Turmeric Root Powder Profile
Also known as
Curcuma longa, Curcuma, Gauri, Haldi, Indian Saffron, and You Jin.
is a tropical perennial plant in the same family as ginger, native to
India, and cultivated throughout the tropics around the world. Growing
to a height of about three feet (one meter), it bears pairs of
lance-shaped leaves of alternate sides of the stem. At the base of the
stem, there is a knobby rhizome somewhat resembling ginger. Most herbal
traditions use turmeric to "invigorate the blood." It is so useful as a
medicine that the Chinese names for the plant both call it "gold,"
chuan yu jin, river constrained gold, and guang yu jin, plain
constrained gold. In ancient times, turmeric was reserved for patients
who were relatively weak.
1-alpha curcumene, 1-beta-curcumene, camphene, camphor, various forms of curcumin.
The rhizome, dried and ground.
tinctures, and poultices. Combined with dong quai for treating
menstrual cramps. Ayurvedic medicine uses turmeric with guggul for
treating liver disease. Many of the healing of benefits of turmeric
have been attributed to curcumin, a group of antioxidant compounds
found in the rhizome. Although curcumin is available as a standardized
extract, the whole herb may be more beneficial for you than the
curcumin extract: Only very small amounts of curcumin are absorbed into
the bloodstream. Turmeric as a whole herb stays in the digestive tract
longer than curcumin, releasing antioxidant curcumin along with other
is the main anti-inflammatory herb of Ayurvedic medicine. Ayurveda uses
turmeric to treat diseases of the liver and to relieve inflammation.
Laboratory tests have found that turmeric in antioxidant and
antimutagenic (13,14), that is, 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 of arthritis,
bursitis, and tendonitis. A volatile oil in the spice is as effective
in relieving pain, under laboratory conditions, as equal amounts
steroids. The antioxidants in turmeric fight atherosclerosis by
deactivating platelet-activating facto (POAF). 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. In the laboratory, the
antioxidants in turmeric kills cultures of cancer cells from the skin,
bloodstream, and ovaries. Curcumin may stop the action of a livery
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
and it 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. Of course, if you use turmeric to prevent bad breath, you
shouldn't eat curries made with garlic.
is the case with so many herbs, turmeric should be used in moderation.
Too much turmeric used for extended periods of time may cause stomach
distress. Since turmeric is included in Ayurvedic formulas for birth
control, women trying to become pregnant should limit their consumption
of the herb, and it should be avoided entirely while pregnant.
Excessive use of turmeric should also be avoided in people with
congestive heart failure. The curcumin in turmeric activates a gene
called p53. This gene deactivates cancer cells, but it also deactivates
damaged cells in the heart.
This product was added to our catalog on Wednesday 28 October, 2009.