Turmeric is a plant and when we eat the turmeric spice, we are eating the root of the plant. Turmeric has been used in foods for thousands of years, the residue of turmeric has even been found in ancient bowls! Ayurveda medicine has been using turmeric since 500 BC medicinally for inhalation, wound healing, and skin conditions. Curcumin was found to be an active part of the turmeric root in the early 1800’s and has been since extracted from the root (mostly in the Western world). In India, most studies and usage of turmeric is of the whole root.
Curcumin was extracted from the turmeric root because it was found to have great healing properties. Curcumin was also likely extracted from the turmeric root because it made it easier to study the curcumin, and to sell curcumin as a supplement versus turmeric as a spice. Turmeric root in its natural state is best because ALL active ingredients are able to work together.
There are many exciting research findings on turmeric. Turmeric has been found to be anti-inflammatory. It has also been effective in MRSA as turmeric is antibacterial, antifungal, and antimicrobial, in a study, 262 of 300 people had favorable results treating MRSA with turmeric. Turmeric has been found to inhibit formation and/or the break up of amyloid plaque found in Alzheimer’s patients. It was found to be neurologically protective in multiple degeneration pathways associated with Parkinson’s disease, including mitochondrial dysfunction, oxidative stress, protein aggregation, and restoring dopamine levels. In cancer patients it was found to inhibit the growth of new blood vessels that were feeding tumors.
The best way to ingest turmeric is by making golden turmeric paste. Golden turmeric paste is turmeric root powder cooked in water to help aid digestion, then adding coconut oil and black pepper. Turmeric is fat soluble, so the coconut oil is the fat which helps with absorption, and the black pepper helps to slow down the metabolism of the turmeric so it stays in your body longer.
Adding golden turmeric paste to your daily meals is ideal. Try it with soups, sandwiches, and savory dishes. It works well with Thai, Indian, and Mexican cuisines. There are also ways to make turmeric paste “pills” you can freeze and take if you do not like the taste of it.
If you would like to know more about turmeric, how to make the paste, or any other nutritional concerns, call our office and schedule and appointment with Dr. Luke.