Turmeric is used as a yellow dye and so much more. If you doubt the dye part, try to handle this herb and removing the color from your skin, or better yet put some of it in a glass of water, drink, then check the color of your teeth. The faces of Hindu brides were painted with Turmeric as a decorative to make them more glowing.
We find Turmeric in curry powder, mustard and also in some margarine and dairy products to improve their color. It is the curcumin in Turmeric that gives it the yellow color.
Curcumin is an anti-inflammatory component that is helpful for arthritis. It not only helps with rheumatoid arthritis but it improves morning stiffness, the ability to walk for long intervals and is beneficial in diminishing joint swelling.
Turmeric has antibacterial making it ideal for healing wounds. In cases of acne Turmeric can be made into a poultice and applied to the affected area or taken internally.
As an anti-fungal, it can be used for Athlete’s Foot by making a paste. When combined with Ginger, it can be used for ringworm.
Liver protection is another of its marvelous qualities. Turmeric stimulates the flow of bile, lessening the possibility of gallstones. If one is exposed to environmental toxins (and who isn’t), Turmeric will help break down the harmful substances. Chemotherapy patients and those consuming alcohol benefit from this wonderful herb. It has also been used to clear up diarrhea/dysentery. (Editor’s note: People suffering from Hepatitis C also rely on Turmeric for its beneficial effects on the liver.)
As a protector of the heart, Turmeric stops oxidation that can cause artery – narrowing plaque, a major cause of heart attacks. Being a major antioxidant, it handles free radical destruction leading to countless diseases including cell damage and aging. Studies suggest that Turmeric’s antioxidants are more powerful than those of Vitamin C or Vitamin E. Turmeric has anti-coagulant activities which can be helpful in preventing the formation of blood clots responsible for strokes and heart attacks.
Anti-cancer activity, as shown in Rutgers University, research demonstrates it is the curcumin in Turmeric that helps prevent tumor development in their animal studies. Similar studies advocate Turmeric for limiting growth of already formed tumors and may have the potential to deter other cancers such as breast, skin, stomach and colon.
We have found Turmeric to be antioxidant, antibacterial, anticoagulant, anti fungal, anti-inflammatory and antiviral. While there are very few contraindications, too much of anything is not a good thing.
NOTE: This is NOT medical advice. Consult your physician about any health concerns.