One of the pleasures of traveling is to be able to sample various styles of cuisine. I’ve very partial to ethnic foods because I enjoy the variety of seasonings that are used in ethnic foods. My favorite ethnic cuisine is Indian curry. Although I always wind up eating more than I should at an Indian restaurant, I never feel overly stuffed or bloated afterwards. The blends of spices used in their dishes seem to be just right to help my digestive system work efficiently.

One of the ingredients in various curries is turmeric, a spice native to India and Southeast Asia. The part that is used is the rhizome, which looks very similar to the rhizomes of ginger, but it is a darker, orange color. Both ginger and turmeric come from the same botanical family, too. Although turmeric has long been used in Asian medicine, recent scientific research into it’s medicinal value as an antioxidant has kindled an interest in using the plant in Western herbal medicine. Although turmeric is not available as a single herb through NSP, it is an ingredient in nine NSP formulas. In four of those formulas it is listed by its Latin name Curcuma longa.

Turmeric contains curcumin, which is a more powerful antioxidant than vitamin E. The antioxidant effects of turmeric explain why it is found in the antioxidant formula Grapine with Protectors. Antioxidants help protect the body from free radical damage associated with aging and degenerative diseases.

Turmeric has also been shown to be a powerful anti-inflammatory. Research has demonstrated it is a more powerful anti-inflammatory than hydrocortisone. This partially explains why turmeric has been used successfully in cases of arthritis.

Other research has shown that turmeric can help to lower cholesterol levels and help keep the blood thin by reducing coagulation. Turmeric’s combination of anti-inflammatory, cholesterol-reducing and blood thinning properties make it useful for reducing the risk of strokes and heart attacks. It may also have a preventive effect with cancer. All these actions justify its inclusion in AdaptaMax, an adaptagenic herb formula that is also designed to provide antioxidant and anti-aging effects.

Turmeric increases bile flow, and has a protective action on the liver. In fact, the liver is one of its primary organs of affinity. In both Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine turmeric has been used as a remedy for jaundice, and nausea, both of which are related to liver issues. Like milk thistle, turmeric helps protect the liver against environmental toxins and is useful for hepatitis. It is an important ingredient in the liver tonifying Chinese formula Blood Build.

Turmeric is found in the Ayurvedic Skin Detox formula, because it has also been used to help clear up a variety of skin conditions, which are often linked to liver problems. These skin conditions include eczema, psoriasis and athlete’s foot. The curcumin found in turmeric is also strongly antiseptic when applied to the skin and exposed to sunlight. This makes it a valuable topical remedy for skin infections.

Another use for turmeric is as a digestive remedy. It reduces gastritis and overacidity and has a protective action on the stomach as well as the liver. It can also be used to ease abdominal pain. It’s gastrointestinal benefits make turmeric a valuable ingredient in Artemesia Combination (for eliminating parasites) and LOCLO (a fiber supplement for improving gastrointestinal health). Turmeric is also an ingredient in the Ayurvedic Blood Sugar Formula and the Chinese formula Stress Relief.

NSP also combines turmeric with Alpha Lipoic Acid, which also has antioxidant and antioxidant recycling properties. Alpha lipoic acid is reported to increase cellular levels of glutathione, a powerful intracellular antioxidant that is also very important for liver detoxification.

All this makes me wish I could have some curry right now. I just wish that St. George had an Indian restaurant. Oh, well, guess I’ll just have to cook up some curry on my own.


Selected References

Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants by Andrew Chevallier

Herbal Therapy and Supplements by Merrily A. Kuhn and David Winston