Turmeric: A Tasty and Trustworthy Tool to Prevent Disease

Wedding season is officially in full blast and, as South Asians, we know any time of the year is an excuse to have a wedding. But there is always an influx during the summer, with giddy girls laughing, music blasting, and the elders enjoying each other’s company. All the while, the bride is ready for her haldi (turmeric ceremony). Though it may be a superficial enhancement, the multifaceted health benefits of turmeric really goes more than just skin deep.

It is nothing new that there are medicinal properties in many of the spices in our diets, but seeing the range of benefits can change the way you choose to incorporate the masala into your daily meals. Turmeric is one of those spices that have been proven to be beneficial in treatment of various health conditions from Alzheimer’s disease to cancer.

  1. Cancer: Turmeric has been been featured in promising studies showcasing its positive effects on cancer, having also resulted in the prevention of certain cancers (i.e. melanoma) and the metastasis of different cancers (i.e. breast and lung cancer). Moreover, for those taking the chemotherapy drug, Paclitaxel, it can enhance the effects, while reducing side effects. Tip: If you are a guy who loves his cauliflower, add some turmeric–your prostate will thank you later. Turmeric has been shown to prevent prostate cancer as well as mitigate the growth of an existing case.

  2. Disinfectant/Detoxifier: A natural antibacterial and antiseptic agent, it can be used for cuts and burns and to repair damaged skin quickly. Had a rough night out and worried about the damage to your liver? Tumeric can also be the detoxifier you need. Got a zit? The potent anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric can help with that. Need that whole body detox? Tumeric can help with the internal turmoil of depression, while also helping with weight management and fat metabolism.

  3. Multiple diseases: Pain is one of the worst parts of having a disease. Because turmeric is a natural painkiller and has anti-inflammtory properties, it can serve as a natural treatment of different types of arthritis, as well as different inflammatory skin conditions (i.e. psoriasis). Turmeric can also prevent and slow the progression of neurological disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease and multiple sclerosis.

Making turmeric part of a healthy diet is important and, while it can be taken in powder or pill form, it is best consumed when mixed in a healthy meal.

Medical warning: Tumeric should not be consumed by people who have gallstones or have any kind of bile obstruction. As always, pregnant women should consult a doctor before consuming turmeric, as it can be a uterine stimulant.

Craving a tasty turmeric-infused dish? Try this easy recipe for turmeric rice:

Munia Islam is a contributing food writer at Divanee.com.