Known as a super tonic, turmeric is attributed to having numerous beneficial health properties. To be clear, turmeric is spice botanically known as Curcuma longa and is part of the ginger family. Turmeric is composed of a potent healing agent called curcumin yet it only makes up 2-5% of the root – or actually, rhizome.
This popular herbal extract has been popular in Asia as a traditional medicine and is now in use as a therapeutic supplement in the West. Curcumin is also known as an anti-oxidant free radical scavenger. Now who wouldn’t want some of that magic in their diet?!?
So, what exactly does this highly regarded herbal component do for the body? Well, so many things!
Scientific evidence supports that fact that about 1000 mg a day of curcumin is an effective anti-inflammatory treatment for arthritis.
Studies conducted around the world also support its use
To reduce the severity of irritable bowel syndrome or IBS
To reduce inflammatory markers in patients with progressive kidney disease
As an anti-viral and anti-microbial in the treatment of HPV
Topically to reduce pain, tension and erythema in breastfeeding women suffering with
To alleviate knee stiffness, physical function and pain in people assessed with knee osteoarthritis
To enhance weight loss in overweight people
To reduce the rate of Alzheimer’s disease
For best results, take 400-600 milligrams of turmeric extract in tablet or capsules three times a day or as directed by your health care practitioner. Interestingly, the medicinal qualities are not as effective when taken orally unless you take it with black pepper or piperine (the chemical in pepper that makes pepper pungent smelling). Be patient while waiting for results as it may take up to eight weeks to notice any effect.
It is also wonderful to cook with the fresh turmeric herb or use the powdered form in milks and drinks.
Recipe Jill Troderman
This is a refreshing nutrient rich smoothie that is perfect for dessert and works wonders as an anti-inflammatory drink.
1 cup coconut milk
½ cup frozen pineapple and or mango
1 fresh or frozen banana
1 tsp turmeric root powder
½ tsp cinnamon powder
½ tsp fresh grated ginger
1/8 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp coconut oil or coconut mana, if desired
In a blender, add all the ingredients, blend until smooth.
Or, freeze and turn them into popsicles!
Clearance of cervical human papillomavirus infection by topical application of curcumin and curcumin containing polyherbal cream: a phase II randomized controlled study. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2013 ;14(10):5753-9. PMID: 24289574 Partha Basu
Effectiveness of topical curcumin for treatment of mastitis in breastfeeding women: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial. Oman Med J. 2014 Sep ;29(5):330-4. PMID: 25337308 Raha Afshariani, Pooya Farhadi