The Amazing Turmeric

By Dori Cranmore RN

 

Turmeric comes from the ginger family and has a peppery, warm but slightly bitter flavor.  It smells like a cross between ginger and oranges. It’s known as one of the ingredients to make curry but it is also used as a natural colorant in many foods like mustard. You might have heard it referred to as curcumin.  The yellow-orange pigment in turmeric is what is referred to as curcumin. It is often used to color natural soap.

Turmeric comes from the root of the Curcuma longa plant.  It is an excellent source of iron, manganese, vitamin B6, dietary fiber and potassium.  It is native to Indonesia and southern India where it has been harvested for over 5,000 years.  Adding it to your food gives an extra zest of flavor and also a bold yellow color.

So let’s talk about some of the health benefits from this wonderful root.

  1. It has been found to be a very effective treatment for Inflammatory Bowel Disease. It is generally inexpensive, well tolerated with very large does and a very effective treatment also for Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis.
  2. Rheumatoid Arthritis is also found to respond extremely well. Turmeric’s combination of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects explains why many people with joint disease find relief.
  3. Cancer prevention tops the list of researches. Curcumin’s antioxidant actions enable it to protect cells from free radicals that can damage cellular DNA. Curcumin helps the body destroy mutated cancer cells so they can’t spread. Turmeric enhances liver function and protects against cancer development. It inhibits the synthesis of a certain protein thought to be instrumental in tumor. Studies have linked the frequent use of turmeric to lower rates of breast, prostate, lung and colon cancer.  The dose is about 3000mg of Turmeric daily for optimum results. Caution: Turmeric can interfere with chemotherapy treatments.
  4. Cholesterol lowering effects and cardiovascular protection has been proven through research published in the Indian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology. The Turmeric helps the body to clear out more of the LDL (bad) cholesterol.
  5. More studies are coming in suggesting Turmeric will help protect against Alzheimer’s disease and Multiple Sclerosis. Because Curcumin crosses the blood-brain barrier it gets in there and helps eliminate oxidative stress and inflammation which can cause brain dysfunction. UCLA researchers did studies showing the Turmeric was more effective than ibuprofen and naproxen.
  6. It is a natural antiseptic and antibacterial agent and can be used to disinfect cuts.
  7. It is a natural pain killer and cox-2 inhibitor.
  8. It may aid in fat metabolism and help in weight management when taken consistently.
  9. It has been used in Chinese medicine as a treatment for depression.
  10. It is known to speed up wound healing as it assists in remodeling of damaged skin. It may also help in the treatment of psoriasis and other inflammatory skin conditions.

Turmeric or Curcumin comes in 250-500mg capsules, with or without black pepper (to increase bio availability in the body), in the powder form, Gummies or tea bags. People with blocked bile ducts or gall stones should not take turmeric. Consult your doctor if you are pregnant.

This Information is meant for educational purposes and not intended to diagnose, cure or treat any
diseases. Please consult your medical provider for advice.

Dori Cranmore is a registered nurse and owner of All About Herbs, Inc in Wasilla. Call 376-8327 for more
information.