Over the years, turmeric has become a popular ingredient for all those people who believe in healthy living. Though the western world came to realise the benefits of this wonder spice comparatively late, Indian kitchens have depended on turmeric or Haldi for centuries. It goes in almost every curry and savoury dish that is cooked in our kitchens as it helps in the process of cooking and also adds nutritional value to it.
Haldi is also consumed uncooked with milk and warm water or tea, to help combat flu or cold. It helps enhance the immunity and eliminate cold, cough and chest congestion if any. While the powdered form has its benefits, the raw roots of turmeric are quite helpful too. According to research published in the journal PLOS ONE (Public Library of Science), curcumin, a compound found in turmeric is known to have anti-inflammatory properties that help boost immunity. Turmeric, which is antiviral, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial, is also prebiotic that promotes the growth of healthy bacteria in our gut.
“Turmeric is a powerful herb with over 300 nutrients including beta-carotene, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), calcium, flavonoids, fibre, iron, niacin, potassium, zinc among others. But the active compound which has caught the attention of scientists, supplement industries and food technologists is curcumin for its anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. Absorption of curcumin from turmeric is enhanced by 2000 times by peppering, a compound present in black pepper. Somehow our ancestors seem to have cracked this knowledge as all our recipes have both turmeric and black pepper in combination,” says Nikhil Chaudhary, nutritionist.
While it’s easily available in the market there are two ways to start your day with raw turmeric.
* Add raw turmeric and boil it with one teaspoon of ghee and have it every morning. It helps improve immunity and cure dry cough.
* One can also grind raw turmeric and one teaspoon ghee and make a cold morning drink before you start your day.
Dhivya, Senior Dietician, Fortis Hospital, Bannerghatta Road, Bangalore says, “Turmeric in its raw form is packed with several health benefits including immune-modulatory effects. Studies conducted on curcumin and other bioactive components in turmeric reported having beneficial effects in various disease conditions, by modulating the immune system. Raw turmeric is one of the main ingredients in several home remedies used for various health issues. Turmeric milk is an example in which grated raw turmeric is boiled with milk, and served hot. It is considered as a magic elixir to ward off the common cold and seasonal flu. Especially in children, it is associated with a reduction in Recurrent Respiratory Tract Infections. Raw turmeric concoctions/ tea taken daily over a while may help to improve immunity”.
Here are some of the benefits of having raw turmeric
* It helps facilitate smoother digestion through the tracts.
* Consumption of raw turmeric may also help treat stomach ulcers and irritation.
* It also helps in reducing inflammation in the body.
* All of these factors also lead to a reduction of skin impurities. Traditionally, it is also used in treating skin ailments.
* Kacchi Haldi, as it is also known, is also applied as an ointment to any kind of cuts or injuries.
* It purifies the blood, eliminating toxins from it.
* Raw turmeric has been known to regulate blood sugar levels too.
* Inflammation is an important part of the immune system to fight infections and is a short term process. When the inflammation becomes chronic it leads to various health problems including cancers. Turmeric has shown anti-inflammatory properties that could prevent chronic inflammation and therefore such diseases.