Herbs have been used for thousands of years to help relieve many health issues, besides making food taste better. Two popular herbs are cumin, and turmeric, which provide many health benefits, including aiding digestion. Each one has special properties to help relieve gassiness, soothe sour stomach and relieve that queasy feeling. Both of these herbs are used in cooking, with cumin more popular for
What is cumin?
Cumin is a spice that originated in Egypt. In fact, it was often used in mummification. It’s often confused with caraway, although the taste of cumin is hotter. That’s one reason it’s often used in chili or found in chili powder. It’s used in soups, curry and sometimes in pastry. It contains monounsaturated fat, protein, fiber, vitamins E and B, plus iron, magnesium and manganese. Cumin has been found to be beneficial for hemorrhoids, heart disease, inflammation, vomiting, insomnia, viral infections and to boost the immune system. The Sanskrit name for cumin is Jira, which means digestion. It’s frequently mentioned in the Bible, too. One verse refers to tithing with mint, dill or cumin, so it was highly prized.
Turmeric also provides a number of health benefits.
Turmeric comes from India. It gives dishes it’s added to a golden color. It’s used both in cooking and part of herbal remedies, more recently, the scientific community has found its beneficial for a number of ailments. It helps the body with its anti-inflammatories and antioxidant properties. Besides digestion, turmeric helps prevent heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s, metabolic syndrome and degenerative conditions, which often occur from chronic inflammation.
How cumin and turmeric aid in digestion.
Part of the reason cumin helps digestion comes from the fiber that stimulates the digestive system and prevents constipation. However, it’s the thymol in cumin that really helps. First, it helps prevent gas from forming and combats flatulence. It stimulates the glands that produce enzymes and secrete acids for digestion. Enzymes are important for proper digestion. It’s also good for acid reflux. The curcumin in turmeric helps stops the inflammation that leads to GERD. The anti-inflammatories and antioxidant properties also help with Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis.
- To make the benefits of cucumin in turmeric more bioavailable, use it with a bit of black pepper. The piperine in black pepper enhances the absorption of curcumin by 2,000%.
- Studies showed that 20 drops of cumin essential oil in water every day relieved the symptoms of IBS, such as abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhea and painful bowel movements.
- While taking some of the herb turmeric may help, too much can be a problem. Too much turmeric or turmeric tea can actually increase stomach acid. It also thins the blood, so don’t use it if you’re on blood thinners or two weeks before surgery.
- Adding turmeric to your diet may provide benefits for exercise and can help with depression. It boosted the action of Prozac when taken together. It also improves dopamine, brain-derived neurotrophic factor and serotonin.
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