As discussed in the first part of Turmeric blog, turmeric and its main ingredient Curcumin are anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, and thus are helpful in a prevention and cure of a range of disorders.
Average Indian diet provides 2,000-2,500mg of turmeric (60-100mg of curcumin) per day. The required dosage of curcumin for effects against various disorders ranges from 150mg to 8gm curcumin per day. Whereas WHO accepted range of Curcumin in daily foods is 0-3mg/kg.
There are several ways to consume turmeric to avail its benefits for a healthy living.
1.In a traditional way, turmeric can be used as a condiment in food. Add 1-2 tsp turmeric to any dish, and cook properly. Turmeric is better absorbed in an oil based cuisine and when combined with black pepper. Hence, it is ideal to add turmeric in food that are cooked in oil or ghee.
2. Golden milk:
How to make: Grind cinnamon, dry ginger and black pepper. Add 1 tsp each of these powders along with 2 tsp turmeric in 1 glass milk and boil. Consume this milk every night before sleeping.
Uses: Golden milk helps in reducing inflammation, pain and muscle soreness. It helps in lowering blood sugar levels, cholesterol. It reduces stress, improves brain function and regularizes sleep. It also has a role in boosting immunity.
3. Haldi kadha:
How to make: Add 1-2 tsp Turmeric, 5-6 dried cloves, 7-8 basil leaves and 1 tsp crushed ginger to 1 glass water. Boil for 5-10 minutes, and filter. Drink this every morning. Add honey for taste if required once the liquid cools down.Uses: Reduces inflammation in throat, cough, hoarseness of voice, allergic cold, pain. Acts as antioxidant and improves immunity.
4. Haldi balls (laddu)
How to make: Mix ghee, turmeric, dry ginger powder and jaggery in equal amounts. Eat 1 tsp every morning or make small balls of 1 cm size and eat 1-2 every morning.Uses: This helps in improving metabolism, reducing cholesterol and inflammation.
5. Uses in specific conditions
Diabetes mellitus- 1 tsp turmeric with warm milk 2 times in a day.
- Inflammation, hyperactivity, irritable bowel syndrome- 1 tsp turmeric + 1 tsp honey with half glass warm water.
- Respiratory problems like allergic cold, running nose- warm milk + almond oil 5 drops + half tablespoon turmeric powder, twice a day (can be used in children)
- Common cold and fever- half tsp turmeric + half cinnamon + 1 piece of cardamom + clove 2 pieces + 2 black peppers can be mixed with black tea for adults (Masala chai )or mixed with milk for children.
- Rainy season- pinch of turmeric + pinch of black pepper + half tsp honey can be taken daily.
- Skincare: Apply a paste of turmeric and milk/curd on the skin before bed, and wash off after a few minutes. In the morning, remove any remaining yellow tinge by applying and rubbing a paste of chickpea flour (besan) and oil.
- Piles- Mix turmeric powder + latex of arka (calotropis procera) and apply the paste over pile mass. Itching, pains, and pile mass are reduced.
- Dental problems: Mix 1 tsp. of turmeric with ½ tsp. of salt. Add mustard oil to make a paste. Rub the teeth and gums with this paste twice daily.
- Leucorrhoea (white discharge)- Rinse the local area with 1 tsp curd and 1 tsp turmeric, and clean with plain water.
- Diarrhoea: ½ tsp. of turmeric powder mixed in buttermilk or plain water, 3 times per day.
- Conjunctivitis/ eye diseases: Turmeric/water decoction, 1:20. Soak a cloth in the decoction and then cover the eye with it. This helps to relieve the pain as well.
- Intestinal worms: Raw turmeric juice (20 drops) + pinch of salt in the morning daily
Synthetic and semisynthetic analogs of curcumin are available in the market. Synthetic curcumin is created by using Vanillin, or petroleum-based material, and does not have any of the synergy helper compounds found in turmeric plant. The adulteration and harmful effects of this synthetic curcumin is also a concern for regular use.
Safety of turmeric and curcumin:
The use of turmeric, turmeric extract, or turmeric oleoresin in food for human consumption is considered to be safe by (Generally recognized as safe- GRAS) and approved by US FDA to be used as a coloring and flavoring agent in foods. The safety of Curcumin C3 Complex® is established after looking into multiple animal and human studies with curcumin, turmeric oleoresin and turmeric.
Curcumin has been used at doses higher than 8 g/day in conditions such as advanced pancreatic cancer, yet no human studies have tested the dose levels and long-term toxicity of curcumin.