Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Turmeric - Queen of spices

Turmeric has a long history of traditional use in India, it is one ingredient we add to all food. Looking at what it does, it is easy to see why.

Turmeric is a powerful antioxidant, it is also anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmodic, , anti-infective and antibacterial. It reduces cholesterol and is a circulatory tonic, so it is easy to see why I use it often as a part of an arthritis protocol and any situation where inflammation is a part of the picture.

Turmeric is bitter, dry, spicy, and warming. Dried turmeric is more warming and somewhat aromatic than the fresh root, the active ingredient of turmeric is curcumin, the orange pigment. When you mix turmeric with black pepper it can increase its absorption by up to 2000%. The herb itself protects and soothes the mucosa of the GI tract.

It interferes with the ability of cancerous tumors to establish a blood supply. It is nourishing, lowers blood sugar, protects the liver, helps stimulate the bile we need to digest and is carminative, allowing better digestion. It helps with back pain, joint pain, and any inflammatory condition. No wonder it is used in virutally every meal.

According to Ayurveda, turmeric is a blood cleanser that improves liver function, prevents coughs and colds, improves skin tone and is an antiseptic. Research sugggests that it helps with conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, and the curcuminoids in turmeric may help fight cystic firosis, colon cancer, arthritis and even Alzheimer’s.

Adding a small amount of this herb to food is unlikely to give you enough turmeric to make a marked difference to your body, a real therapeutic dose would be nearer a heaped teaspoon, try mixing with honey to make it more palateable (see recipe below), or taking capsules, I capsulate the powder which has the added advantage that the turmeric goes straight into the GI tract where it is most often needed to reduce inflammation.


  1. so if you made your own capsules, you would recommend adding black pepper to the tumeric? i never knew that black pepper helped with tumeric's absoption! thank you for sharing xxx

  2. black pepper helps to drive the action further afield than the GI tract, herbal mixes often contain herbs like cayenne, ginger etc which drive the action into the body, so yes, I think that black pepper would help with this,