Turmeric is an extremely popular spice that has been used in Asian cooking and medicine for thousands of years. Made out of the rootstalks of the flowering turmeric plant-a plant that is a part of the ginger family-the powder is used as a flavoring agent for several international cuisines. With its earthy and mustard-like flavor, it can typically be found as a principal ingredient in pre-packaged curry powder, and is used in everything from baked goods to dairy products, cereals and condiments. The turmeric plant can be found in growing in the wilderness of the South Asian subcontinent, and while its culinary and medicinal use has been documented for centuries, its powder can also be used as a dye. Its characteristic golden yellow color has been used to dye fabrics, impart color to food, and has long been used as part of cultural rituals and ceremonies.
Today, the popularity of turmeric has exploded. Lauded for its medicinal benefits—several of which have already made it a key recommendation in ancient medicinal practices such as Ayurveda, Siddha and traditional Chinese medicine-the uses of turmeric have made it a highly popular and natural dietary supplement. From capsules to sprinklings in teas and lattes, people are quickly becoming aware of the powerful benefits of the spice.
So why exactly is turmeric so powerful?
The Curcumin in Turmeric
There are several important compounds in turmeric that make it so beneficial for health, but the most important of these is called curcumin. Curcumin is the spice’s main active ingredient, and it is the reason that turmeric gets its distinctive golden-yellow color. Nearly all of the health benefits of turmeric can be traced to this powerful compound.
Curcumin, however, has a low bio-availability, which means that our bodies find it a difficult chemical to absorb naturally. In order to maximize its beneficial effects, we have to maximize our body’s ability to receive it.
The Turmeric Brew sachets available from Nature’s Rare ensures that the bio-availability of curcumin is enhanced by including organic black pepper with its sustainably-sourced, organic turmeric. Black pepper contains a bioactive compound called piperine, which works to increase the absorbability of curcumin and makes sure that we are not missing out on those all-important health benefits.
You can increase this bio-availability even further by adding milk instead of water to your turmeric tea sachet. Curcumin is fat-soluble, and adding a full-fat milk like fresh cow’s milk or coconut milk will increase the absorbability of the tea even more during digestion.
The Health Benefits of Turmeric
Turmeric (and its compound curcumin) has long been studied for its health benefits. Used for centuries in ancient Asian medicine, the spice can be recommended today as a natural supplement to any health-conscious diet. Some of the health benefits of turmeric include:
- It’s an anti-inflammatory. Chronic inflammation has been linked to major diseases such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes and arthritis. An anti-inflammatory diet can fight the damage caused by inflammation to your cells, and turmeric is a powerful spice that goes a long way in doing that. Studies have shown that turmeric supplements can be helpful to arthritic patients with joint inflammation, and has been proven in some cases to be more effective than over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs.
- It may prevent growth of cancerous cells. The curcumin in turmeric has been shown to inhibit the growth of cancerous cells. It may also slow down the formation of new blood vessels in tumors, which can go a long way in the fight against the disease.
- It may boost brain function. Turmeric not only helps with improving memory, but may also slow or even reverse brain diseases, and boost age-related decreases in brain function.
- It’s great for heart health. Curcumin may decrease your risk of a heart attack, and plays a beneficial role in protecting your blood vessels. With its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, turmeric may lower your risk of heart attack.
Turmeric is a safe and highly beneficial supplement to any diet. It is readily available in its powdered form for use in cooking, but can be better enjoyed when taken as a delicious, organic Turmeric Brew first thing in the morning.