I recently wrote this article as a freelance assignment. I hope I am not violating my non-disclosure agreement my publishing it on my own website. I am going to put it here for the time being…but I do need to review the terms I agreed too not that long ago! In the meantime, I hope you enjoy this post. I may have to take in down in a few hours!
Tumeric: How and Why to take Tumeric as a Home Remedy
The Queen of Spices
Tumeric is a member of the zingiberaceae family or the ginger family of flowering plants. The Ginger family consists of aromatic perennial herbs with creeping horizontal or tuberous rhizomes or roots. More specifically, it is derived from the roots of Curcuma longa. The ginger family of flowering plants is spread across tropical Asia, Africa and the Americas.
In order to obtain spice from Tumeric rhizomes or roots, the roots are boiled between 30 and 45 minutes and then dried. They are then ground down into a powder form, from where they are added to various condiments for color and taste. Spices such as Tumeric help you cut back on unhealthy ingredients, such as salt, sugars and saturated fat.
India is the primary producer of Tumeric and there the spice is known by regional names. The main botanical ingredient in turmeric is curcumin. It is curcumin that creates the dark golden color associated with Tumeric. The taste is slightly bitter and has a mustard aroma. Turmeric has historically been used as both a culinary spice and a dyeing agent. It is considered scared and has been used in Hindu and Buddhist ceremonial practices and traditional medicines for millennia.
How to use Tumeric for Health
Turmeric is available in the following forms:
- Capsules containing powder
- Fluid extract
Dosages for Adults
The following are doses recommended for adults:
- Cut root: 1.5 – 3 g per day
- Dried, powdered root: 1 – 3 g per day
- Standardized powder (curcumin): 400 – 600 mg, 3 times per day
- Fluid extract (1:1) 30 – 90 drops a day
- Tincture (1:2): 15 – 30 drops, 4 times per day
Dosages of Tumeric have not been studied in children.
What medical and health conditions can be affected by adding Tumeric to your diet?
- A study published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry just this year, demonstrated that Tumeric was effective in combating the onset of Type II Diabetes in prediabetic patients along with the related and deadly comorbid illness, atherosclerotic heart disease. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24445038
- In countries where Tumeric is consumed regularly, there are lower incidents of Alzheimer’s disease and a small number of studies have shown that consuming Tumeric may slow the progression of the disease.
- It has been demonstrated that consuming Tumeric on a regular basis can alleviate mild arthritis pain.
- Tumeric can help moderate insulin levels according to a handful of studies and may help these medications work more effectively.
- Ulcerative colitis studies found Tumeric was more effective than placebo when used alongside traditional medical treatments. Those who took Tumeric for six months after they went into remission had a much lower relapse rate than those who took placebo.
- Tumeric has been found to provide protection and wound healing benefits for burns, cuts and other such injuries. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12676044
- The antibacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral effects of turmeric indicate that it can boost the immune system to fight colds and other viral infections because of a key ingredient called lipopolysaccharide.
- Indigestion or Dyspepsia. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19513843
- Assists the detoxification of the liver by increasing circulation and the production of enzymes.
- Tumeric increases the flow of bile, which is important in breaking down fat. If you’re looking to loose weight, adding a teaspoon of Tumeric before a meal will help your metabolism maximize your fat burning potential.
- Turmeric is a rich source of vitamins C, E and B6, and minerals such as potassium and iron.
- Tumeric has been demonstrated to inhibit the growth of colon cancer cells. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16737669 and http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16820928
Pregnancy and Breast Feeding: Taking turmeric by mouth in large quantities is UNSAFE during pregnancy. Tumeric consumed in food however is fine. Medicinal dosages may trigger a menstrual period or stimulate the uterus. Don’t take turmeric for medicinal purposes if you are pregnant. Gallbladder problems: Don’t use turmeric if you have gallstones or a bile duct obstruction as Tumeric has been demonstrated to increase the flow of bile. Defer to your primary care physician. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD): Turmeric can cause stomach upset in some people. It might make stomach problems such as GERD worse. Surgery: Turmeric may slow blood clotting and cause excess bleeding during and after surgery. Stop using turmeric at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.
Diabetes: Turmeric may lower blood sugar levels, and when combined with medications for diabetes could cause hypoglycemia. Check with your physician before adding Tumeric supplements to your diet.
Other ways to benefit from Tumeric • Turmeric is a preservative. Scientists from Gujarat found that adding turmeric to cottage cheese extends the shelf life up to 12 days. • Turmeric is a great pesticide. Sprinkle turmeric powder water near all the entry points of your house to ward of insects, ants, and termites. • Drinking turmeric tea may increase your life span.
I saw this Indian recipe for Tumeric Tea:
- One teaspoon of Tumeric powder
- 4 cups of boiling water
- Honey to Taste
Alternatively, you can mix the Tumeric with honey to form a paste and then place some in the bottom of your favorite tea cup or coffee mug. Stir to dissolve the paste. This may be a better choice for those who want a realistic taste of Tumeric Tea and who may have more adventurous taste buds.
- 1/3 cup raw honey
- 2 1/2 teaspoons dried turmeric or turmeric powder
- dash of lemon
- freshly ground white pepper for an additional kick
Culinary uses for Tumeric
There is often a culinary angle to every herb or spice! While there are three standard ways to add medicinal turmeric to your diet, it’s more tasty, fun and adventuresome to boost your intake by including it in your favorite recipes.Tumeric is the key ingredient in most South Asian curry powders where it is often found in sweet dishes and fish curries. In Morocco Tumeric is used to season lamb and vegetables. Here are a few more tips to use when cooking with Tumeric
- Add a pinch to cooking oil before adding other aromatics such as garlic or rosemary
- Sprinkle a little on various dishes to add color
- Mix Tumeric with spices you already have in your kitchen and experiment. Turmeric boosts the flavor of rice, chicken, turkey, vegetables and even salad dressing.
- Add Tumeric to your pickling recipes for an added zing.