In recent decades turmeric has been going through a renaissance of sorts, however healing benefits of this deep orangey fingerlike stalk, a relative of ginger family, have been widely known for thousands of years; it’s been a part of healing systems in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine. Curcuma longa is a spice native to South and Southeast Asia region. It’s been long used in Chinese, Indian cooking as well as Western herbalism. Many have written about it, pointing out medicinal benefits, and there are so many. So I’ve decided to read up on it and give turmeric a try (juicing fresh turmeric root). I went straight to the source, PubMed Central. After reading some lengthy medical research papers, going over books on herbalism and natural healing, here’s what I found out:
Here are some facts:
- Turmeric contains group curcuminoids, however the most-studied has been curcumin.
- Curcumin has been shown to have anti-inflammatory, hypoglycemic, wound healing effects, antioxidant, and antimicrobial activities.
- Curcumin is fat-soluble. I take it/drink turmeric elixir with krill oil capsule.
- Low oral bioavailability due to poor absorption, rapid metabolism as well as rapid elimination from the body.
- To increase the bioavailability of the curcumin, it’s good to consume it with black pepper. Since piperine, compound found in black pepper increases bioavalibility by 2,000%
- Stimulant, with affinity to the liver, gallbladder, digestive tract.
- By stimulating liver, and increasing circulation to the periphery it removes skin conditions that have to do with poor circulation, impure and coagulated blood.
- Used as a carminative.
Role of curcumin:
- HEPATOPROTECTIVE- curcumin has shown protection against liver conditions due to its ability to reduce formation of proinflammatory cytokines.
- ANTI-INFLAMMATORY - reduces inflammation by lowering histamine levels
- ANTIOXIDANT- protects against free radical damage. Free radical is an atom, molecule that has an unpaired electron, which is unstable, reactive and can cause lots of damage in the tissues.
- ANTIPLATELET AGGREGATION- shown to prevent platelets from clumping together, thus improving circulation.
- ANTI-MUTAGENIC- in animal studies curcumin has shown to inhibit carcinogenesis (creation of cancer) at 3 stages:
- Tumor promotion
- Tumor growth
- CARDIO-VASCULAR EFFECTS- lowers cholesterol and triglycerides levels. In one study Curcumin was suggested to act as chemopreventive agent against atherosclerosis.
- GASTRIC EFFECTS- in a study where 25 patients with gastric ulcers were given 600 mg powdered turmeric /5 times a day. After 4 weeks 48 % of patients healed completely. After 12 weeks, 76% of patients.
- DENTAL APPLICATIONS- elimination of pain and swelling by massaging aching teeth with roasted ground turmeric.
- IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME- a study was done were:
“A partially blinded, randomized, two-dose, pilot study assessed the effects of turmeric extract on IrBS symptoms in healthy adults. Turmeric was given to the volunteers in tablet form: 102 patients were given one tablet containing 72 mg of standardized turmeric extract, and 105 patients were given two tablets a day, both for 8 weeks. The prevalence of IrBS was reduced by 53% and 60% in the one-tablet and two-tablet groups, respectively, and was associated with a marked decrease in IrBS symptoms.”
"Another study conducted with eight healthy participants reported that turmeric has the potential to increase bowel motility and to activate hydrogen-producing bacterial flora in the colon."
- ANTI-RHEUMATIC ACTIVITY- curcumin did show anti-rheumatic activity identical to that of phenylbutazone drug (non steroidal anti-inflammatory drug)
My personal experience with turmeric root.
Totally fell in love with fresh turmeric juice. The most visible effect was clearing of the skin, beautiful glow, rosy cheeks and overall healthy looking complexion. Wish I had taken a picture to show the before and after. Visual representation would be quite convincing. Anyways, when handling fresh turmeric root, rubber gloves area quite handy. Turmeric stains so be careful how you handle it. My Breville juicer took on orangey hue after just few times of juicing the root. Also if you intend to juice other veggies and fruits right after juicing turmeric, make sure to clean up the part that extracts the juice. It can clog up the filter. So if you want to get as much juice out of fruits and veggies, remember this step. Btw, there is a huge difference in quality between fresh turmeric and turmeric spice available from supermarket. It’s literally night and day. When compared fresh vs. one from the store, the latter one did smell like a chemical. Threw it straight to the garbage. DO NOT buy regular turmeric spice, hoping you’re getting a good quality product. Buy only organic, powdered form if going through a hassle of juicing fresh turmeric is too much. However, I highly recommend the fresh version. If you are based in NYC area, you can buy fresh turmeric in Jackson Heights, Queens; Patel Brothers store has it. Or you can buy fresh turmeric root on Amazon. Turmeric elixir recipe can be found on fitlife.tv Absolutely love the combination of coconut water, fresh turmeric & ginger, lemon, cayenne pepper, vanilla bean, and raw honey. It’s phenomenal and so refreshing, especially first thing in the morning.
Contraindicated in pregnancy. Turmeric may slow blood clotting. People with blood disorders, or on blood thinners talk to the doctor first. Always use discernment and do own research!
Happy turmeric juicing!