Start your New Year Detox with Turmeric

The well known spice Turmeric (Curcuma spp.) has been used for centuries for its medicinal properties. We grow Curcuma at our nursery Bareroot Botanicals in north Sligo. It is the rhizome of the plant we use, mostly to tincture, for clinic. Curcuma rhizome has to be one the top 5 herbs I use for liver detoxification. Whether liver detoxification is needed for arthritis, skin conditions or general detox Curcuma is indicated.

It is the flavanoid curcumin and other volatile oils that make the rhizome such a potent anti-oxidant and hepatoprotective. It stimulates liver function by augmenting glutathione levels. It also inhibits inflammatory factors in the body and is now becoming well known as a treatment for benign prostrate hypertrophy. I use it in clinic to treat intestinal inflammation in conditions like irritable bowel syndrome or Crohn's disease. I also find it a valuable herb for heart disease and high cholesterol. As a paste it works incredibly well for fungal infections like athletes foot and is one of the ingredients in our Athletes Foot Balm.

Fresh Turmeric rhizome (Curcuma) is now readily available from farmers markets or can be bought powdered from any supermarket. The best way to use it in cooking is to heat the grated or powdered root in an oil like coconut and add in fresh ground black pepper. This allows for better intestinal absorption. You can heat it like this to begin any vegetable/ meat dish or soup.

Called Haridra, it has many uses in Ayurvedic medicine including diabetes.  In India you cn find in every supermarket as a beauty cream for skin imperfections.

Traditionally a Hindu bride and groom are ceremonially cleansed by being covered in Curcuma paste a number days before the wedding, giving the skin a golden glow! We do LOVE growing and using Turmeric and may well use it in this way for our herbal wedding this year! ;)