Its yellow tint makes your food look enticing, but turmeric’s biggest selling point is that it contains curcumin, which may ease headaches, act as a decongestant, help reduce allergy symptoms, and ward off colds. “It seems to be as effective as some drugs for certain conditions,” said Bharat Aggarwal, PhD, professor of experimental therapeutics at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.
Ground or whole, this seed is rich in vitamins A and C and is thought to help fight off sinus infections and colds, says Aggarwal, author of the new book Healing Spices.
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It’s a powerful anti-inflammatory, Aggarwal says, and may soothe a sore throat and reduce coughs and congestion. Use it for tea, or mix it into yogurt and chutney.