Turmeric – A Powerful Botanical Medicine

7-b-tumericTurmeric has recently gotten a lot of attention because of its medicinal power. This yellow pigmented, aromatic powder that comes from the rhizome of the antioxidant-rich ginger family, is often used in Indian dishes and the main ingredient in most Indian curry powders. This amazing spice combats free radicals, inflammatory damage, and helps protect against memory loss. It is also said to help relieve problems with digestion, arthritis pain, menstrual pain, heartburn, and other issues.

I am sure you are as curious as I am to understand better what turmeric really is.  Of course, you always can do your own research for more in-depth information. But I thought you would be interested in a brief summary of my findings to gain a better understanding of this amazing plant.

Native_tumericTurmeric, is a beautiful plant! You could grow it in your backyard if you live in zone 9 or warmer. It doesn’t tolerate climates colder than 65F or 18.33 C.  If you do not live in a temperate zone, you can grow Turmeric indoors. White turmeric root Curcuma_cordata_roots

Tumeric is closely related to ginger; note in the right picture the similarity to a ginger root. What you see is the rhizome or the stem of the plant found underground.

Inside the Turmeric stem is a compound curcumin which is responsible for the red color of turmeric. It is the curcumin which is responsible for the medicinal power in terms of prevention or treatment of a variety of  disease conditions.

Curcumin contains scientifically proven antioxidants, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties which account for the healing Turmeric_resize smpower of most chronic diseases, including depression and dementia, pain and arthritis, heart disease and more.

For centuries people in India have known the gift of  curcumin to a long life and robust health. It is their dietary stable in various types of curries. But only this century has the western science community begun to discover the healing properties. Some consider it a miracle nutrient.

Will Turmeric heal any chronic disease you might have?

We need to be clear and cautious:

  • Though turmeric has been identified as a powerful botanical medicine, it does not mean that the turmeric from the spice rack will be the ‘miracle’ healer! The commercially available turmeric spice contains only 2 to 5% curcumin. That small amount of curcumin has no therapeutic effect by itself. But it enhances the health benefits in combination with other nutritious food, like fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Because of the recent scientific discovery of the medicinal power of turmeric or curcumin, you will find an abundant variety of products on the market promoting its healing power. BE AWARE! The quality of the products vary widely.Briefly, ordinary curcumin is poorly absorbed by the human body. It requires a special process to extract the highly absorbable product. Therefore, if you wish to try a curcumin or turmeric product for therapeutic purposes, consult with a specialist at a health food store or better, with a licensed naturopath or your primary health care provider who is also knowledgeable about the latest turmeric/curcumin research. They will be able to advise which products are best quality and highly absorbable to be therapeutically effective. Otherwise you could waste your money on a poor quality product that could be more harmful than healthful.

If you are interested learning more about this amazing super botanical medicine curcumin, I recommend reading a comprehensive research review and analysis: Curcumin – The 21st Century Cure, 2nd Edition, 2012 by Jan McBarron, M.D., N.D. (Naturopathic Doctor). It is available in Paperback and in Kindle edition.

Two recent studies: (1)  Groundbreaking Study Finds Turmeric Extract Curcumin Superior to Prozac for Depression; (2) Curcumin is safe and efficacious in treating major depressive disorder.

To Your Health and Well-Being!




About Ute Goldkuhle

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