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Magical Tumeric

The yellow pigment of the turmeric root, called curcumin, has powerful healing capabilities. Turmeric has been used in India’s Ayurvedic medicine since about 1900 BC, and modern research confirms the spicy tuber’s therapeutic uses for a wide variety of diseases and conditions. Specifically, curcumin exhibits antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, and anticancer properties [1].

Turmeric has been extensively studied and is excellent for pain, inflammation, and for accelerating the various stages of healing. In particular, evidence shows it

  • enhances granulation tissue formation (the creation of new connective tissue and microscopic blood vessels),
  • collagen deposition (the laying down of collagen to stabilize the wound matrix),
  • wound contraction (when the sides of the wound heal toward each other to close),
  • and tissue remodeling (also called “maturation,” the last stage of the healing process, which can take up to two years)

Although there are turmeric-containing creams, I don’t have experience in using turmeric topically, and I hesitate to recommend what I have not used with my patients. However, I am very comfortable suggesting you spice your cooking with turmeric; it’s delicious.

Turmeric has been used medicinally for centuries in India, China, and Africa, and it’s found in many countries’ traditional dishes. You can add turmeric to curries, roasted veggies, smoothies, and rice. Or stir it into warm milk to make “golden milk,” one of my favorite ways of taking the spice, especially at bedtime when it helps you sleep.

Here is the recipe for Turmeric Paste, which you will need to make Spicy Golden Milk. 

Endnotes

[1] B. B. Aggarwal, C. Sundaram, N. Malani, H. Ichikawa, “Curcumin:
the Indian solid gold,” Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology
595 (2007):1–75.
[2] D. Akbik, M. Ghadiri, W. Chrzanowski, R. Rohanizadeh, “Curcumin
as a wound-healing agent,” Life Sciences, 116, no. 1 (Oct. 22, 2014):
1–7, doi: 10.1016/j.lfs.2014.08.016.