Turmeric is a popular substance in Asia, particularly India and other countries in the sub-continent. It is used in cooking as a base ingredient in many curries. It is also used for healing and features heavily in many Ayurvedic treatments. For instance, adding turmeric powder to a cut with help it to heal quicker. The thing is, turmeric has many applications, one of which is for the skin. It can do wonders for your skin as this article will show. We’ll also cover a tasty drink you can prepare that makes it easier to get your fill of this versatile spice. So let’s get into it.
The root is dried and then ground into a powder or spice. It has a deep yellow or orange color that will give whatever you cook the same color. It is also used as a food coloring in some places.
You can also use the fresh root in cooking or for medicines. Use it just like ginger – peel off the skin and chop finely. It won’t color your cooking as much as the powder but it will give it a distinctive taste. Personally, I think using it fresh is a better option if you want to get the health benefits from it.
What’s So Good About Turmeric
As we have noted, turmeric has been part of the Ayurveda traditional healing system for thousands of years. Ayurvedic practitioners recommend it in cooking and also use it in medicinal recipes.
The active ingredient in it is called curcumin. It has been claimed that curcumin can help prevent various diseases ranging from cancer, diabetes and Alzheimers disease due to it’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory nature.
As yet, none of these claims have been conclusively proven to be true. However evidence is being collated as more clinical tests go on. It is thought to be good for the skin though which is fairly easy to confirm by trying it yourself.
Why Is It Good For The Skin ?
As we have already mentioned, treating a cut with turmeric speeds up the healing process. Adding it topically to acne blemishes, blackheads, and age spots can also help these conditions.
The antioxidant qualities of curcumin are thought to prevent dry skin keeping it supple and elastic. This in turn reduces the chances of fine lines and wrinkles developing.
Outside of cooking, a good way to get turmeric into your diet is to drink it as a tea.
How To Make The Tea
It’s very easy to make Turmeric Root tea. In fact, you can make two concoctions :
The first is to use the fresh root. Cut a knob of the root (inch or so to your taste) and drop it into a cup or jug of just boiled water. Let it sit for a while until it is easy to drink without scolding your lips. Add a drop of honey to give it a sweeter taste. You could also add a bit of fresh ginger to give it another taste dimension.
You could also let it sit for a few hours and drink it cold or chilled on hotter days. The only problem with this recipe is that you may not be able to find the fresh root. With this said, I have no problem finding it in the local supermarket but other than that an Asian specialty food store will probably have it.
The second recipe is may be easier to source the ingredients.
Use the powder that you can find in the spice racks of most supermarkets. Add a teaspoon to a cup of warmed milk. The milk can be regular milk, soya or almond milk. Turmeric has a nutty taste so adding it to Almond milk might be an interesting combination. You can try drinking as is or add some honey if you want a sweeter taste.