Turmeric – Food as Medicine, at its Finest!
Clinical Herbalist Reviewed on May 21, 2011 by Paulina Nelega, RH
Turmeric is one of those incredible, versatile foods that extends itself readily from the kitchen cupboard to the medicine chest, in one easy step.
As well as lending its distinctive flavor (and telltale color) to curries, Turmeric root is renowned as one of nature’s most powerful anti-inflammatories. It has been found especially beneficial for symptoms of osteoarthritis.
According to a study published in Arthritis & Rheumatism (2006), Turmeric reduced joint inflammation in osteoarthritis a statistically significant amount. Its main mechanism of action is due to inhibition of COX-2, an enzyme that contributes to joint inflammation and degradation. This is primarily accomplished by curcumin, one of Turmeric’s many constituents. Inhibition of the COX-2 pathway is the same one that many over-the-counter, anti-inflammatory medications and prescription arthritis drugs target (some of which can have serious, even life-threatening, side effects).
Turmeric also provides exceptional support to the liver in its primary roles of metabolism and detoxification. Additionally, it enhances digestion, has powerful antioxidant properties, and may even help inhibit the spread of certain cancers (metastases).
Adding more of this invigorating spice to your cooking is a great way to easily, and tastily, reap the health-promoting benefits of Turmeric – truly one of Nature’s finest foods-as-medicine!
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Paulina Nelega, RH, has been in private practice as a Clinical Herbalist for over 15 years. She has developed and taught courses in herbal medicine, and her articles on health have appeared in numerous publications. She is very passionate about the healing power of nature. Ask Dr. Jan