of glucose by the liver and this helps in lowering of blood glucose (21). Curcumin supplementation in animal models significantly reduced diabetic peripheral neuropathic pain which is generally localized to feet, legs, arms and hands (22). Curcumin also has shown to have protective effects on the kidneys of diabetic animal models i.e. it reduces the incidence of diabetic nephropathy (23).
10. Anti-microbiological Properties : Like most culinary herbs, turmeric helps retard food spoilage because it has antimicrobial action and is used as a natural preservative (7) . Make it a part of your everyday cooking. Try the recipe of Bajra Whole Moong and Green Pea Khichdi
11. Natural Healer : Topical application of turmeric has therapeutic effects on healing the skin wounds (8) . An application of turmeric powder on boils have been proven to speed up the healing process. Our ancestors, a few centuries ago, used pounded turmeric leaves when turmeric powder was not available.
12. Turmeric Benefits for skin : Turmeric is used often as a skin Exfoliator as it has a rough texture. Mix with olive oil and remove dead skin with it. Haldi also reduces Acne and pimples due to its anti-microbiological properties (9) .
13. Relieves Muscle Pain : Turmeric has the active compound Curcumin that is known to reduce muscle pain. This is great for athletes who suffer from muscle soreness.
14. Turmeric, the brain food : Turmeric is part of the Indian diet and present in every Indian kitchen. It is known to be a good brain food and keep diseases like Alzheimer’s at bay. The key issue of Alzheimer’s is the inflammation of the brain and Haldi is anti-inflammatory. Curcumin also improved the overall memory in patients with Alzheimer’s Disease (10).
15. Cancer : There are many health benefits of turmeric in the treatment of cancer. Curcumin has been studied widely for its effect on cancer patients. Haldi is found to be beneficial in relieving diarrhea, bloating and abdominal pain in cancer patients. Cancer patients tend to lose a lot of weight and Curcumin therapy showed substantial weight gain in cancer patients (12). Curcumin plays a role in the auto degeneration of cancer cells and thus has an important role in cancer treatment (13). Turmeric has a preventive effect against stomach and skin tumors induced by chemical carcinogens (14).
16. Prevents clot formation : Thrombus formation is essential to prevent bleeding but can be harmful for some individuals as the thrombus or blood clot may block the healthy flow of blood through the blood vessels. Turmeric is antithrombotic in nature and helps to prevent harmful clot formation in the body (15) (16) (17).
17. Decreases Cholesterol Levels : Turmeric benefits in the treatment of atherosclerosis as it inhibits LDL oxidation and has hypocholesterolemic (cholesterol reducing) effects (18).
18. Enhances Detoxification : Turmeric can detoxify the body. Consuming curcumin in the form of turmeric can help the liver in detoxification process and retard the effects of dangerous cancer causing products in the body (19). Warm Lemon Water with Turmeric is a great recipe to boost your body’s detoxification processes.
Turmeric Benefits for Better Health…
Now that you know the myriad effects of curcumin, the compound of turmeric, it is worth exploring and making this all-in-one herb a part of all our daily meals. Adding turmeric to your meals will not only enhance the colour and flavour but will also add a healthy touch to it. Spice-up your dals, curries, rice and accompaniments with this magic ingredient and enjoy them along with getting many health benefits.