Turmeric For Your Health : A Potent Natural Anti-Inflammatory
Turmeric is a strong, bitter-tasting spice that is very popular in India as a seasoning for cooking. Turmeric is commonly used in curries and is ground from the dried root of Curcuma longa, a plant in the ginger family that is native to Southeast Asia.
Turmeric has been used for thousands of years as a dye, a flavoring and a medicinal herb. In India, it has been used traditionally as a remedy for stomach and liver ailments, as well as topically to heal sores. Ancient Indian medicine has touted turmeric as an herb with the ability to provide glow and luster to skin as well as vigor and vitality to the entire body.
As a flavoring, turmeric has antiseptic properties that make it useful as a natural preservative. These antiseptic properties are related to turmeric’s medicinal uses, making it an effective remedy for coughs and colds. It is also thought to be an excellent general tonic, as well as a diuretic and expectorant.
Turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties that make it useful as a pain reliever. Pastes made from turmeric powder are used to treat sprains and swelling, skin disorders and insect bites. It is also used as a mouth rinse to treat pain caused by dental problems.
Turmeric can be used to treat gastrointestinal problems like diarrhea and flatulence. Rich in iron, turmeric is also used to treat anemia. People with asthma may also benefit from the anti-inflammatory action of turmeric.
The active ingredient in turmeric is curcumin. Standardized extracts of turmeric that are used for medicinal purposes should contain 5% curcumin. It is available in capsules and tinctures, and it can also be used in dried, powdered form or as a cut root. Some herbalists recommend taking turmeric with bromelain, which is said to help the body absorb and use turmeric, particularly as an anti-inflammatory agent.
In fact, many bromelain formulas contain turmeric. The recommended dosage of standardized capsules is 400 to 600 mg, three times per day. The dosage for tinctures is 15 to 30 drops per day. In powdered form, the recommended amount is1000 to 3000 mg per day, and the cut root should be consumed in amounts of 1500 to 3000 mg per day.
Turmeric can be taken safely at recommended doses, but extended or excessive use has been known to upset the stomach and potentially cause gastric ulcers. It has not been determined whether turmeric is safe for pregnant women, and people with gallstones or bile duct obstructions should not use it.
There are some possible interactions between turmeric and certain medications, specifically, blood thinners and anti-inflammatory drugs. People taking either of these types of medications should therefore use turmeric with caution.