Meals that Heal – Try Turmeric
Posted December 19, 2011on:
Meals that Heal – Try turmeric
Lentils are invariably cooked with a dash of turmeric. Make a nutritious soup combining lentils and pomegranate
Turmeric has so many medicinal properties, it is a wonder we still consider it an everyday kitchen spice rather than a herbal sensation. It has been used in traditional Indian medicine for centuries, as a home remedy for sprains, swellings and wounds and to treat stomach ailments and infections.
In ancient India, all ayurvedic physicians used turmeric (haldi) to treat injuries and wounds. It is such an efficient antibiotic that it not only kills dangerous bacteria in the human intestine when it’s cooked with food, but it can also neutralise parasites when applied as a paste on wounds. And adding haldi to dals is a simple way to allow the body to digest dal better; most dals are difficult to digest and cause gas.
Recently, Austrian scientists reported that haldi protects against liver damage that eventually causes cirrhosis. Curcumin, the active ingredient that gives turmeric its characteristic yellow colour, reduces inflammation that causes liver cell damage, blockage and scarring in eight short weeks, reported Gut, a British medical journal.
Turmeric has been used since ancient times to boost the body’s immune response. In fact, it is one of the few spices allowed in khichidi for babies above six months of age. In 2007, U.S. researchers reported that curcumin helped stimulate immune cells among people who had Alzheimer’s, slowing the progression of the degenerative disease. Later that year, Clinical Cancer Research reported that curcumin effectively blocked the activity of a gastrointestinal hormone implicated in the development of colorectal cancer.
Its anti-inflammatory properties were not only found to relieve the aches and pains of arthritis, but also prevent it, said a study in Arthritis and Rheumatism, the American College of Rheumatology journal. International studies have also shown it suppresses cancer tumours and that people who ingest a lot of turmeric are less prone to the disease.
So how do you include turmeric in your diet? Here’s how: Add it to dals and vegetables. Add it to milk for children along with jaggery. Add it to rice or atta dough, stews and soups, especially if you have runny stools or any infection. Add it to milk if you have bruises and internal injuries.