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Turmeric is a widely used spice in India and Southeast Asia, where the plant originates from, although today it is cultivated in many other hot and humid regions. It has been used for more than four thousand years in gastronomy and also in medicine for the treatment and relief of various diseases. Learn much more about turmeric in the following article.
Medicinal properties of turmeric
Turmeric is used to treat countless ailments. Among its uses, the following can be highlighted
For stomach problems
Like other hot spices, turmeric is a good ally for some digestive disorders, sincestimulates secretions and helps digestion. It is recommended for people with dyspepsia, lack of appetite, gastritis or slow digestion. This is due to its active principles, which help to produce more gastric and pancreatic juices, serving in turn to balance the pH in these organs.
To avoid flatulence
This is because turmeric is carminative, helping to eliminate gases that lodge in the intestine.It is advised to avoid intestinal colic and flatulence, also for atony stomach.
To treat liver problems
Turmeric is an excellent bile tonic which protects liver functions. This is so because of curcumin (a compound that gives it its characteristic yellow-orange color).
It also has other very good substances for this organ,helps eliminate gallbladder stonesIt is anti-inflammatory, favors liver drainage and is effective to better digest large meals. It is recommended in patients with cirrhosis, jaundice, liver and gallbladder disorders
To treat some types of cancer
Research shows thatturmeric contains ten anticancer compounds, serving for cases of breast, duodenal, skin and colon cancer. It helps in the treatments and to overcome the side effects of the drugs against this disease (such as chemotherapy).
For rheumatoid arthritis and carpal tunnel syndrome
It is due to its anti-inflammatory properties. Turmeric is an ally for patients suffering from rheumatism, arthritis and carpal tunnel syndrome in the wrist, something very common today due to excessive use of the keyboard.
To treat depression
For thousands of years, this spice has been used by traditional Chinese medicine to cure and treat depression and other psychological or affective disorders.Turmeric has many stimulating components of the nervous system and, in addition, it offers good effects on the immune system and moods. It also serves to mitigate the consequences of stress.
To protect the heart
Research has shown that consuming turmeric helps with cardiovascular health. At the same time,serves to lower cholesterol and the level of triglycerides in the blood naturally. It prevents heart attacks.
To increase immunity
This spice has the ability to increase the body's immunomodulatory capacity, thanks to several of its nutrients (such as zinc, copper or polysaccharides).It is good for people with low defenses due to stress or before an exam or important event.
To treat respiratory problems
Turmeric is used in Asia to treat bronchitis naturally, for its anti-inflammatory action.It is suitable for the treatment of COPD, for its antioxidant properties.
To protect the body from free radicals
This yellow colored spice helps us eliminate the harmful effects caused by so-called “free radicals”, extracting from the body all the negative and what makes us sick.
For skin problems
Used in powder, turmericit is very good for conditions such as fungus or athlete's foot, also for psoriasis.
How is turmeric used in gastronomy
The scientific name is Curcuma longa, a perennial plant belonging to the ginger family. It comes from a shrub up to one meter high with green leaves and yellow and white flowers. Given its intense color,used as a food coloring, like rice. It is one of the main ingredients in sauces, stews and other dishes from the East, Southeast Asia and the Middle East.
It is known as a saffron, present in the food of China, Tibet, Indonesia and India. In the current food industry, it is called "E100", it serves as a coloring for butters, cheeses, mustards and smoothies, always in very small proportions, so that its flavor is hardly distinguished.It is one of the components of curry powder, which gives it that strong yellow color.
For any preparation in a pot,the correct amount of turmeric is a dessert spoon and it combines very well with other spices such as pepper or cumin. You can use it for all dishes with rice, pasta, soups, sauces, legumes, salads, boiled vegetables, etc. It is also used for egg and fish dishes and one of the best known recipes is chicken curry or fish skewers.
It is an ideal substitute for saffron because turmeric is less expensive, albeit with a different flavor. With a tablespoon of this spice and mayonnaise you can make a delicious sauce (also with heavy cream).
Turmeric should be consumed in moderate amounts because its flavor is very penetrating and not everyone likes it. But in addition to that, because it can cause some side effects.It is advised to avoid its intake in pregnant womenand in people who have severe gallbladder problems.