Turmeric is a plant indigenous to Southern Asia. There is some incredible turmeric uses that will make you want to add this spice to your life.
In countries like Iran, India, Nepal, and Pakistan, turmeric has long been an essential part of the daily foods, being used in the cuisine for coloring and dyeing. In Vietnam and Cambodia, the plant is used to give flavor to traditional dishes like curry and rice.
However, turmeric’s aesthetic and spice-like properties have also raised its popularity outside native Asia. The rich, yellowish color it imbues is therefore used in biscuits, popcorn, cereal, canned sauces and so on. For home use, turmeric has spread as a popular spice together with parts of the Asian cuisine that were taken overseas by immigrants.
The Medicinal Properties of Turmeric
Aside from adding color and taste to dishes, turmeric has been revealed to possess wondrous medicinal applications. It is mainly used to treat diseases of the stomach that cause inflammation, such as irritable bowel syndrome, bloating, stomach pain or dyspepsia. In its most usual form of powder, turmeric is also used to treat leech bites, gum disease, acne or ringworms.
Indian traditional medicine has been aware of the healing capabilities of turmeric, called Siddha or Ayurveda, for centuries. Modern studies have uncovered that the active chemical responsible for this is curcumin. Herbal supplement, cosmetics ingredient, spice and dye, curcumin has several uses that make it so effective for medicine and cooking.
Here are 8 of the most popular turmeric uses for home remedies.
1. Turmeric Tea
Depending on what’s affecting your health, there will almost always be a tea to deal with it. Made from turmeric paste and with some lemon juice, turmeric tea is easy to prepare and it has immediate effects.
Firstly, it counters those pesky seasonal allergies. Coupled with the plant’s healing effects mentioned before, add some honey and you’ll have yourself an anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial concoction of your own making.
2. Turmeric Milk
If turmeric tea is already all too familiar to you, try putting your curcumin dose in a bit of milk. This is the way in which the peoples of South Asia have been consuming turmeric, and they’ve had centuries to perfect the art. Stir some cinnamon, a bit of black pepper, honey and a teaspoon of turmeric in your milk.
Soon you’ll forget you’re drinking a medicinal plant due to its intoxicating smell and taste.
3. Turmeric Broth
There are indeed several uses of turmeric that allow you to consume this spice in a liquid form. We’ve talked about tea and milk, now let’s move on to turmeric broth. Add one teaspoon of turmeric, some garlic and a bit of vinegar to your broth and there you have it. The great part of this recipe is that it goes well with other spices and herbs.
Get creative and make your own turmeric broth without losing any of its medicinal properties.
4. Turmeric Smoothie
Wait, there’s more. Maybe you don’t feel like having a hot beverage to go with your turmeric intake. In that case, blend together a bit of turmeric paste with mango, banana, milk and some honey and cinnamon to make yourself a turmeric smoothie.
You’ll have made a powerful antioxidant that can also help with diseases such as diabetes, arthritis and even depression.
5. The Yellow Mask
Let’s not forget about turmeric uses for beauty and its incredible effects on the skin. To that purpose, you can mix together a teaspoon of turmeric with some flour, almond oil, and milk and apply the mixture on your face. Turmeric can help heal acne scars, eczema or patches of sensitive red skin.
Beyond that, the mask will rejuvenate your skin and give it a healthy glow. For that reason, it was used as a moisturizer and added to facial creams by women all over India.
6. Makeshift Bandages
One can easily get cuts and minor injuries while working or cooking around the house. Left untended, these small cuts can get infected and cause serious pains. Turmeric, a natural antiseptic and an antibacterial agent, is an easily applied remedy.
Moreover, it is also used to treat psoriasis and damaged skin, speeding up the healing process.
7. Golden Ointment
Aside from turmeric uses as a face mask and other beauty recipes, it can also be applied to any part of the body affected by an itch or subjected to a burn. Coupled with aloe vera, gels that include turmeric retain the plant’s dyeing properties, so watch out for yellow marks on your clothes and furniture.
8. Simply Cook With It
You can make a smoothie, tea or milk with it, wear it as a mask for your skin, use it as an ointment or apply it to burns, but don’t forget to cook with turmeric. Just a few slashes of it are enough for a single dish, and it will provide your stomach with some much-needed relaxation.
Cleansing and healing, turmeric will also liven up any bland foods you want to get rid of and so you’ll be able to gain some renown as a cook simply by using it as a spice.