Herbal Medicine Highlights – Turmeric

Terrific Turmeric!
It has become highly sought after for its Anti-Inflammatory properties but does this humble culinary hold more for us?

When common cooking herbs or foods are used as medicine the key factor that changes them from foods to functional herbal medicine is all in the concentration of active constituents or the chemicals in the plant! Yum! So to get the Anti-inflammatory action happening you will need 25g of dried herb just to get enough for one dose to make things happen.

That’s a lot of herb!

There are many brands available in health food stores and pharmacy OR your Naturopath/Herbalist has access to liquid herbal medicines high in the components that make the herb a medicine…

Here’s a mini Monograph (fancy word that herbalists use that means here is a rundown on what this herb does when it is used as a medicine beyond its use as a food).

Botanical Name
Curcuma Longa

Main Actions
Anti-inflammatory
Antiplatelet

Parts Used
Dried root

 

Cholagogue
Hypolipidaemic

Who Would Benefit Most from taking Turmeric?

The actions of a herb give us the clues to what this herb can be used for and who would benefit the most from taking it.
Anti-inflammatory: anyone who is experiencing a condition where inflammation is a problem such as someone with arthritis or rheumatoid arthritis.
Antiplatelet: anyone who is concerned about their heart health and who have a family history of cardiovascular issues.
Cholagogue: anyone who has concerns about liver function and has overindulged in the ‘good life’.
Hypolipidaemic: this is means it helps lower fats (lipids) especially for those who have developed a fatty liver and are hoping to improve their liver and cholesterol scores.

Turmeric has been used as a medicine for hundreds of years and even now this humble culinary herb can assist our modern lifestyle to ease inflammation and improve our heart health.

References:
Braun L Cohen M. 2010 Herbs & Natural Supplements. Elsevier. Melb Aust
Pizzorno J, Murray M, Joiner-Bey H. 2008 The Clinicians Handbook of Natural Medicine 2nd edition Churchill Livingstone USA
Bone K, 2009 The Ultimate Herbal Compendium. Phytotherapy Press. NSW Aust.