Everyone is talking about turmeric these days and there are some good reasons why this herb is making waves! Studies show many Canadians are suffering from pain, inflammation and stiffness throughout their workday. Adding some turmeric to the daily routine may be helpful in alleviating pain and improving the inflammatory response in the body.
Turmeric, also known as curcuma longa, is a member of the ginger family and is native to India and China. It grows to a height of about 3 feet and it cultivated for the medical value of its roots, which can also be used to flavour and colour food.
Turmeric can be found as:
- Fresh Root
What it Does
Turmeric has been used for centuries in India and has been traditionally prescribed for the treatment of bad eyesight, rheumatism, arthritis and liver problems. To date, many studies have now been performed with turmeric via test tubes, animals and humans. These studies have shown that turmeric may be effective for the following conditions:
- Acid Re-flux
- Cancer Prevention
- Heart Disease
- Stomach Ulcers
- Bacterial and Viral Infections
How is Turmeric Used?
Turmeric can be incorporated into daily cooking, but is best absorbed into the body when combined with a fat (like olive oil or coconut oil) and a little bit of pepper. As mentioned above turmeric can also be found in higher doses contained capsules, which may be a more effective way to manage pain or other chronic inflammatory issues. Speak to your medical or naturopathic doctor if you are interested in using turmeric.
Turmeric in food is generally considered safe.
Taking large amounts of turmeric for long periods of time may cause stomach upset and, in extreme cases, ulcers. People who have gallstones or obstruction of the bile passages should be cautious when taking turmeric.
Additionally, because turmeric may increase the metabolism of liver enzymes, taking turmeric while taking other medications metabolized by the liver may change the concentration of these medications in the body. As always, it is best to speak with a professional before using new herbs or supplements.
By: Dr. Emily Lipinski, ND