Turmeric (Curcuma longa)

Turmeric is a herbaceous perennial flowering plant native to the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia. This golden spice has been used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine. It contains an active plant chemical known as curcumin, which is a powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anticancer, antiviral and antibacterial.

There are many benefits to using turmeric. Research shows that it is a natural anti-inflammatory and natural antibiotic. It is known to speed up wound healing, help supress cough, reduce the side effect of chemotherapy, lower cholesterol, reduce joint arthritis pain, boost cognitive health, aid in liver function, reduce pain, support digestive health...the list goes on and on.

Turmeric can be bought as a dry spice and used in cooking or to make turmeric tea. It can also be bought as a supplement and found in the vitamin aisle at your local pharmacy.

Turmeric is not easily absorbed into the body. When buying it in supplemental form, check the label to see if it contains a high level of curcuminoid, which makes the curcumin more soluble and more bioavailable to the body. Supplements that contain black pepper extracts, which contains the compound piperine, have also been shown to aid in absorption.

The recommended dose for turmeric is 400 - 600 mg, 1 - 3 times a day. The NIH suggest you can take up to 500 MG up to 4 times per day. When cooking with ground turmeric powder or using it to make tea, the recommended amount is 1 - 3 grams a day. It is important to note, too much turmeric can cause nausea, diarrhea, increased liver function tests, hyperactive gallbladder contractions, hypotension, uterine contracts in pregnant women and increased menstrual flow.

Turmeric should not be consumed in combination with antacids, blood glucose lowering drugs, blood thinners or anti-histamines. Turmeric has been safe when used as a spice in food.

For educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Please consult your doctor before using herbal tinctures/extracts/teas and do not us in place of prescribed medicines without first consulting your physician.

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