The root and underground stems are crushed and powdered to make Turmeric. Curcumin is extracted from this for use in medical research.
It is a powerful antioxidant several times more powerful than vitamin E. It contains vitamins and minerals and an active compound called curcumin.
This ancient spice is used in many foods, partly to give colour but also to stop it going "off".
Turmeric is a very effective intestinal antiseptic and is highly beneficial in intestinal problems, especially chronic diarrhoea. It also helps prevent flatulence.
It is anti-bacterial and helps wounds heal.
Turmeric is an anti-inflammatory used for arthritis.
It stimulates the flow of bile to help digest fats in the diet.
Turmeric is being investigated for activity in preventing heart attacks and stroke, and protecting against cancers, but no conclusions yet.
And curcumin is being tested for possible use in Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease.
A standard dose of curcumin is 250 to 500 mg taken three times a day.
Turmeric has few side effects and is virtually non-toxic. It has been used for many years in large amounts in cooking and as a medicine.
High doses taken for a long time could cause liver damage.
Don’t take Turmeric if you have gall bladder disease.