Turmeric – Curcuma Longa
Turmeric has been used in India for at least two thousand years as dye for textiles. It later evolved from improving food storage to an additive in food for flavor. More popularly known as one of the main ingredients in curry, it is available in powdered form and used fresh, much like ginger. People in India use it in practically every dish they prepare. High quality turmeric is also being used as an ingredient in nutritional supplements.
Turmeric has earned a reputation for its healing properties and is being studied today in hundreds of clinical trials around the world. This spice has dozens of healing actions. It has important antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and can combat health threats.
Where Can Turmeric be Found?
Grows in many areas of Asia, including India, China, and South East Asian countries, Turmeric is derived from the rhizomes of the Curcuma Longa plant, which are boiled, dried and ground into a powder. The rhizomes are often referred to as roots, but they are actually a stem system that grows underground. It is the underground parts that are of medicinal value. The leaves are used in a variety of Indian dishes, but not as medicine.
Turmeric is commonly used on cuts and burns to prevent infection, where it is readily available. It promotes healing and stimulates recovery. It can be applied directly to wounds for its antiseptic activity, promote healing and reduce bruising. In traditional Ayurvedic treatment, turmeric is used to improve liver function, relieve arthritis pain and regulate menstruation.
Turmeric as a dietary supplement proves to be highly effective in treating colitis, inflammatory bowel and other digestive disorders. However its most important use is for preventing many serious diseases. It is currently being studied for the benefits it may provide to Alzheimer’s patients, cancer sufferers and a number of other health conditions. You will be surprise on the number of studies currently taking place. You will even more surprised on what this “India Golden Spice” is capable of as the results are very encouraging. Do remember though, Turmeric or Kunyit is just a food item!
Turmeric Antioxidant Activity – ORAC Value
A collaborative study by the USDA and Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University defined that Oxygen Radical Absorption Capacity, better known as ORAC Value indicates the level of antioxidant activity contained in rich foods, spices or herbs. It has been found that foods high in antioxidant activity are the foods that help protect us against heart disease, cancer, stroke and almost any other disease or health related conditions.
The higher the antioxidant activity, the more effective they are in protecting us. Antioxidants are the nutrient natural chemicals that interact with free radicals either by destroying them or turning them back into regular healthy cells. Eating foods or taking dietary supplements with high antioxidant activity also protects us against aging.
Turmeric has one of the highest ORAC VALUE at 127,068 μmol TE/100g.
With Turmeric extract’s potent ORAC value, it further strengthened the health benefits this “Golden Spice of India” is capable of providing to mankind.