January 25, 2015

Turmeric

Curcuma longa (another herb in the Ginger family) is a spectacular anti-inflammatory herb that is widely used throughout the world.

The bright yellow color in turmeric is from the curcuminoids in the rhizome of the plant. The yellow color has been used for dying everything from fabric to mustard to popcorn. Its medicinal uses have been used extensively from the ancient Ayurveda medicine tradition to modern medicine.

Numerous studies since the 1970's have determined that turmeric reduces inflammation in a variety of autoimmune based and inflammatory diseases. It acts by blocking the effects of the pro inflammatory chemical arachidonic acid. Turmeric increases the livers' glutathione concentration which directly helps the liver clear all noxious chemicals. It also shows promise by blocking the amyloid plaque deposits of Alzheimers disease.

Turmeric likes warm, well drained soil, sun or light shade and high humidity. It grows three feet tall as stemless leaves from a fleshy rhizome that is a dull orange color inside. The rhizomes are heated by steam or boiling and then dried and ground into a fine powder. Many chefs use it in the cuisine of the Middle East and Asia.

The powder can be found concentrated in over the counter gel capsules taken orally to reduce chronic inflammation and for healthier cardiovascular function. Zyflammend by New Chapter is an excellent anti inflammatory herbal blend that contains turmeric. Foot baths and pastes have been used to help reduce athlete's foot infections as well as reduce cold and flu symptoms. The list of proposed uses is long. Check out these sites for more information. 1) Dr. Weil 2) Dr. Hyman 3) Dr. Low Dog

From A Kid's Herb Book (2000) by Lesley Tierra: Magical Turmeric Bath for use at first sign of a cold or flu to promote sweating. To one hot bath add 2-4 Tablespoons turmeric powder and 1 teaspoon cayenne powder. Stir well. Get in and soak! Be sure not to get in eyes or it may sting. Then dry off, dress warmly, and get into bed under several covers and rest so the sweating breaks the cold and flu.

Think of ways to incorporate turmeric into your daily life and your body will thank you for it.

Dr. Rose