Exploring the potential of turmeric

70342770 - tumeric curcuma root healthy golden orange powderWhen you think about turmeric, what do you think of? Quite possibly, your experience with this root vegetable is limited to those bright yellow bottles of mustard that dot the shelves in grocery stores and sit perched on lunch counters, waiting for someone to squeeze a little tangy goodness onto their sandwich. And that’s certainly a popular use of turmeric, especially in American culture. But this veggie has quite the storied history and its potential powers of healing have yet to be fully examined.

If there is one thing that modern medicine sometimes misses when people are seeking treatment for an illness or disorder, it’s nutrition. It’s no secret that medical schools barely touch the issue.

Yet, as more medical doctors realize the healing power of maintaining a proper diet and well-balanced lifestyle, natural remedies once thought lost to the past are suddenly re-emerging. And nowhere is this more true than the topic of turmeric.

Turmeric has often been called the wonder spice, primarily because of the circumin contained within, which itself is one of the most powerful antioxidants on the planet. Generally extracted from turmeric for use in supplements, circumin has also proven itself in the lab time and time again.

Part of the ginger family, turmeric has been used for thousands of years as a natural medicine. It also gives curry its yellow color and mouth-watering fragrance.

Most of the research done on the medical benefits of circumin focused on one factor: inflammation. Although it seems like “inflammation” has been turned into more of a buzzword, inflammation-related conditions like Crohn’s disease are on the rise.

And while inflammation by itself is not bad, indeed it plays a healthy role keeping nasty viruses and bacteria out of our body, chronic inflammation that goes unchecked could be a major problem. This is where circumin comes in.

Turmeric and circumin have performed well in treating inflammation in credentialed studies, and while there is no current FDA-approved usage for circumin, it certainly couldn’t hurt to add more of it to your diet.

Marsha Nunley MD
Marsha Nunley MD
I am an internist, trained and experienced in Western Medicine, who believes that illness and disease are best treated by working to discover their underlying causes. Come to me for bioidentical hormones, advice on healthy aging, and whole-body medicine.