Home NatureFlora Curcuma Longa or turmeric, all about the health spice

Curcuma Longa or turmeric, all about the health spice

by Pierre To
6 minutes to read
Turmeric or turmeric, the healthy spice

Turmeric is a plant native to Asia that has many medicinal properties, particularly against cancer, ulcers and Alzheimer's.

See also :
Medicinal plants in Thailand: samoune phaille


Thai name : Khramine - ขมิ้น
Other names : false saffron, turmeric (English)

Turmeric is a perennial rhizomatous herbaceous plant belonging to the Zingiberaceae family and is native to Southeast Asia.

There are many species, the Curcuma longa is the most used in food and for its medicinal properties.

The rhizome has been used for centuries in Indian (Ayurveda) and Chinese medicine. In Europe, the virtues of this plant have been known since antiquity.

Turmeric rootTurmeric flower
Turmeric flower

In Thailand you will have no trouble finding it, there are fresh rhizomes in most markets, powdered sachets in food shops and capsules in pharmacies and herbal shops.

Preparation of the powder

To prepare the powder it is very simple, after having washed the rhizome well, boil it, dry it and then reduce it to powder in a mortar.
At the end of the process, an orange-coloured powder is obtained which can be used alone or mixed with other spices.

Medicinal properties of Turmeric

Turmeric root

It is in the rhizome that we find the active, medicinal principle of this plant: curcumin.

Turmeric is not recommended in high doses if you have gallstones, are pregnant or taking anticoagulants.

Turmeric is used for :
- Preventing cancer and contributing to its treatment.
- Treating stomach ulcers and inflammatory diseases.
- Reduce hyperlipidaemia and the risk of cardiovascular disease.
- Treating gingivitis
- Preventing type 2 diabetes
- Reduce inflammation in diabetic patients with kidney disease.
- Improving cognitive performance in Alzheimer patients
- Treating digestive disorders.
- Treats stomach ulcers and liver disorders.
- Relieve inflammatory diseases (rheumatoid arthritis).

And for external use in :
- Treats skin inflammation and wounds.
- Stop hair loss and help regrow hair

Multiple benefits

Turmeric has a tonic effect on the digestive tract and stimulates the appetite.

It acts as a protector of the gastric mucosa, prevents and treats gastric disorders and cures stomach ulcers (useful for Thai people who like very spicy food).

It regulates the functions of the bile and protects the body against the accumulation of bad cholesterol in the tissues while playing an important role in reducing the cholesterol content of the blood, thus preventing the onset of degenerative artery diseases.

It also has a blood-thinning effect and prevents other cardiovascular accidents.

The curcumin molecule has an anti-cancerous action that prevents the development of blood cancer, malignant tumours and prevents prostate cancer.

Turmeric is also very useful for the elderly, it stimulates the immune system and protects against Alzheimer's disease.

The WHO has identified some traditional uses of Curcuma longa: for the treatment of peptic ulcers, pain and inflammation due to rheumatoid arthritis, amenorrhea, dysmenorrhea, diarrhea, epilepsy, pain and skin diseases.

If you want to benefit fully from its therapeutic virtues, you must combine it with pepper, as the piperine contained in pepper increases the absorption of curcumin by the body a thousandfold.

Turmeric for skin and hair

Skin care

Beware, the skin may remain a little coloured for a while afterwards, even after a good rinse!

For burns: prepare a mixture of turmeric and aloe vera gel (or honey).

Apply the resulting paste to the burn and the wound will heal very quickly.

Against acne and acne scars: add a few drops of water and lemon juice to the turmeric powder and apply the paste to the acne area and leave it on for about 15 minutes.

Hair care

Turmeric has anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties, so it is an excellent treatment for purifying the scalp and ridding it of problems such as oily roots, dandruff, itching and eczema.

But turmeric can also slow down hair loss and stimulate hair growth because it activates blood circulation and inhibits TGF Beta 1.

TGF Beta 1 ('transforming growth factor beta 1), is a growth factor that seems to play a role in the death of hair follicles as well as hair loss and according to a Korean study (Biospectrum Life Science Institute), curcumin, an active component contained in turmeric, would be able to inhibit the activity of TGF Beta 1 thus preventing hair loss.

Recipe to stimulate growth and purify the scalp:
Mix a tablespoon of turmeric with olive oil and apply the resulting paste to the scalp. Leave it on for 20 minutes and then rinse with a mild shampoo.

Other uses

Power supply : it is also and primarily a food spice, one of the main ingredients of curry.

Curator : the powdered rhizome preserves the freshness, flavour and nutritional value of food.

Dye : it is a powerful colouring agent, you only need to cut a piece of it to realise that the colour can remain on the skin for more than a day!

Religion : In Thailand, people about to become monks are sometimes smeared with a mixture of turmeric powder and water to cleanse the skin of impurities before entering monastic life.

You can easily find them in Thai markets at low cost or you can buy them on Iherb.

Source : passeportsante.net wikipedia.org, Photos: Simon A. Eugster, Pierreto

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