Turmeric is the most widely recognized, researched, and commonly used medicinal spice. Few medicinal plants possess its breadth of qualities and healing uses. For over 4,000 years turmeric, or the “spice of life,” as it is affectionately called, has been woven into the very fabric of Indian, Tibetan, Bhutanese, and Chinese Medicine. It is used as a spice, for medicinal purposes and even in religious rituals. Turmeric has been proven to be effective in treating some of the most intense conditions affecting people today, including arthritis, inflammation, acne, urinary tract and kidney infections, anemia, the common cold, headaches, food poisoning, parasites, fever, diarrhea and poor circulation. It has also been used to heal wounds. Due to its versatility, turmeric is one of the most important herbs in any natural medicine cabinet.
Turmeric has at least 10 neuro-protective functions that support healthy cognition. Because the brain is predominantly fatty tissue, fat-soluble toxins may accumulate in the brain and cause damage. Turmeric is a fat-soluble substance that may have the capacity to remove toxins from the deep tissues in the brain, and elsewhere. Chronic inflammation is a key contributor to Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative disorders. Researchers have discovered that curcumin, the most active ingredient in turmeric, can cross the blood-brain barrier and help to reduce neuroinflammation, improve brain function in healthy adults, and discourage the buildup of amyloid-beta, the primary component in the plaques that clog up the brain in patients with Alzheimer’s and other degenerative brain conditions.
How should we use turmeric? You can use generous doses on food to make a tasty little dish. However, make sure to add a healthy fat, such as olive oil, coconut oil, high quality eggs, or avocado to enhance its absorption. Another important way to enhance turmeric’s healing properties is to include black pepper. The piperine in black pepper has been shown to elevate the human body’s absorption of the powerful curcumin compound by up to 2,000 percent! You can always supplement with turmeric if the taste doesn’t suit your palate. Two supplements I recommend are HANAH Turmeric+ and Pure Encapsulations Curcumin 500 with Bioperine. These are, in my opinion, two of the highest quality supplements on the market.
Adam Gloyeske, LAc