The Wonders of Turmeric

This ancient panacea shines under the lens of modern research. Studies have confirmed its ability to ward off brain disease, cancer, digestive disorders and much more.

| November/December 2015

  • Bowls of turmeric
    Healthful, tasty turmeric has been used for centuries to alleviate a variety of ailments, from arthritis and cancer to indigestion.
    Photo by Veer
  • Raw Turmeric
    Turmeric comes from the rhizome. To make it into a spice, the raw turmeric is boiled then dried.
    Photo by Veer
  • Couple walking in fall
    One of the best defenses against brain ailments and cancer, turmeric is a potent anti-inflammatory and can help support a healthy lifestyle.
    Photo by iStock

  • Bowls of turmeric
  • Raw Turmeric
  • Couple walking in fall

Lance Roehrig couldn’t do without turmeric.

When an accident left his partner with a large leg abrasion, the conventional antimicrobial ointment a doctor prescribed didn’t heal the wound. Roehrig, a Denver clinical Ayurvedic specialist and instructor for the California College of Ayurveda, substituted a homemade paste composed of powdered turmeric, an herbal formula called triphala, rosewater and a little honey. The wound healed so much faster that, at the next appointment, the doctor advised he continue applying the herbs.

Turmeric Recipes

Turmeric Paste Recipe
Golden Broth Recipe
Golden Milk Recipe

Roehrig counts turmeric as the most important herb in his medicine chest. Why? “It’s safe and considered a panacea, one that’s helpful for most any condition and for all constitutions,” he says. Indeed, practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurvedic medicine (an ancient Indian healing system) have long recommended turmeric for a variety of ailments, including infectious illnesses, cancer, arthritis, musculoskeletal pain, liver disease and indigestion. Roehrig adds that yogis have long consumed turmeric to help them bend into poses and repair injuries.

Like ginger, turmeric (Curcuma longa) is a member of the Zingiberaceae family. This perennial grows in India, Southeast Asia and other tropical regions. Its rhizomes, or fleshy underground stems, are used as a spice (a key ingredient in curry) and medicine. Turmeric’s biologically active chemicals include curcuminoids, which produce the yellow pigment, as well as volatile oils, which create the characteristic aroma. 

Traditionally, whole turmeric rhizome, dried or fresh, is taken internally or applied topically as powders, pastes and turmeric-infused oils for skin ailments (wounds, inflammation, infection). Most research focuses on extracts concentrated for curcuminoids, particularly curcumin.

11/12/2015 12:26:26 PM Good information on turmeric

11/10/2015 8:41:12 PM

Started taking turmeric 4 months ago. Can't find what would be a good, daily effective dose.



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