Turmeric is a relative of ginger and is a powerful anti-inflammatory which has been used for centuries due to its healing properties. Turmeric contains a potent active ingredient, curcumin which gives turmeric its bright color and is also one of the reasons why turmeric is such a healthy spice.
The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric make it one of the best foods to boost the immune system. Curcumin is also known to have antiviral and anti-fungal properties.
According to scientific research, turmeric may help fight bacterial and viral infections, heal wounds, certain kinds of cancers, eye inflammation, indigestion and stomach ulcers, osteoarthritis, heart disease, conditions related to the nervous system like the Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
Turmeric is a powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant, used since centuries for healing properties. It helps boost our immune system and fight bacterial and viral infections.
Try and use fresh raw turmeric, whenever available.
Dried vs. Fresh Turmeric
Turmeric when dried and processed, loses some of it’s essential oils and pungency. Also, the potency of curcumin is said to come down. The aroma and taste due to turmeric oil in the fresh turmeric is compromised in the dry version.
Do keep in mind that since turmeric is a natural dye, fresh one will inevitably stain your fingers, chopping board and the grater. But, it is a small price to pay if you are looking for a healthier alternative. Often, use of lemon would help remove these stains. (use in tradition)
While turmeric powder is easy to use and store, from a health perspective we would advocate the use of fresh turmeric whenever one can.
There are standard precautions for use of turmeric in either form – one should stop 2 weeks prior to surgeries (If the dose is more than 5-10 gms per day), do not take too much during pregnancy and consult the doctor in case you are not sure.
To assess how much of fresh turmeric you need to use, follow a simple guideline:
- 1 inch fresh turmeric = 1 tablespoon freshly grated turmeric = 1 teaspoon of dried turmeric