Turmeric is a root plant prized not only for its flavour and use in cooking but for its many health benefits. Turmeric is the common name for this plant, its scientific name is Curcuma longa, it contains active compounds called curcuminoids and therefore is often referred to as curcumin (turmeric ≈ curcumin).
Turmeric is best known for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties which make it very useful in the management of pain such as from arthritis, plantar fasciitis, as well as other joint, muscle and connective tissue conditions. Its anti-inflammatory properties also make it helpful in addressing inflammation of the digestive tract seen in Diverticulitis and Inflammatory Bowel Diseases such as Crohn’s and Colitis.
In addition, turmeric has benefits in optimizing liver and gallbladder function and can be used as part of a plan to address gallstones and non-alcoholic fatty liver. Turmeric has also been found to have antimicrobial (kills germs) and antispasmodic (reduces spasms) properties. Some exciting ongoing research is also looking into the use of turmeric in neurodegenerative disorders (e.g. Parkinson’s) and autoimmune conditions (e.g. rheumatoid arthritis, Lupus). Turmeric has also long been used for its anti-cancer properties and may be considered as part of a treatment plan together with chemotherapy and other forms of treatment (ask your healthcare provider).
Speak to a naturopathic doctor to learn more about turmeric and to find out how to use it safely and effectively to take advantage of its many health benefits in addressing your health concerns.