Plenty of our readers already know about the potential health benefits of Turmeric. We get lots of questions about turmeric and just as many comments about how well turmeric works for a variety of purposes. One of the most common questions we receive is “Should I eat turmeric root or use turmeric essential oil?” As with many similar questions, there is no one answer for every given purpose. So let’s quickly discuss why one might want to use turmeric root or turmeric essential oil, or both!
Turmeric Root is different from the essential oils derived from it. Turmeric root is used in many different practices in Ayurvedic medicine. Turmeric root has been described as an all-around health tonic, and seems to have some efficacy for many of its traditional purposes.
We won’t get into the specific health claims of turmeric root’s biggest fans. Instead, let’s talk about when it’s what you want instead of its essential oils.
Turmeric root is a vegetable. Like all vegetables, it has culinary potential, and indeed it’s an essential ingredient in many Indian curries and other favorite dishes. Turmeric root has numerous chemicals and compounds within in. Not all of these are extracted into turmeric essential oil. Turmeric root also has fiber, which can aid in digestion. The fiber makes it tough enough to cook with, and there is some evidence that it can help absorption of turmeric’s nutrients because of the way it makes the vegetable “hold up” within the digestive system.
If you are looking for generalized benefits from turmeric, especially those related to the digestive and respiratory systems, you may wish to use the root. Make it a regular part of your diet, and you’ll slowly derive the benefits you hope for.
Another benefit of turmeric root is its price relative to turmeric essential oil. Turmeric can be had at most healthy food grocery stores. You can typically buy it fresh, in bulk, by weight. You won’t spend more than a few dollars for a huge handful of turmeric root. All you have to do is take it home, take off its skin, and use it in with a smoothie or as part of your meal preparation. Turmeric oil will cost you much more.
Turmeric Essential Oil
Turmeric essential oils may be more expensive than turmeric root, but this doesn’t mean it doesn’t have applications that make it better suited for some things compared to others. For the most part, turmeric oil will be used for external applications, like salves and aromatherapy. A little goes a long way, and turmeric oil’s concentrated properties can have a very powerful effect when used these ways.
Turmeric oil may also be used in certain tonics and beverages. It’s usually not recommended to heat turmeric oil, as this can neutralize its properties. Keep it cool and primarily use it outside the body, and you’ll get the most out of your turmeric oil, in many ways that turmeric root would not be efficacious.
People have all kinds of experiences and opinions about turmeric. Do your own research and try turmeric root and turmeric oil out for yourself. You may find that these things give you great results, sometimes better than over the counter medicines. Of course, turmeric isn’t a replacement for sound medical advice, but its use for millennia in traditional medicine surely means it has a place in our lives today.
If you want to give turmeric a try, start small. Get some root or oil, use daily, and take careful note of your observed results. You could learn some techniques that are very useful!