Thursday, 12 September 2013



Turmeric (Curcuma longa) and several other species of the curcuma genus grow wild in the forests of Southern Asia including India, Indonesia, Indochina, nearby Asian countries, and some Pacific Islands including Hawaii.  All of these areas have traditional culinary and medicinal uses going back to pre-history.

In the Indian Ayurveda system of herbal medicine, turmeric is known as strengthening and warming to the whole body.  Traditional uses in India include to improve digestion, to improve intestinal flora, to eliminate worms, to relieve gas, to cleanse and strengthen the liver and gallbladder, to normalize menstruation, for relief of arthritis and swelling, as a blood purifier, to warm and promote proper metabolism correcting both excesses and deficiencies, for local application on sprains, burns, cuts, bruises, insect bites and itches, for soothing action in cough and asthma, as antibacterial and anti-fungus, and in any condition of weakness or debility. 

Turmeric is eaten as a food both raw and cooked throughout Asia.  While turmeric root looks much like ginger root, it is less fibrous and is more chewable, crunchy, and succulent.  The fresh root (not the powder) has a somewhat sweet and nutty favor mixed with its bitter flavor.  As a result, it is not unpleasant to eat and not difficult to chew.   It is sometimes chewed plain or chopped up and put in salads raw.  Traditional use includes mashing/grinding it in a mortar to make a paste to mix with other spices for flavoring in curries.  In modern times, the most common use is of the dried root powder as the base of most curries in India and other nearby countries.  (personal observation)
The most important chemical components of turmeric are a group of compounds called curcuminoids, which include curcumin (diferuloylmethane), demethoxycurcumin, and bisdemethoxycurcumin. The best studied compound is curcumin, which comprises 0.3-5.4% of raw turmeric. Curcumin is the main beneficial constituent in terms of health, and is relatively non-toxic in the body. In addition there are other important volatile oils such as tumerone, atlantone, and zingiberene. Some general constituents are sugars, proteins, and resins.

Family:                                                          Zingiberaceae
Genus:                                                          Curcuma
Most common species:                            Curcuma longa
Number of Curcuma Species:                70
Part used:                                                     Rhizome (Root)

            Hindi:                                                 Haridra
            Tamil:                                                 Manjal
            Mandarin                                           Jiang Huang
Japanese                                          Kyoo
Tahitian:                                            Re’a
            Marquesan:                                       ‘Ena
Samoan, Tongan:                            Ago, Ango
            Cook Islands                                     Renga
Hawaiian:                                          ‘Olena (Curcuma domestica)
Literal English Translation:                        “Yellow Ginger”
Habitat:                                                          Southern Asia and Polynesia


Therapeutic actions and medicinal uses are only listed and not discussed in this section.  Principal uses are discussed in the Dosages and Applications section and recommendations for potential uses are included in Personal Experience section.

Therapeutic Actions
§  Adrenal Support
§  Alterative
§  Analgesic
§  Anthelmintic
§  Antibacterial
§  Anti-arthritic
§  Anti-carcinogenic
§  Anticoagulant
§  Anti-fertility
§  Anti-fungal
§  Anti-inflammatory
§  Anti-flatulent
§  Anti-fungal
§  Anti-microbial
§  Anti-neoplastic (anti-tumor)
§  Antioxidant
§  Anti-periodic
§  Anti-protozoal
§  Antipyretic
§  Antiseptic
§  Antiviral
§  Aromatic
§  Astringent
§  Blood Purifier
§  Carminative
§  Cholagogue
§  Circulative
§  Emmenagogue – regulates menstruation and reduces cramping
§  Fat breakdown and metabolism
§  Fibrinolitic
§  Hematic
§  Hepatic – stimulates bile and cleanses and strengthens liver
§  Hypotensive (reduces high blood pressure)
§  Increases glutathione content in liver
§  Increases cholesterol conversion into bile acids
§  Inhibits platelet aggregation
§  Inhibits lymphocytic activity
§  Lowers LDL cholesterol and raises HDL cholseterol
§  Maintains balance of intestinal flora
§  Pancreatic Support -- Regulates blood sugar
§  Pharyngitis,
§  Respiratory
§  Stabilizes lysosomal membranes
§  Stimulates digestive enzymes
§  Stimulant
§  Stomachic and digestive
§  Styptic (to stem bleeding)
§  Tastes: Acrid, Bitter, Warm, Pungent
§  Tonic
§  Topical anti-bacterial and anti-fungal
§  Thyroid strengthener
§  Tumor-preventing activity
§  Vulnerary
§  Warming

Medicinal Uses
·         AIDS
·         Anemia (thin blood)
·         Arthritis
·         Asthma
·         Arteriosclerosis
·         Bacterial Infection
·         Bronchitis
·         Bruises
·         Cancer and Carcinogen exposure
·         Cataract prevention
·         Colic
·         Flatulence
·         Burns
·         Bursitis
·         Cholestasis
·         Chronic Strep Throat
·         Cold
·         Conjunctivitis
·         Cough
·         Crohn’s disease
·         Debility
·         Diabetes and hypoglycemia
·         Dysmenorrhea
·         Ear Infections
·         Eczema
·         Fungus
·         Gas
 ·        Hemorrhoids,
·         Hepatitis
·         Hoarse Voice

·         Inflammation
·        Irritable bowel syndrome
·         Lumps in Breast (not fibrocystic)
·         Peptic ulcer
·         Psoriasis
·         Rheumatoid arthritis
·         Rosacea
·         Ulcerative Colitis
·         Inhibit gram-positive bacteria (much less than conventional antibiotics)
·         Inhibits tobacco smoke mutagenicity, nitrosamine formation, and lymphoma
·         growth while increasing enzyme detoxification of the liver
·         Insect bites
·         Jaundice
·         Menstrual difficulties
·         Pain
·         Skin Problems (dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis, etc.)
·         Sinus Infection and Congestion
·         Toothache
·         Tonsillitis
·         Trauma
·         Vision improvement
·         Weight loss
·         Wounds, cuts, scratches

Growing Turmeric

Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is a plant of the ginger family, native to India and Southeast Asia. It is a perennial plant with pulpy, orange, tuberous roots that grow to about 2 feet in length. The aerial parts include large, lily-like leaves, a thick, squat, central flower spike, and funnel-shaped yellow flowers. It is largely cultivated in all parts of India, mainly in Chennai, Bengal, and Mumbai. It is also cultivated in China, Taiwan, Japan, Burma, Indonesia, and throughout the African continent.

Facts about Turmeric

In fact, Turmeric has been in the global limelight for the granting of the controversial patent on it!

Its modern approved applications in European medicine, stem from its traditional uses in Asia. Turmeric is used extensively in the Indian systems of medicine (Ayurveda, Unani, and Siddha). It is used as a carminative and stomachic in the treatment of digestive disorders such as flatulence, bloating, and appetite loss. Turmeric is used internally as boiled powder, fresh juice, and confection and externally as paste, oil, ointment, and lotion. It is also applied topically for ulcers, wounds, eczema, and inflammations. In both the Ayurvedic and Siddha systems of medicine, a turmeric paste is used topically to treat ulcers and scabies.

Turmeric, with its antibacterial action, prevents bacterial infections on wounds. Turmeric also has a long history of use for its anti-inflammatory and antiarthritic effects. As in India, it is used in China, Japan, and Korea for a range of indications including, Amenorrhea. Turmeric has been investigated for its cholagogous influence on the secretion of bile, pancreatic, and gastric juices. It is currently being evaluated for its anticarcinogenic and antimutagenic properties.

Ritual’s of Turmeric
In fact, in South India, it is considered very auspicious and therefore, is the first item on the grocery list. The turmeric plant is tied around the vessel used to make Sweet pongal on the harvest festival, which is celebrated on the Makarshankranti Day, universally celebrated on 14th of January, every year.

In many North Indian traditional wedding ceremonies, haldi is applied to both, the groom and the bride, not only to make them look good with fresh glowing skins, but to ward off the evil eye. It is considered by the Hindus as a symbol of prosperity and as a cleansing herb for the whole body. Pieces of crushed roots mixed with seawater are sprinkled to remove the negative influences from places, persons, and things during ceremonies.


Health Benefits of Turmeric

·      Turmeric powder is a rich and bright yellow spice powder having the great use in Indian cooking. In Indian it’s being used since years to flavor and texture the food. This spice powder is basically created from dry turmeric Rhizomes.
·      The amazing aspect of turmeric is that it is useful for major reasons such as for coloring the recipes, flavoring the dishes, cosmetics and makeup purpose and also for the medicinal properties.
·      The roots are pounded and pressed to extract a juice that, when mixed with water, is helpful in earaches and to clear the sinuses through nasal application.

·      Turmeric provides you with these whole-person benefits:
ü  Supports your healthy joint function
ü  Promotes your radiant skin
ü  Helps improve your digestion
·      Curcumin can potentially benefit you by promoting your immune system against stress
ü  Promoting your immune system
ü  Helping you maintain your healthy digestive system
ü  Supporting your healthy bones, joints, and overall skeletal system
ü  Helping you maintain cholesterol levels that are already within the normal range
ü  Promoting your healthy blood and liver functions
·      Turmeric and Curcumin Provide Antioxidant Nutrients

Antioxidants are also key nutrients in:
ü  Supporting your memory function
ü  Promoting your heart health
ü  Boosting your immune system

·      Turmeric's antioxidants help protect your cells from free radical damage. The antioxidant content within turmeric comes from active compounds called curcuminoids.

These curcuminoids deliver antioxidants that may be:

ü  5 to 8 times stronger than vitamin E -- and also stronger than vitamin C
ü  3 times more powerful than grape seed or pine bark extract
ü  Strong enough to scavenge the hydroxyl radical -- considered by many to be the most reactive of all oxidants
·      Turmeric Enhances Your Outer Beauty

Curcuminoids support important blood and liver functions, healthy joints, and your overall well-being,* which in turn helps promote radiant, supple skin.

Turmeric has been considered to be ‘skin food' for thousands of years in India and other cultures.

Turmeric helps:
ü  Cleanse your skin and maintain its elasticity
ü  Provide nourishment to your skin
ü  Balance the effects of skin flora

Therefore, turmeric can act as your one-two punch against normal aging with its skin promotion and antioxidant capabilities -- outer beauty plus inner purity.

·      Triple-Action Cellular Booster and Adaptogen

Turmeric can assist your cells in three ways, by:

ü  Helping neutralize substances that can cause cellular stress
ü  Maintaining your cells' integrity when threatened by occasional environmental stressors
ü  Providing the antioxidants you need to help support your cells against excessive oxidation and free radicals

Turmeric is also recognized as an adaptogen -- helping to support your body against stress and providing immune system support.

·      Turmeric has multiple  uses within Ayurveda, including blood cleansing and maintaining healthy skin.

In Ayurvedic terminology, turmeric includes the following:
ü  Verdana sthapana -- promotes your healthy nervous system and helps you with occasional discomfort
ü  Sangrahani -- supports your absorption of vitamins and minerals
ü  Anulomana -- helps you in purging out wastes and building healthy blood
ü  Rakta stambhaka -- promotes the wellness of your circulatory system

And this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Ayurvedic turmeric uses.

·      Make Sure Your Herbal Committed to Quality Processes
In fact, you may not be able to stop with the manufacturer alone. Keep in mind, the total organic process involves planting, cultivation, selective harvesting, and then producing and packaging the final formula.
Here's the type of certifications I recommend you look for:  
ü  Hazards and Critical Control Points (HACCP) -- International food safety certification that World Health Organization (WHO) standards are met
ü  Safe Quality Food (SQF) -- HACCP-based food safety and risk management system covering the identification of food safety, quality risks, and the validation and monitoring of control measures
ü  Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) -- International certification verifies all required practices necessary for an effective food safety program are followed
ü  International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 9001:2000 -- International standard for quality, safety, ecology, economy, reliability, compatibility, inter-operability, efficiency, and effectiveness
ü  Orthodox Union (OU) Kosher -- Certifies compliance for Kosher observers and followers
ü  International organic certifications such as: USDA, EU, and NSOP (India).

·      13 Ways this Ancient Herb Can Help You Spice Up Your Life (and Your Health).

Turmeric can spice up your whole person:
1.      Boosts your antioxidant protection against free radicals
2.      Helps promote your healthy skin
3.      Supports your overall eye health
4.      Provides you immune system support
5.      Aids your skeletal system and joint health
6.      Encourages your healthy liver function
7.      Helps you maintain healthy cells with support against free radicals
8.      Balances the health of your digestive system
9.      Aids you in support of healthy blood and your circulatory system
10.  Helps you maintain normal cholesterol levels to support your cardiovascular system
11.  Assists your neurological system's healthy response to stress
12.  Promotes a healthy female reproductive system
13.  Helps you maintain blood sugar levels already within the normal range
And more...
·         Side effects of Turmeric
The general evidence suggests that turmeric is safe for consumption and as a medicinal product. Some people report mild stomach upset and occasional diarrhoea, but this is usually sensitivity to turmeric rather than side effects. It is unclear what it would do if consumed in large quantities.
Turmeric has to be used with caution in pregnant women, as it is believed that turmeric has effects on the uterine wall. It can cause bleeding by preventing blood clotting, and should therefore be avoided if undergoing surgery. It is due to this side effect that turmeric should be avoided in patients who are taking blood thinning medication such as warfarin, aspirin and clopidogrel, as it can result in excessive bleeding in the event of an injury or ulcer in the stomach. Lastly, there is information that turmeric may interfere with some drugs used in chemotherapy, therefore who are undergoing chemotherapy should consult with their doctors on taking curcumin.
·      Dosing of Turmeric
If taking turmeric to manage different clinical conditions, evidence suggests the use of 500mg of turmeric 4 times a day for stomach problems and 500mg twice a day for managing patients with osteoarthritis.

·      Conclusion
Turmeric is a versatile plant with medicinal and culinary uses. Turmeric benefits are extensive and side effects are few. It comes as no surprise that this is a popular choice in foods and traditional medicine.
Millions of people use turmeric on a daily basis in their lives today. In India alone, up to 500 million people use it in one form or another every day.
I think you'll agree this is a win-win scenario for all.
So, don't you think it makes sense for you to try the Turmeric? I believe you'll agree it's certainly an impressive formula.
Now that's confidence in a great product -- Turmeric.
Doshti Healthcare
Surfed by Doshti Health Care (

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