Turmeric Curcuma longa L.
fresh turmeric root & powder
- Common Names
- Turmeric , Curcuma, Indian saffron
- Botanical Name
- Curcuma longa L.
Medicinal Uses & Benefits of Turmeric
- Medicinal Uses: * Arthritis
* Cancer Prevention
* Cuts & Wounds
* Dental/Oral Care
* Longevity Tonics
* Pain Relief
* Stop Smoking
- Properties: * Analgesic * Anti-inflammatory * Antibacterial * Antifungal * Aromatic * Bitter * Cholagogue * Cordial * Depurative * Hepatic
- Parts Used: rhizome
- Constituents: volatile oils(terpene, curcumen), starch, albumen (30%), colouring due chiefly to curcumin, potassium, vitamin c
How to Use: Turmeric
Western science confirms that turmeric is a first rate anti-inflammatory herb. It contains at least two chemicals, curcumin and curcuminoids, that act to decrease inflammation much like NSAID COX-2 that inhibit the production of prostaglandins which are linked to arthritic inflammation. This anti-inflammatory effect may be why consumption of turmeric is also connected to a reduced occurrence of cancers, cataracts, and Alzhemimers. 1Turmeric has been shown to be an effective pain reliever in cases of rheumatoid arthritis. 2, 4 Modern studies confirm ancient wisdom that those with psoriasis can especially benefit from daily supplementation with turmeric. Studies show that the curcumin in turmeric acts to disrupt the cycle of skin plaque formation, working in a similar manner to the new biologic TNF inhibitors. 4
Turmeric powder mixed in warm water has been used as a home remedy for cancer sores for some time It has many medicinal properties such as anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antimicrobial activity that could explain why it is a useful dental and oral care treatment. In a recent study turmeric turmeric mouthwash (10 mg curcumin extract dissolved in 100 ml of water with a peppermint flavoring agent added was found to be as effective as a solution made from chlorhexidine gluconate (CHX), the gold standard compound for plaque buildup in dentistry. 8
Turmeric is such an exemplary herb that has a wide array of health benefits at a low cost both in monetary terms (cheap!)and few adverse effects, (almost none). Turmeric deserves a prominent place in almost anyone's health routine as a daily supplemental and a healthy culinary spice.
Preparation Methods & Dosage : While this Ayurvedic spice is a healthy addition to cooking, you may want to take turmeric in supplement form in order to reap the medicinal benefits. Extracts of the whole root are more bioavailable that Curcumin in isolation. 4 Add black pepper or dried ginger to help activate turmeric. Turmeric can be applied topically to a painful joint or swelling as a poultice to relieve pain.
In the Kitchen: Turmeric is a mild aromatic stimulant used in the manufacture of curry powders and mustards. In the same family as ginger, cardamom and zedoary. Used as a "poor persons" saffron to color rice.
Ayurvedic Medicine Turmeric is the best medicine in Ayurveda. It cures the whole person. Turmeric is pungent, bitter, astringent and heating and has a pungent vipaka. Turmeric can be used by all doshas. It may stimulate vata, but doesn't aggravate it (cause an imbalance). 1
A perennial plant native to India cultivated in China, Bengal and Java for it's rhizomes
How to Grow Turmeric
Fresh turmeric root looks a little like ginger, but inside it can be red or yellow. The red is called kunkum and is considered sacred in Ayurveda. Only the yellow root is used in cooking and medicinally. Turmeric needs warm tropical temperatures and plenty of rainfall to thrive.
History and Traditions & Folklore
For general protection from disease, carry turmeric root in your pocket, or tie it on a yellow silk thread around your neck
- James Duke. "The Green Pharmacy Herbal Handbook" Rodale Books, (2000) The curcumin and curcuminoids in turmeric are first-rate arthritis-alleviating anti-inflammatories and fight inflammation much like COX-2 inhibitors.
- Chandran B, Goel A. . A randomized, pilot study to assess the efficacy and safety of curcumin in patients with active rheumatoid arthritis , Phytother Res. March 9, 2012. [Epub ahead of print]. doi: 10.1002/ptr.4639, (May 2009): In a small study of 45 patients curcumin extract (500 mg; BCM-95®; Arjuna Natural Extracts; Kochi, Kerala, India; imported and sold in the United States as CuraMed®; by EuroPharma, Green Bay, WI compared very favorably to diclofenac sodium (50 mg). The authors reported that BCM-95 curcumin was selected for use in this study based on its enhanced absorption. Treatments were taken twice a day for 8 weeks. The proprietary curcumin extract had a similar effectiveness to the prescription drug with few adverse side effects. Larger studies will help to shed light on these findings.,
- Usha Lad & Dr. Vasant Lad. "Ayurvedic Cooking for Self Healing" The Ayurvedic Press, (2006)
- Witkin JM, Li X. . The Bioactivity of Curcumin an Active Constituent of Turmeric , CNS Neurol Disord Drug Targets., (2013-07-15): Curcumin has been reported to be active in alleviating a host of inflammation-related conditions including multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, and others. This is thought to be due to the modulation of cytokines, a class of inflammation signalers. ,
- . Curcumin induces apoptosis in tumor necrosis factor-alpha-treated HaCaT cells , Int Immunopharmacol, (April 2012): .. we believe that curcumin is able to reverse the anti-apoptotic function of TNF-a in HaCaT cells and thus expect curcumin to be successful in the treatment of psoriasis,
- Witkin JM, Li X. . The Bioactivity of Curcumin an Active Constituent of Turmeric , CNS Neurol Disord Drug Targets., (2013-07-15): A combination of curcumin with other compounds found in turmeric (BCM-95? CG; Frutarom Health; Haifa, Israel) improved bioavailability by seven times above that of curcumin by itself.
- . Curcumin Inhibits Adipogenesis , Journal of Nutrition, (May 2009): A new study published in the May, 2009 issue of The Journal of Nutrition concludes "Our findings suggest that dietary curcumin may have a potential benefit in preventing obesity." Curcumin, a constituent of turmeric, acts by preventing the formation of fatty tissue. The study was conducted on mice fed a high-fat diet (22%) supplemented with 500 mg curcumin/kg diet for 12 wk.
- . Comparative Study of Chlorhexidine Gluconate and Turmeric Extract Mouthwashes for Dental and Gingival Health , American Botanical Council HC#031223-450, (June 2012): In a recent study turmeric turmeric mouthwash (10 mg curcumin extract dissolved in 100 ml of water with a peppermint flavoring agent added was found to be as effective as a solution made from chlorhexidine gluconate (CHX), the gold standard compound for plaque buildup in dentistry.