Turmeric (Curcuma Longa; Curcuma Domestica; Jianghuang)
Another common culinary herb with a plethora of medicinal uses is Turmeric. Classified as both pungent and bitter, this perennial plant boasts large green leaves, fragrant yellow flowers, and characteristically bright orange rhizomes similar in appearance to ginger. Incorporated most in the Ayurvedic tradition, Turmeric is used primarily to purify the blood and aid with skin conditions. It also treats the heart, liver, and lungs, and its benefits include, but are not limited to, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antispasmodic, astringent, digestive stimulant, and diuretic properties.
Turmeric is also used in Chinese medicine, where it is recognized as going to the Earth and Liver meridians, specifically dispersing stagnant Qi and eliminating blood stasis. Consequently, turmeric is highly recommended in cases of menstrual conditions. Moreover, due to its high anti-inflammatory properties, turmeric is used to help heal arthritis, rheumatoid
arthritis, injuries, trauma, stiffness, and accelerates surgical recovery. Furthermore, with its high concentration of curcumins, turmeric has been shown to be effective in preventing and treating cancer.
Indeed, Prashanti de Jager claims that at least 20 of turmeric’s molecules are antibiotic, 14 are known cancer preventatives, 12 that are anti-tumor, 12 are anti-inflammatory and there are at least 10 different anti-oxidants. With such a list, it comes as no surprise that if asked to choose just one herb that has the maximum healing potential, many physicians would point to turmeric without hesitation4,11.