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Turmeric

Turmeric
COMMON NAME (Chinese Name)

Turmeric (Jiang Huang)

BOTANICAL NAME

Curcuma Longa

USES

Turmeric supplements are heralded for their treatment for indigestion and stomach pain, even going so far as to help heal peptic ulcers. This is because turmeric has both antibacterial properties (which are specifically effective against ulcer-causing H. Pylori) and anti-inflammatory properties. Moreover, when taken as an oral supplement or a regular dietary staple, turmeric may insulate users against alcohol toxicity, preventing liver damage and hangovers alike.

As an adaptogen, turmeric has significant antioxidant properties and is considered a panacea herb in India.  It has properties being researched for prevention and possible treatment of dementia and Alzheimer’s, based on traditional use.  It is antifungal, even working against Candida overgrowth.  Although research is insufficient, it has folk use to stop infections of both bacterial and viral origin.

Turmeric extract and oil — the vital oil derived from decocting turmeric rhizomes — may have similar benefits for gastrointestinal health while also protecting against common strains of the flu virus. Some use turmeric oil supplementation in belief that it helps prevent the accumulation of abdominal fat, though it is not an approved weight-loss supplement.

Turmeric also has significant antioxidant and free-radical-fighting properties, making it a useful preventive supplement to protect against signs of aging, as well as skin cancer, when it is applied to the skin in a paste. Turmeric masks may also be useful for treating acne and rosacea.

In Chinese medicine, turmeric is categorized as a blood regulator and blood mover.  It is warm and pungent and particularly affects the Liver, Spleen and Stomach meridians, thus it affects the digestive balance.

PREPARATION & ADMINISTRATION

The finger-shaped underground roots and rhizomes of turmeric plants are used in its TCM applications after first being dried and sliced for medicinal use or powdered for use as a cooking spice or into capsules for easy ingestion.

PRECAUTIONS

There are no proven contraindications for the use of turmeric supplements, though people taking anticoagulant/antiplatelet medications should avoid turmeric since it may amplify their effects. However, as a blood mover, pregnant women are advised to avoid more than a culinary dose. Overuse in cooking applications can cause heartburn and indigestion, and people who are allergic to it may develop contact dermatitis from using topical preparations of turmeric oil, extract, or paste.

You should consult with a certified herbalist, physician or other qualified healthcare professional before taking turmeric.

 

REFERENCES

Baliga, Manjeshwar Shrinath, et al. “Hepatoprotective Effects of Curcumin in Alcohol-Induced Hepatotoxicity: A Memoir on the Preclinical Studies.” Polyphenols: Prevention and Treatment of Human Disease (Second Edition), Academic Press, 28 Sept. 2018

Dasgupta, Amitava, and Kimberly Klein. “Herbal and Other Dietary Supplements That Are Antioxidants.” Antioxidants in Food, Vitamins and Supplements, Elsevier, 16 Feb. 2014

Eichenseher, Joseph. “Peptic Ulcer Disease.” Integrative Medicine (Fourth Edition), Elsevier, 28 Apr. 2017

Grobel, Hana, and Sarah A. Murphy. “Acne Vulgaris and Acne Rosacea.” Integrative Medicine (Fourth Edition), Elsevier, 28 Apr. 2017

Iriti, Marcello et al. “Neuroprotective herbs and foods from different traditional medicines and diets.” Molecules (Basel, Switzerland) vol. 15,5 3517-55. 14 May. 201

Murugesh, Jeevitha et al. “Evaluation of the antifungal efficacy of different concentrations of Curcuma longa on Candida albicans: An in vitro study.” Journal of oral and maxillofacial pathology: JOMFP vol. 23,2 (2019): 305. doi:10.4103/jomfp.JOMFP_200_18  

Prasad, Sahdeo. “Turmeric, the Golden Spice.” Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects. 2nd Edition., U.S. National Library of Medicine, 1 Jan. 1970

Shukla, Sunil Dutt et al. “Critical evaluation of ayurvedic plants for stimulating intrinsic antioxidant response.” Frontiers in neuroscience vol. 6 112. 26 Jul. 2012, doi:10.3389/fnins.2012.00112 

“Turmeric: Uses, Side Effects, Interactions, Dosage, and Warning.” WebMD, WebMD

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