An Herb For Thought: Turmeric
The medicinal properties of this spice have been slowly revealing themselves over the centuries. Long known for its anti-inflammatory properties, recent research has revealed that turmeric is a natural wonder, proving beneficial in the treatment of many different health conditions from cancer to Alzheimer’s disease.
Here are 20 reasons to add turmeric to your diet:
1. It is a natural antiseptic and antibacterial agent, useful in disinfecting cuts and burns.
2. When combined with cauliflower, it has shown to prevent prostate cancer and stop the growth of existing prostate cancer.
3. Prevented breast cancer from spreading to the lungs in mice.
4. May prevent melanoma and cause existing melanoma cells to commit suicide.
5. Reduces the risk of childhood leukemia.
6. Is a natural liver detoxifier.
7. May prevent and slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease by removing amyloyd plaque buildup in the brain.
8. May prevent metastases from occurring in many different forms of cancer.
9. It is a potent natural anti-inflammatory that works as well as many anti-inflammatory drugs but without the side effects.
10. Has shown promise in slowing the progression of multiple sclerosis in mice.
11. Is a natural painkiller and cox-2 inhibitor.
12. May aid in fat metabolism and help in weight management.
14. Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, it is a natural treatment for arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
15. Boosts the effects of chemo drug paclitaxel and reduces its side effects.
16. Promising studies are underway on the effects of turmeric on pancreatic cancer.
17. Studies are ongoing in the positive effects of turmeric on multiple myeloma.
18. Has been shown to stop the growth of new blood vessels in tumors.
19. Speeds up wound healing and assists in remodeling of damaged skin.
20. May help in the treatment of psoriasis and other inflammatory skin conditions.
Turmeric can be taken in powder or pill form. It is available in pill form in most health food stores, usually in 250-500mg capsules.
Once you start using turmeric on a regular basis, it’s fun to find new ways to use it in recipes. My favorite way to use it is to add a pinch of it to egg salad. It adds a nice flavor and gives the egg salad a rich yellow hue.
For the skin, turmeric is believed to be an excellent anti-aging remedy; it is known to tighten the pores and smooth the skin out.
TUMERIC FACE MASK
Who isn’t stranger to some of the dastardly evils of city living? Smog and pollution abound, especially in the city of LA, and our skin can often get the worst of it. And, let’s be honest, you don’t really have to live in the city at all to experience skin woes. It’s just life that can dry our skin out, or even make it overly oil. But, there are some all-natural face masks that can really make a difference in the overall appearance and health of our skin.
The mask I bring you today is made of four simple ingredients: whole wheat flour, honey, milk, and the most important secret ingredient: turmeric!
Turmeric is a common Indian spice taken from the turmeric root. It is often used in curries and is known for its super vibrant, orange color. For the skin, turmeric is believed to be an excellent anti-aging remedy; it is known to tighten the pores and smooth the skin out. I can attest to this; my skin felt radiant afterward, shiny and soft. This mask is probably best with those who experience oily skin or clogged pores. It really does work to draw out impurities and tighten up.
Another great aspect of this face mask is that it literally cost about a quarter to make. I already had all of these common ingredients in my home (save possibly for the turmeric) and from start to finish the entire experience took about 20 minutes. And no, despite what you may be thinking, my skin did NOT turn orange! I was fearing this a bit, I will admit, as it is used in traditional wedding ceremonies as face decoration. But, when mixed with milk and wheat flour, it does come off, I promise!
Turmeric Face Mask Recipe:
2 tbsp organic whole wheat flour
1 tsp organic turmeric
2 tbsp organic milk
1/2 tsp organic, raw honey
Combine the flour and turmeric in a small bowl. Then add the milk and honey and stir vigorously until a thick paste is formed.
Apply a thin layer with the back of a spoon or something clever (I used a tongue depressor thingy) and wait until it dries, about 15 minutes. It will start to get gloopy and hard, this is what you want!
After about 15 minutes, wash it off completely and luxuriate in the feeling of your soft, refreshed skin!