A flowering plant of the ginger family, turmeric (hindi: haldi) is native to Southeast Asia and the Indian Subcontinent. With its leaves arranged in an alternate pattern in two rows and aromatic rhizomes, Turmeric fruits as a yellowish orange plant stem that is similar in appearance to the ginger root. A common ingredient found dominating the Indian kitchens, this herb is usually consumed in a powdered form and is often used as a fabric dye apart from its uses as a traditional medicine. Having anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and antioxidant properties, turmeric is also used as a beauty enhancing ingredient and is applied externally during the Haldi Ceremony that is observed a day prior to the wedding ceremonies in various religions.
Benefits of Haldi
1. Boosts immunity
The presence of endotoxins in Turmeric help to boost and stimulate the immune system. Due to its anti-inflammatory properties and richness in antioxidants, consuming turmeric regularly helps fight common flu and other chronic diseases that can bring down the immunity.
2. Helps in healing wounds and improves skin health
Applied externally or consumed in some form or the other, turmeric also helps heal wounds within a short span of time, thanks to its antiseptic and antibacterial properties. A quick remedy to heal the wounds, turmeric proves to be an effective medicine to improve the overall skin health and makes it look younger, soft and clean.
3. Helps control diabetes
Used by patients suffering from pre-diabetes to prevent or delay the Type 2 diabetes, turmeric helps in keeping insulin levels in proper check. Along with supporting a healthy blood-sugar level, this herb also helps amplify the effects of the medication used in treating diabetes.
4. Improves digestion and blood circulation
Known to be an effective remedy to cure the symptoms of bloating and gas, consuming turmeric in a raw form can also help improve the body’s digestion process. Effective in successfully treating all the digestive problems by stimulating the gall bladder to produce bile, turmeric is also said to improve blood circulation resulting in a healthy liver.
How Does Turmeric Benefit in Weight Loss?
Effective in accelerating the metabolic rate of the human body, turmeric helps to burn those extra calories that have accumulated in the body over time. Turmeric if consumed regularly is also said to regulate sugar levels in the body and preventing insulin resistance resulting in no excess fat being retained in the body, thus benefiting in weight loss and preventing obesity.
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How to Consume?
- Turmeric and Cinnamon Tea: Pour a cup of water in a pan and add a small quantity of cinnamon powder to it. Boil till the water is reduced to half. Pour into a cup and let it cool down to room temperature. Add some freshly made turmeric paste and mint paste, each in equal proportion, to the concentrate. Stir well. This tea will act as an anti-oxidant and will help improve insulin levels. Consume the turmeric and cinnamon tea in the morning before breakfast.
- Turmeric Milk: Boil a cup of milk for 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat and add a small quantity of turmeric powder to it. Stir and drink hot. This Turmeric milk will help you heal any cuts or injuries which you might have sustained internally or externally apart from helping strengthen the bones. Consume turmeric milk before going to bed at night.
- Ginger Turmeric Tea: Heat some water in a pan. Add a small quantity of turmeric paste and ginger paste to it and bring to boil. Turn off the heat and let the mixture cool down to room temperature. Strain and drink. An appetizing drink, Ginger Turmeric Tea will work wonders if included in the weight loss routine. Consume the turmeric and cinnamon tea in the morning before breakfast.
Dr. Nash Kamdin, MBBS and a General Physician, Mumbai advises to consume turmeric with milk. According to him “Milk mixed with turmeric has many health benefits as turmeric acts as an antioxidant & reduces inflammation in the body thereby keeping the blood vessels & heart healthy.” He further says that “It is beneficial in chronic cough & cold as it boosts the immune system & increases the body resistance to various infections. Daily you can take 2-3 cups for health benefit.”
The only thing to keep in mind while consuming Turmeric is that though it is generally very safe to consume, people who are allergic or sensitive to turmeric can experience a mild stomach ache or diarrhea, if they consume turmeric in any form. Having no significant side effects, some people can even experience nausea or dizziness.