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Thursday, March 08, 2007


Also known as curcuma and Indian saffron, turmeric is a common spice used worldwide. It is an ingredient in curry, prepared mustard, pickles, and other well-known food products. It is used both for its yellow coloring effects and for its flavor. Turmeric is derived from a plant of the ginger family known as Curcuma longa or Curcuma domestica. The plant is a perennial herb with a thick rhizome from which large oblong leaves arise.

To produce turmeric, the rhizomes are dug up at the end of the growing season, which is usually in the fall or winter. They are washed, thoroughly boiled, and dried under the sun, yielding the turmeric sold commercially. Two forms, bulbs (main rhizomes) and fingers (branched rhizomes), are usually sold. India is the major producer of turmeric.

Traditional uses include removing blood stasis, promoting and normalizing energy flow in the body, and relieving pain. Major uses include treating chest and rib pain, amenorrhea, abdominal mass, traumatic injuries, swelling and carbuncles. Other uses include the treatment of hematuria (bloody urine), pain and itching of sores and ringworms, toothache, colic, flatulence, and hemorrhage.

Numerous recipes exist for using turmeric to treat various conditions. Most require the use of numerous other herbs/traditional drugs. Here is a recipe dating back to the 7th century. For treating pain and itching resulting from sores or ringworms, turmeric is mashed in water and the mash is applied directly to the affected areas.

This information is excerpted from Dr. Albert Leung’s book, Chinese Healing Foods and Herbs. This publication includes further information and home remedies using turmeric as well as over 45 other herbs.

Learn more about turmeric and read further about Dr. Leung and his writings! Visit www.earthpower.com.

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