Turmeric – a miracle spice
About five years ago I suffered with painful osteoarthritis in the knees and legs. A good doctor told me I needed knee surgery in both knees and would be on arthritis medication for the rest of my life. That was enough for me to move my painful joints off the sofa and find an alternative cure. An online search led me to Turmeric. Within days the pain subsided somewhat. Within 3 months the pain was manageable and I could move again. Within 1 year, all pain was gone!
For at least 6000 years Turmeric has been used in India as a medicine, beauty aid, cooking spice, talisman amulet and a dye. Dioscorides spoke highly of it in 60 AD when he wrote the herbal that would be Europe’s main herb source for the next 1600 years. Marco Polo praised it in his journals of 1280 AD. It has been used in Chinese medicine for over 1000 years to purify the blood, move Chi and strengthen the reproductive system. Hawaiian Kahuna use it as a sacred healing herb and in Brazil it is used to treat poisonous Viper bites.
Common knowledge to every woman in India, one of the most beneficial aspects of Turmeric is to improve complexion. While supporting the healing of acne, wounds, skin cancer and more, Turmeric purifies and nourishes the blood and skin so that the glow of health is not marred by blemishes and impurities but amplified through radiant clarity.
Close to the core of Turmeric’s healing power is its ability to cleanse, build and move blood like no other herb, making it an especially valuable herb to support the skin, liver and the female reproductive system. Turmeric protects your liver from toxins, pathogens and excessive cholesterol and helps to detoxify and rejuvenate it.
As an antioxidant, Turmeric protects the lungs from pollution and toxins. It increases the oxygen transfer from the lungs to the blood and is a good choice for bronchitis and other pulmonary infections, especially when taken with fresh garlic.
When it comes to first-aid, what ‘Rescue Remedy’ is to flower essences and ‘Arnica’ is to Homeopathy, Turmeric is to herbalism. It serves in accidents ranging from cuts to concussions. For any trauma this rhizome accelerates healing and minimizes damage. Turmeric stops bleeding, heals tissue, is a strong anti-inflammatory and is a broad spectrum anti-microbial capable of stopping bacterial, fungal and viral infections.
Turmeric has a triple action against cancer: it helps to neutralizes those substances and conditions which can cause cancer; it has over ten powerful antioxidants that directly help a cell retain its integrity if threatened by carcinogens; and if a tumor does grow, it can often eradicate it. Even if one were using allopathic medicine to treat cancer, they can still use Turmeric to increase the effectiveness and decrease some of the side effects of cancer treatments. Ayurveda especially recommends Turmeric to treat and prevent cancers of the skin and the female reproductive system, namely breast and uterine cancer.
Hippocrates statement, “Let food be your medicine,” is essential to Yoga and Ayurveda, and like no other food, Turmeric exemplifies this principle. To most people in India, from housewives to Himalayan hermits, Turmeric, affectionately called the ‘kitchen queen,’ is the main spice of the kitchen. Being both a ubiquitous spice and a safe healer Turmeric adds a literal meaning to the phrase, ‘The Spice of Life’.
For many reasons, Turmeric is one of the best herbs/foods of Yoga. It is one of the most potent, purifying herbs in Ayurveda, cleansing the physical and the subtle, from muscles to marmas, from blood to the buddhi. It is one of the safest herbs. It increases flexibility. It reduces pain and inflammation which allows more opportunity to perfect asanas by increasing stability and ease, more sthira and sukha. It increases prana, the flow of prana and purifies prana. Yoga texts like the Shiva Samhita recommends ghee and milk before asana and pranayama practice, and many traditional yogis add Turmeric, with all her benefits, to that.
Great Healers, in one form or another, are sought out by all of us. Turmeric is such a talented healer, that though its presence is common, its power is never-the-less rare, making it one of the world’s great healers. (from LA Yoga Magazine…)
Laboratory tests have found that turmeric is antioxidant and antimutagenic, as it potentially helps prevent new cancers that are caused by chemotherapy or radiation used to treat existing cancers. Turmeric in the diet may prevent pain from arthritis, bursitis and tendonitis. A volatile oil in the spice is as effective in relieving pain, under laboratory conditions, as equal amounts of steroids.
The antioxidants in turmeric fight atherosclerosis by deactivating platelet-activating facto. This protein seals leaks in blood vessels by stimulating the growth of a protein “net” on which a cholesterol plaque can form. Curcumin in turmeric helps prevent hardening of the arteries in people who have diabetes, and also helps stop the loss of protein through the kidneys.
Turmeric may help relieve pain caused by carpal tunnel syndrome. If you use Turmeric for carpal tunnel syndrome, do not take supplemental vitamin C.
In the laboratory, the antioxidants in Turmeric kill cultures of cancer cells from the skin, bloodstream and ovaries. Curcumin may stop the action of a liver enzyme that activates environmental toxins into carcinogen forms, and may be especially useful in deactivating the carcinogens in cigarette smoke and chewing tobacco. Turmeric in the diet increases the production of enzymes that digest fats and sugars, and stop cholesterol from forming gallstones. Turmeric prevents the release of histamine in the stomach, quelling nervous stomach and counteracting food allergies. Turmeric fights gum inflammation by halting the action of a gene that creates irritant chemicals. With the irritation, bacteria cannot find a place to grow, and the absence of bacteria reduces both bad breath and gingivitis.
HOW TO USE
I use it daily in oatmeal or cream of wheat cereals (1/2 tsp, dry spice in the cooking water). Can also use in soups and other dishes as you desire. Limit the quantity to 1/2 tsp daily.
WHERE TO BUY
You will find it at your local health food store. I buy it in bulk because I go through so much of it. I recommend Amazon.com.