This year’s cold and flu season is, unfortunately, one of the worst in recent history. While rates may be leveling off as the weather turns warmer, there could easily be another 12-13 weeks of cold and flu season. Then, with summer right around the corner, a cold in the summer can be simply the worst.
Fortunately, nature contains many helpful foods, herbs and spices. These foods can help boost the immune system and protect against such viruses as the common cold.
Here are some of the benefits of turmeric and how it can help fight against colds and coughs.
The Spice of Life: The Benefits of Turmeric
Turmeric is a root from the ginger family, and looks very similar until you get past the unimpressive brown exterior. When dried, ground and powdered it is what gives curry its bright yellow hue. It has been used for centuries in India and southeast Asia for that distinctive golden dye, but also for use in food and for medicinal properties.
In ayurvedic medicine, the 3,000 year-old medicinal practices from India, people have used turmeric to treat such conditions as breathing problems, pain (such as from rheumatism) and fatigue.
In recent western studies, we have found that the active part of turmeric comes from the compounds known as curicuminoids. Some small amount of this is also in ginger root. Curicumin has been shown to:
- Work as a natural anti-inflammatory, demonstrating as much effectiveness against osteoarthritis knee pain as ibuprofen (the ingredient in Advil, Motrin, and many other over-the-counter medicines).
- Provide a powerful antioxidant, which works against free radicals in the body (the way all antioxidants do), but also boosts the power of the body’s own antioxidant enzymes.
- Reduce the number of heart attacks after surgery for post-bypass patients, possibly due to immune-boosting and anti-inflammatory properties combined. Turmeric can also be used preventatively to help treat heart conditions.
Additional research is underway to examine the health benefits of turmeric for prevention or treatment of alzheimer’s. Turmeric may also help prevent such forms of cancer as colon and prostate cancer. Already turmeric is being used to reduce irritation to skin from the treatment of radiation-based breast cancer.
As you can see, taking turmeric can do so much more than just help fight against colds.
Turmeric for Colds
You can buy turmeric supplements, add turmeric as a booster in smoothies, and tout it as a tea. When using turmeric for colds and coughs, however, you do not merely want the dried up saffron-looking variety that is used in most foods, supplements or teas. That’s because turmeric does not necessarily absorb easily within the body. Your body consumes as little as 3-4% of the supplement.
Turmeric milk for cold and cough contains the most absorbable form of turmeric. It’s fat-soluble, so in milk form (such as the good fats found in nut milks), turmeric gets utilized to the fullest extent possible.
Preventatively for cold and flu season, a little turmeric for cold and cough adds some spice to a delicious banana turmeric cold brew. If actively fighting a cold and treating with turmeric, it’s a good idea to add the turmeric to broths, soups, or stews. You may also supplement with some black peppercorn (to assist with absorption).
Ready to Add Some Turmeric?
You might be looking to boost immunity, prevent heart disease, ease joint pain or treat cold and cough. It’s a good time to add a little turmeric to life.
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