Common Culinary Spice Has “Roots” in Ayurveda:
Beverly Hills, Calif. (PRWEB) September 25, 2006 -- Many of today’s herbal remedies are far from household names: Arctic Root, Bladder Wrack, and Cat’s Claw. However, there is one herb with health and beauty benefits that is as close to you as your pantry: Turmeric. Derived by grinding the yellow, ginger-like roots from a small plant, native to India, into a powder or paste, Turmeric has a history of healing that dates back 5,000 – 7,000 years ago to the Vedic Texts that outline the practice of Ayurveda (the science of longevity). Here is a quick lesson on the healing, balancing and beautifying properties of this time-honored spice.
Sacred Turmeric and the Asian Culture
The Turmeric plant is sacred to the Himalayan Monks and plays an important role in their herbal rituals. In many Asian cultures, brides and grooms are anointed with Turmeric on their wedding day in order to balance their mind, body and spirit and prepare them for their new roles as husband and wife. In addition, mixing Turmeric with lime creates the distinctive red forehead mark of spiritual followers – the kumkuma. Turmeric is also added to the water used daily in the ritual ablution of the Deities and mixed with unpolished rice as an important offering during puja (prayer).
Turmeric and the Fight against Cancer and Other Diseases
Ayurvedic doctors have long used Turmeric as a medicine for treating diabetes, wounds/bruises, skin rashes, arthritis, bronchitis and liver problems. Today, Western medicine is discovering that this powerful spice also can help the body battle cancer. Recently, researchers at Detroit’s Henry Ford Health System found that the active ingredient in Turmeric, curcumin, can boost the cancer-fighting power of treatment with a naturally occurring molecule called TRAIL, which helps combat cancer cells. Other studies have found Turmeric to be as effective as hydrocortisone in treating cases of arthritis and acute inflammation – without side effects. Turmeric also has important antibacterial properties and is effective in killing Salmonella and E. Coli bacteria.