6 Surprising Health Benefits of Turmeric for Children

Turmeric is the most sought-after herb for common illnesses in children. This article tells you why you must include turmeric in your child's dishes daily.

By Bharti Adhikari

6 Surprising Health Benefits of Turmeric for Children

Turmeric is a widely used herb in all Indian recipes since times immemorial. Apart from giving a vibrant colour to your delicious recipes, it also has a number of health benefits for children. This herb tops the chart when it comes to medicinal use in ayurveda and Chinese medicines. Even grandma’s treasure box of home remedies for common illnesses includes turmeric.

How does turmeric work

Curcumin is the main ingredient that gives turmeric its medicinal properties and the golden yellow colour. It works as an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-viral agent. It is curcumin that gives turmeric its potent healing properties. A glass of warm milk mixed with half a spoon of turmeric can help in curing cold, flu, indigestion, chest congestion and fever.

A study by National Centre for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) suggests that curcumin may be used as an additional therapy for those seeking a combination of conventional and alternative medicine. In India, the average intake of turmeric through diet is approximately 2-2.5 grams per day. This corresponds to 60-100 mg of curcumin daily intake. Being a part of the staple diet, Indians tolerate high doses of curcumin.

Benefits of turmeric

1. Healing wounds and burns

Bruises, wounds and minor burns are common with children. A paste of turmeric and oil, milk or aleo vera gel can be applied on the affected areas. Its anti-bacterial and anti-septic properties will work as a disinfectant. It will accelerate the healing process and formation of fresh skin tissues. Turmeric also works as a natural painkiller and can be applied on sprains and swellings.

2. Treating allergies and asthma

Every child is allergic to something. It can be food items, medicines, insects, smoke, dust or even pets. Allergies may lead to skin infection, chest congestion, lung problems, asthma or diarrhoea. Turmeric contains magnesium and potassium that facilitates proper hydration and balances the body fluids.The curcumin present in turmeric acts as a decongestant which helps in treating asthma.

Research by NCBI confirms that the anti-inflammatory effect of curcumin helps in improving lung function without any adverse effects. It is effective and safe as an add-on therapy for asthma.

3. Helps digestion

One of the most important functions of the body is digestion. Improper digestion may lead to constipation, abdominal pain, gas and bloating. Several researches have proved that turmeric stimulates the gallbladder and releases bile resulting in better digestion.This will have a calming effect on the digestive system and eases out the gas.Its anti-inflammatory property can help in treating inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

4. Strengthens immune system

Children are most vulnerable to seasonal virus as their immune system is still developing. The increasing air pollution also results in various illnesses. So it is best to work on improving their immunity from the early age. Turmeric has the ability to increase the white blood cells that play a major role in fighting bacteria and viruses. It regulates the functioning between these cells and other body elements, thus creating an efficient immune system.

5. Managing juvenile diabetes

With the changing lifestyle, diabetes has become a common acquired disease among children. This disease is all about the increased glucose level in the body. A study published in PubMed, suggests that turmeric lowers blood glucose levels and improves insulin production. Its antioxidant properties prevent children with juvenile diabetes from moving to type-2 diabetes. Turmeric is also very beneficial in faster healing of wounds in diabetic children because of its anti-septic properties.

6. Prevents leukemia

Leukemia is the most common form of cancer seen among children. It is the cancer of white blood cells or bone marrow, where the unhealthy cells grows at a rapid pace and destroy the normal healthy cells. Curcumin has antioxidant, chemo-preventive, chemotherapeutic, and chemo-sensitizing activities. It eases the damage to the chromosomes caused due to radiation therapy.

Cancer Research UK states in an article that a number of studies have shown that curcumin has anticancer properties. It can kill cancer cells and prevent more from growing. It works best on breast, bowel, stomach and skin cancer cells. A 2013 international laboratory study found that the combined treatment might be better than chemotherapy alone.

Turmeric is considered a super spice because of its ability to prevent and cure a number of diseases. So go ahead and use it in your cooking every day. Also, send us recipes of your child's favourite dishes which have turmeric to editorial@parentcircle.in