Curcuma longa

Turmeric - Curcuma longa (in the Zingiberaceae or Ginger family)

Part used: Rhizome.

Taste/smell: Bitter, pungent and aromatic.

Tendencies: Cooling, stimulating.

Dosage: Infusion: 1 teaspoon per cup of water; or 1:0.85 fresh strength liquid extract: 10-40 drops 1-4 times per day.

Mental picture and specific indications: Tumeric is indicated for mental dullness or confusion, mania, congestion in the pelvis, liver or gastrointestinal tract.

Use: (a) Anti-inflammatory, (b) Antiarthritic, (c) Antioxidant, (d) Topical antibacterial and antifungal, (e) Antifertility action, (f) Hypotensive, (g) Anti-atherosclerotic, (h) Tumor-preventing activity, (i) Cholagogue, (j) Choleretic, (k) Emmenagogue, (l) Lowers cholesterol, (m) Stimulates digestive enzymes, (n) Carminative, (o) Hepatoprotective, (p) Vulnerary, (q) Anticoagulant.

Turmeric inhibits platelet aggregation and prevents cataracts. It is used for flatulence, jaundice, menstrual difficulties, gallstones, hemorrhage, toothache, bruises, colic, arthritis, sprains, wounds and as an anticancer agent. It contains the polysaccharides, ukonan-A (a phagocytosis-activating factor) and ukonan-D (a reticuloendothelial system-potentiating activity), 4-5% orange-yellow volatile oil, mainly composed of turmerone, atlantone and zingiberone, 0.3-5.4% curcumin (an antioxidant and antiedemic) and the disaccharides, glucose 28%, fructose 12% and arabinose 1%. It also contains various resins, proteins, vitamins, and minerals.

Contraindications: It is contraindicated in pregnancy due to the uterine stimulant effect or if a woman is trying to become pregnant. It is also contraindicated in bile duct obstruction due to cholagogue activity.

Copyright 1999 by Sharol Tilgner, N.D. (ISBN 1-881517-02-0) - all rights reserved.