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Turmeric - The Queen of Spices

Known as the Queen of Spices and the Golden Goddess, turmeric, or Indian saffron, is a tuberous root in the ginger family.

It has been a common culinary spice for centuries throughout Southeast Asia and is grown primarily in India. Its vibrant color has often been used as a natural dye to color everything from Easter eggs, fabrics, butters and mustards.

It has a slightly bitter taste and is the main spice in curry dishes. It is well known for its use in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine.

Countries where turmeric is consumed daily often have reduced rates of cancer.

According to, turmeric is one of the most researched plants in existence today and there are over 5,600 peer-reviewed and published biomedical studies on its medicinal properties.

While turmeric is most commonly ingested as a spice or supplement, it can be taken in cut from the root, in dried powder root form, standardized powder or as a liquid or tincture. It can also be made into a poultice (compress) and applied topically to wounds, bruises or sprains.

The medicinal health benefits of this amazing spice include the following properties:

  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Anti-tumor
  • Supports digestion
  • Liver detoxification
  • Supports gallbladder health
  • Antioxidant
  • Immune booster
  • Balance cholesterol levels
  • Anti-depressant
  • Anti-aging
  • Anti-diabetic
  • Antibacterial
  • Supports healthy blood
  • Fight the damaging effects of free radicals
  • Displays therapeutic potential in the treatment of Alzheimer's

Dosage recommendations:

  • Cut root: 1.5 -- 3g per day
  • Dried powder root: 1-3g per day
  • Capsules: 400-600mg, 3 x daily


Turmeric in food is safe.

  • Turmeric supplements in medicinal amounts should not be used during pregnancy as it is a mild uterine stimulant
  • There is concern that turmeric may slow blood clotting and should be avoided before and after surgery. Consult your healthcare practitioner
  • Don't use turmeric if you have gallstones or a bile duct obstruction
  • It may interfere with proton-pump inhibitors like Tagamet, Nexium and prevacid
  • It may enhance the effects of diabetes medications, increasing the risk of low blood sugar
  • Taking large amounts of turmeric for and extended period of time may lead to an stomach

Turmeric Recipe

Turmeric tea from Dr Andrew Weil, MD

  • Bring four cups of water to a boil
  • Add one teaspoon of ground turmeric and reduce to a simmer for 10 minutes
  • Strain the tea through a fine sieve into a cup, add honey and/or lemon to taste

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Quick Facts

  • Turmeric, or Indian saffron, is a tuberous root in the ginger family
  • It has a slightly bitter taste and is the main spice in curry dishes
  • Turmeric is a popular holistic treatment for cuts, bruises, arthritis pain, diarrhea and stomach aches.
  • It also contains curcumin, which might have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits
  • This spice has been used in India for thousands of years in Ayurvedic medicine
  • Although typically used in its dried, powdered form, turmeric is also used fresh, like ginger