Mother Earth Living

Ancient Medicine: Heal with Turmeric

Versatile, healing turmeric deserves a spot in your spice rack.
By The Herb Companion Staff
November/December 2011
Add to My MSN

Although further research must be done, preliminary studies suggest that the active ingredient in turmeric may help prevent, control or kill several types of cancer.


Content Tools

Related Content

Turmeric: Health Benefits with a Kick

Kick-start your immune system and combat arthritis and high cholestorol with this spicy rhizome.

The Amazing Health Benefits of Basil

Besides its delicious flavor, basil offers many health benefits for your body, including anti-inflam...

In The News: Turmeric May Help Promote Good Heart Health After Bypass Surgery

Researchers have discovered patients can enjoy good heart health after bypass surgery with the help ...

Natural Medicine Cabinet: Health Benefits of Turmeric

Turmeric, a curcumin-containing spice commonly used in Indian curry, has been used for centuries in ...

Many Indian brides anoint their skin with a sacred golden spice on the eve of their wedding to capture a natural glow. This treasured spice is turmeric, well-known for its vibrant color and abundant healing powers.

Turmeric is a perennial plant with orange-red, lily-like blossoms that thrives in the hot, moist regions of China, South Africa and India. Although its flowers are stunning, its rhizome, or underground stem, is the star. When dried and ground, turmeric’s rhizome yields a sharp yellow powder known for its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and astringent properties. The herb is also vital in an array of Indian dishes, curry being the most popular.

Health Benefits of Turmeric

Turmeric is one of the most versatile of all herbal healers. “It’s my favorite herb,” says K.P. Khalsa, the formulating herbalist for Yogi Tea. Turmeric can soothe upset stomachs and help skin conditions such as acne, dermatitis and psoriasis. It is a powerful antioxidant and has been used to relieve pain. The spice also detoxifies the liver and protects it from damage, and it aids digestion by increasing bile secretion. As little as 1⁄4 teaspoon a day can have measurable healing effects.

Although it is a staple of Ayurveda (an ancient Indian system of medicine) and Traditional Chinese Medicine, modern Western researchers are also interested in turmeric’s healing properties. Most recently, researchers have been analyzing its anticancer effects. Results are still early, but evidence suggests that curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, may help prevent, control or kill several types of cancer, including breast, colon, prostate and skin. One 2009 study published in the British Journal of Cancer showed that curcumin starts to kill esophageal cancer cells within 24 hours of treatment. Studies also suggest that curcumin may prevent the onset of dementia; people who eat curry two to three times a week seem to have a lower risk of developing the disease.

To benefit from turmeric’s healing powers, try incorporating this aromatic spice into your cooking. Turmeric is delicious in curries, but its flavor also works well with eggs, on meat, with sautéed or roasted veggies, and in rice or chili. Otherwise, take 1 gram a day of dried, ground turmeric in capsule form or try a standardized extract and simply follow the instructions on the label. Talk to your health-care provider before taking medicinal doses of any herb or supplement. In medicinal doses, turmeric might increase blood-thinning effects and therefore increase risk of bleeding from drugs such as warfarin and aspirin. (The herb is safe to use as a culinary spice.)

3 Healthful Turmeric Recipes

Turmeric Barbecue Sauce
• Green Beans with Turmeric Glaze
• Ras Al Hanout Spice Blend


Adapted with permission from The Herb Companion.


Previous | 1 | 2 | Next






Post a comment below.

 

oliodee
11/5/2013 9:08:30 PM
Besides Turmeric's blood thinning effects, you should also use caution if you have gall bladder issues, like stones or blocked bile duct, since the extra bile can have negative effects.








Subscribe today and save 58%

First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
Country:
Email:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Subscribe to Mother Earth Living!

Welcome to Mother Earth Living, the authority on green lifestyle and design. Each issue of Mother Earth Living features advice to create naturally healthy and nontoxic homes for yourself and your loved ones. With Mother Earth Living by your side, you’ll discover all the best and latest information you want on choosing natural remedies and practicing preventive medicine; cooking with a nutritious and whole-food focus; creating a nontoxic home; and gardening for food, wellness and enjoyment. Subscribe to Mother Earth Living today to get inspired on the art of living wisely and living well.

Save Money & a Few Trees!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You’ll save an additional $5 and get six issues of Mother Earth Living for just $14.95! (Offer valid only in the U.S.)

Or, choose Bill Me and pay just $19.95.