Ayurvedic medicine: turmeric or Curcuma Longa

Famous in one of the world’s oldest medical systems. In ayurvedic medicine, turmeric, or Curcuma Longa, is a well-known and widely used root. We know it mainly as a key ingredient in curries and other popular dishes. In recent years, turmeric has found its way from our kitchen cabinet to our medicine cabinet. Let’s find out why.

Is it turmeric? Curcuma? Or curcumin?

Turmeric is a plant whose roots are commonly used as a spice. The scientific name of the plant is Curcuma Longa. Inside the plant you find an important chemical called curcumin. So basically when we say turmeric, curcuma or curcumin we mean the same thing. The bright yellow/orange powder with its strong coloring effect and interesting taste. But curcumin is what makes the spice so good for your health.

Health benefits of turmeric

Turmeric is said to be rich in antioxidants. This means that it not only helps to protect our bodies, but that it also helps to heal our bodies. Furthermore, the anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin may help fight inflammation, swelling and pain. These properties make turmeric a popular spice among people. For example, people who suffer from:

  • joint problems such as rheumatoid arthritis
  • digestive problems such as bloating, excess gas, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or even Crohn’s disease
  • fibromyalgia
  • seasonal allergies

Turmeric and cancer

Unfortunately there’s not yet enough evidence to claim turmeric prevents cancer. Also there’s not enough proof that it slows cancer growth. but some people do believe curcumin’s properties may actually help with cancer prevention. Research has shown that in countries where people eat more turmeric some forms of cancer appear to be less common.

Turmeric and black pepper

Even though turmeric has so many health benefits, the curcumin is very difficult for the body to absorb. Luckily there seems to be a solution. Apparently, if you take turmeric together wit black pepper you actually enhance curcumin absorption. Not only that, but black pepper also has it’s own health benefits. Black pepper contains piperine which in turn also has anti-inflammatory properties. So you’re actually combining two potent spices. Sounds good to us!

How to take turmeric

Do you want to try the ayurvedic medicine turmeric for yourself? You can buy it as a powder or as a food supplement. Always make sure to check the advised dosage on the packaging.

Since the curcumin inside turmeric is fat-soluble, taking turmeric powder with a source of fat seems to be preferred. If you are an avid smoothie-maker, we suggest adding a teaspoon of oil (olive oil or coconut oil) together with your turmeric to your smoothie. But what if you feel like this would ruin your smoothie? Or what if you don’t really like the taste of turmeric? Well, just add some oil and turmeric to a shot glass of juice and be done with it!

And don’t forget to add your black pepper!

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