HELLO, I hope you are all feeling healthy and lovely this week, especially considering that it was Valentines week.
I am embarking on a four-part series of miracle spices that are basically renowned for their profound healing and beauty properties.
This week we look at turmeric which many Zambians use in their homes. This is what gives many Indian Foods their yellow colour.
It is quite an affordable spice which can be found in Indian shops, spice shops, supermarkets and even at garden stalls.
Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is a plant that belongs to the ginger family. It’s active ingredient is curcumin and has a distinctly earthy, slightly bitter, hot peppery flavour and a mustardy smell.
Curcumin has been a centre of attraction for potential treatment of an array of diseases, including cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, allergies, arthritis and other chronic illnesses.
Turmeric is rich: It is rich in dietary fibre, iron, potassium, magnesium and vitamin B6.
In many parts of india and China, turmeric has been used traditionally for thousands of years as a remedy for stomach and liver ailments, as well as healing sores, basically for its supposed antimicrobial property.
It is also used as a medicine for a range of diseases and conditions, including those of the skin, pulmonary and gastrointestinal systems, aches, pains, wounds, sprains and liver disorders.
A fresh juice is commonly used in many skin conditions, including eczema, chicken pox, shingles, allergy and scabies.
Just make a paste with a little water and apply on affected areas. Warm milk mixed with some turmeric powder is effective when someone has a fever.
Turmeric paste can also be used as an antiseptic on open wounds.
Turmeric is known to delay liver damage. A research done at the renowned Graz Medical University in Austria shows that the curcumin in turmeric may prevent cirrhosis by delaying liver damage.
Many Asians use turmeric to deter dandruff and improve the scalps’ condition. This can be achieved by mixing turmeric to an oil of your choice (best choices are olive, jojoba or coconut oil).
Make a mix and massage onto your scalp and leave on for 15 minutes, then shampoo and style as usual.
The American Cancer Society says that laboratory studies show that curcumin interferes with several important molecular pathways involved in cancer development, growth and spread.
Researchers have reported that curcumin can kill cancer cells in laboratory dishes and slows the growth of the surviving cells. Human studies of curcumin in cancer prevention and treatment are in the early stages.
Researchers at the University of Texas note that curcumin inhibits the growth of melanoma and may also impede the spread of breast cancer to the lungs.
Turmeric can be made into a paste with water or honey to make a skin scrub that cools inflammation and helps stop acne.
Externally, a paste of turmeric and aloe vera gel can ease pain and itching from burns, bites, chicken pox, poison ivy, or eczema.
A research done in Thailand and published in the Diabetes Care Journal (you can also find this online at http://care.diabetesjournals.org/) found that people with prediabetes who took capsules containing curcumin were less likely to go on to develop type 2 diabetes compared
with people who didn’t take the curcumin capsules.
The reason, says Drew Tortoriello, an endocrinologist and research scientist at the Naomi Berrie Diabetes Centre at Columbia University Medical Centre, is that turmeric lessens insulin resistance and prevents Type2 diabetes.
According to Medindia article, Turmeric Powder – Health Benefits, Uses & Side Effects, curcumin also helps prevent the incidence of obesity-related diseases and promotes weight loss.
“The inflammation associated with obesity is due in part to the presence of immune cells called macrophages in fat tissues throughout the body.
“Scientists believe that turmeric suppresses the number and activity of these cells, and helps reduce some of the adverse consequences of obesity.”
Drinking turmeric tea daily may well increase your life span, suggests Dr Andrew Weil.
Adding one teaspoon of turmeric powder to four cups of boiling water, simmering it for 10 minutes and adding honey to taste can do the trick.
According to researchers from Kansas State University, adding turmeric to meat can reduce the levels of cancer-causing heterocyclic amines (HCAs) by up to 40 per cent.
So head to that supermarket and get some turmeric, but remember that if your condition is very severe see a doctor.
Meanwhile, I must end here. Remember to follow my blog divadiarys.blogspot.com, twitter@arushapot and like my page on Facebook: Nancy Handabile.
I also received some emails from some people asking how they could vote for me to win Best Supporting Actress at the Africa Magic Awards.
Just text 4d and remember to vote once every hour. Sending you positive vibes, stay beautiful this week.