Ayurveda the ancient medical science is based on the principle of preventing diseases. It directs us to resist the diseases through our food habits and lifestyles. Same principle was stressed by Hippocrates also. "Let your food be your medicine" was his advice to mankind.
More about a very well known spice in Ayurveda yet not completely understood by common man. Over the last several years, there has been increasing interest in turmeric and its medicinal properties. But Ayurveda has immensely praised the medicinal qualities of turmeric which finds its place in almost all ayurvedic preparations related to liver and skin disorders.
This herb has occupied the shelves of every Indian kitchen for 6000 years and is considered as the king of the kitchen. It is used daily in cooking. Apart from cooking it is also used as beauty aid and as a dye.
Turmeric (Curcuma Longa) belongs to the Zingiberacae Family and is a perennial plant that grows 3 to 5 feet high in the tropical regions .In India it is grown all over but specially in Bengal, Bombay and in Tamilnadu .
Ayurveda appreciates the medicinal qualities and color of turmeric. This is evident through the various names of turmeric specified in ancient texts of ayurveda. Some of these are
Haridra - enhancer of body complexion.
Kanchani - looks like gold .
Nisha - also improves skin complexion
Gowri - yellow in color
Krimighni - works as a Antibacterial and anthelmintic.
Yoshit priya - used in Gynecological disorders.
In Hindi turmeric is known as haldi .
The rhizomes or roots of this plant are used as medicine and for other purposes. The rhizomes are boiled, dried and then powdered. This powder is used for all purposes.
The active chemical component of turmeric is curcumin. Curcumin is a strong antioxidant and reduces inflammation by reducing histamine levels. Curcumin protects liver, reduces cholesterol, and prevents internal blood clotting thus preventing heart attacks and liver tissue damages.
Turmeric is very safe. But special precautions should be taken in persons who have gallstones, hyperacidity, stomach ulcers and obstructive jaundice.
Ayurveda explains the qualities of turmeric as light and dry. It has pungent and bitter taste. It is widely used in skin, respiratory and liver disorders. It purifies blood and enhances complexion.
Medicinal properties of turmeric:
Ayurveda has recommended this golden herb to purify blood and prevent it from clotting. It is extensively used to protect liver from toxins and microbial. Turmeric increases the secretion of bile and promotes free flow of bile. This herb can be used to overcome toxic effects of alcohol on liver. This reduces cholesterol and protects heart.
Use of 1 teaspoon of turmeric with warm water to rejuvenate the liver and expels toxins out of it.
On respiratory system
Turmeric is very effective in bronchitis, productive cough and asthma.
One spoon of turmeric boiled in milk should be consumed with a spoon of pure ghee in conditions like bronchitis, asthma and productive cough. This gives very good relief and expectorates excessively produced mucus in lungs.
The antioxidant properties of turmeric help reduce inflammation in joints, protect the heart, reduce cholesterol and keep us healthy. It is also antibacterial so great for immunity.
It is widely used in ayurvedic preparations for diabetes. It lowers the blood sugar and increases glucose metabolism.
It initiates regular menstrual cycle and reduces menstrual cramps.
Blood nourishes the skin and it is known fact that clean blood always keeps the skin glowing and radiant. Turmeric purifies the blood, nourishes the skin and gives it a healthy natural glow and radiance.
A traditional face pack of India consists of gram flour, pure turmeric powder, milk and honey. This reduces inflammation of skin, smoothens it and prevents many skin ailments.
On Stomach and Intestines