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Turmeric is a herb which is cultivated extensively in Asia, India, China and other countries with a tropical climate. Turmeric is used extensively in Indian cooking and is known for both its flavour and colour. Curcumin is the constituent that gives turmeric its yellow colour.

The part of the herb used is rhizome. It is a warming and pungent herb. Turmeric has been traditionally used in Ayurvedic medicine as an anti-inflammatory herb. 

Actions & Indications:

  • Anti-inflammatory – asthma, arthritis (osteo & rheumatoid), inflammatory bowel disease e.g. crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, injury and pain, wound healing (oral as well as topical use)
  • Antioxidant – is a great antioxidant for the liver, protects the liver, used for liver insufficiency
  • GIT (gastro intestinal tract) herb – dyspepsia, peptic ulcer
  • Cardiovascular –is an anti platelet and anti atherogenic herb- reduces cholesterol and high lipid levels
  • Skin- eczema, psoriasis, wound healing
  • Cancer – clinical studies have shown that turmeric helps with apoptosis, is anti-proliferative and is protective against radiation and chemotherapy.
  • Patients using anti platelet or anti coagulant medication should be cautious as turmeric has anti platelet activity and the combination can increase risk of bleeding.
  • To be avoided by pregnant women and those wishing to conceive
  • To be avoided by patients suffering early hair loss (animal studies showed some problems).
  • Avoid excessive sunbathing especially if using turmeric topically
  • Large doses may cause GIT irritation in some people
  • Contra indicated in bile duct obstruction
  • Use of concentrated extracts should stop 1 week prior to surgery due to anti platelet action.

Turmeric can be taken as a dried herb, powder, capsules or herbal tincture. Lecithin taken along with turmeric improves its absorption. Consult your naturopath or herbalist for doses as it differs according to each patient’s needs.


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© 2008 Ketki Vinaychandra – Singapore naturopath