Turmeric, a ginger-like plant, has long been used in Ayurvedic medicine to aid digestion, soothe fevers, treat jaundice and other liver-related illnesses, heal wounds and treat skin conditions such as psoriasis. Modern medicine confirms that turmeric contains compounds that have powerful anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties. Turmeric is also believed to help prevent Alzheimer’s disease.
The root, or rhizome.
The active ingredient in turmeric is curcumin, a powerful antioxidant.
Researchers studying the effects of curcumin in relation to Alzheimer’s disease noted that elderly people living in India, where turmeric is consumed in high quantities, experienced a far lower rate of Alzheimer’s disease than their equivalent age group in the United States, where the spice is rarely used. Further research shows turmeric’s ability to remove the build-up in the brain of amyloid plaque, which is believed to put people at risk for developing the condition.
According to well-known holistic health practitioner Dr Andrew Weil, turmeric reduces the carcinogenic compound that forms when meat is fried, grilled or boiled by up to 40%. He also promotes it as effective in treating melanoma and halting the spread of breast cancer.
Turmeric is recommended to:
- Improve general wellbeing.
- Improve liver function.
- Help in the management of diabetes.
- Relieve obesity-induced glucose intolerance.
- Reduce the risk of blood clots and prevent the build up of plaque in the arteries.
- Support health in patients on multi-drug regimens for conditions such as HIV/AIDS.
- Treat rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis, as well as muscular pains such as fibromyalgia.
- Assist in reducing inflammatory reactions and relieve pain caused by headaches and cramping.
- Help prevent and treat heart disease.
- Lower bad cholesterol and increase food cholesterol.
- Promote recovery from urinary tract and fungal infections.
- Preliminary studies show that turmeric could be beneficial in the prevention and treatment of certain cancers.
- Improve white blood cell count after radiation treatment.
- Help heal minor wounds and burns, and treat psoriasis and other skin disorders (when applied topically).
Flora Force Products containing Turmeric
Domestic & culinary uses
Turmeric has a warm taste and is generally used to flavour and colour curries, mustard, cheese and, of course, fragrant yellow rice.
Photo by Dharmadhyaksha (Own work) CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Turmeric is a tropical plant that does well when given abundant heat and moisture. It will grow well in any region that has a temperate summer, and will die in the winter. Plant in late spring.