Grow Youthful: How to Slow Your Aging and Enjoy Extraordinary Health
Grow Youthful: How to Slow Your Aging and Enjoy Extraordinary Health

Turmeric

turmeric powder

What is turmeric?

Yellow turmeric powder warning

Using turmeric

Turmeric as a remedy

Buy organic turmeric powder (Australia only)

References

What is turmeric?

Turmeric is a spice which has been used as a natural and traditional healing remedy in Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years. It is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory (1, 7, 10, 11) that helps prevent blood clots (2). It is also delicious, and I use it almost daily in my food preparation. Turmeric adds a deep yellow, almost orange colour to your food, and has a unique, mild flavour.

Turmeric (curcuma longa) is a root, and the fresh turmeric looks a little like ginger root. It is a deep orange colour, and stains when you cut it or touch it. If you can get it as a raw root, that is great as it is the most potent in that fresh form.

Fresh turmeric roots are often available at Indian or Asian stores. If fresh turmeric roots are not available, turmeric powder is a cheap substitute. Health food or asian stores are the places to buy the powder. Do NOT buy capsules, they have often been processed and have harmful additives.

Yellow turmeric powder warning

Pure, unadulterated turmeric powder is a dark orange colour. If the turmeric powder is a bright yellow colour, it has a dye or food colouring added. The powder in the image above is yellow rather than deep orange and has had a coal-derived food and cosmetic sunset yellow tartrazine colouring dye (E102) added. A study (12) done in 2013 confirmed that this type of dye has a powerful xenoestrogen effect, raising the risk of disrupted periods, mood swings, breast cancer, erectile dysfunction, man-boobs and numerous other serious ailments.

Using turmeric

Turmeric has many valuable components, but the one that seems to be getting the most attention is curcumin. (8, 11) Curcumin is only soluble in fat, so when using turmeric it is best to combine it with fats (think coconut milk, coconut oil, ghee, butter etc).

Crush a piece the size of a fingernail (or more), add it to a salad with olive oil, or use it in a smoothie.

Turmeric tea: 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder, 2-3 cardamom pods (optional), 1/2 cup boiling water. Simmer the turmeric and optional cardamom for 5 minutes, then add 2 tablespoons of almond oil, bring to boiling point then remove from heat. After cooling add raw honey and milk to taste. WARNING - do not heat honey! Sip slowly as a warm tea.

Turmeric paste: Mix one part of turmeric powder or crushed turmeric with one - two parts oil, to make a paste. Coconut, sesame, almond, macadamia and other skin oils that agree with your particular skin are suitable, use organic and cold-pressed oils. Apply the paste to problem areas, inflammed skin.

Turmeric as a remedy

Here is a list of ailments where turmeric has successfully been used as a cure. (11)

Excessive turmeric consumption can lead to constipation (so drink plenty of water), accelerated heart beat, and excessive blood thinning.

Buy organic turmeric powder (Australia only)

References

1. Menon VP, Sudheer AR. Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin. Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology 2007;595:105-25.

2. Baum L. et al. Curcumin effects on blood lipid profile in a 6-month human study. Pharmacol Res. 2007;56(6):509-14.

3. Darvesh A.S., Aggarwal B.B., Bishayee A. Curcumin and Liver Cancer: A Review. Curr Pharm Biotechnol. 2011 Apr 5.

4. Dorai T., Cao Y.C., Dorai B., Buttyan R., Katz A.E. Therapeutic potential of curcumin in human prostate cancer. III. Curcumin inhibits proliferation, induces apoptosis, and inhibits angiogenesis of LNCaP prostate cancer cells in vivo. Prostate. 2001;47(4):293-303.

5. Funk J.L., Frye J.B., Oyarzo J.N., Kuscuoglu N., Wilson J., McCaffrey G., et al. Efficacy and mechanism of action of turmeric supplements in the treatment of experimental arthritis. Arthritis Rheum. 2006 Nov;54(11):3452-64.

6. Hanai H., Iida T., Takeuchi K., Watanabe F., Maruyama Y., Andoh A., et al. Curcumin maintenance therapy for ulcerative colitis: randomized, multicenter, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2006 Dec;4(12):1502-6.

7. Jagetia G.C., Aggarwal B.B. "Spicing up" of the immune system by curcumin. J Clin Immunol. 2007;27(1):19-35.

8. Pari L., Tewas D., Eckel J. Role of curcumin in health and disease. Arch Physiol Biochem. 2008;114(2):127-49.

9. Phan T.T., See P., Lee S.T., Chan S.Y. Protective effects of curcumin against oxidative damage on skin cells in vitro: its implication for wound healing. J Trauma 2001;51(5):927-931.

10. White B., Judkins D.Z. Clinical Inquiry. Does turmeric relieve inflammatory conditions? J Fam Pract. 2011 Mar;60(3):155-6.

11. Curcumin. Linus Pauling Institute, Micronutrient Information Center. Retrieved online 24/4/2016.

12. Axon A, May FE, Gaughan LE, Williams FM, Blain PG, Wright MC. Tartrazine and sunset yellow are xenoestrogens in a new screening assay to identify modulators of human oestrogen receptor transcriptional activity. Toxicology. 16 August 2012. 298(1-3):40-51. doi: 10.1016/j.tox.2012.04.014. Epub 3 May 2012.