Turmeric

(Curcuma longa)

Turmeric is a non native plant which is not cultivated in this country. I have only included it in this website because I feel it is the best anti-inflammatory agent I have ever used. I am not a medical professional, and I am not attempting to give medical advice. You should always consult a licensed physician before starting any herbal regime. The information contained herein will be a mixture of clinical studies, anecdotal evidence, and my own personal experiences. I have suffered with severe Psoriatic arthritis for a number of years. I always tell people I have Rheumatoid Arthritis, not in an attempt to mislead them, but because most people have no idea what Psoriatic Arthritis is, and everyone has heard of Rheumatoid. To treat my condition, I have taken a multitude of medications. Some of which were effective, while sadly others were not. What finally seemed to work for me was a combination of Methotrexate, injections of Enbrel, NSAIDs, and Opioid pain killers. While this worked, I suffered from severe side effects. I also ran the risk of lymphomas and other cancers from the methotrexate. I decided that I must find another way.

Range: non-native

Family:
Zingiberaceae – Ginger family

Habitat:
It is found online, in healthfood stores, local grocery stores, or perhaps even your spice cabinet.

Parts Used:
Rhizome

Uses:
Wild Food Uses:
Turmeric is used as a primary spice in Indian cooking. It is one of the main ingredients in curries. I have been told that it imparts a delightful earthy flavor to foods. I do not see this myself, as I think it is one of the most vile thing that I have ever into, or allowed to come out of my mouth. I cannot abide the taste in any way shape or form. I do however enjoy the nice yellow color it seems to permanently dye everything it comes into contact with.

The following text is meant for informational purposes only. It is not meant to diagnose or treat any illness or injury. Always consult with a physician or other qualified medical care provider concerning the diagnosis and treatment of any illness or injury.

Medicinal Uses:
Pytochemicals found in Turmeric have been shown to be effective in treating a host of clinical disorders. For my money, the main medicinal constituents are Curcuminoids. Curcuminoids have been studied for their anti-inflammatory actions. I can personally attest to their efficacy in this regard. After beginning to take Turmeric, I was able to stop all of my arthritis medications. I still have regular blood draws to check for inflammation markers, but my last C-Reactive Protein level was 0.26; normal readings are anything below 0.8. According to my rheumatologist, that reading indicates that I have virtually no inflammation in my body.

According to Wikipedia, the U.S. National Institutes of Health currently has registered 71 clinical trials completed or underway to study use of dietary curcumin for a variety of clinical disorders (dated September 2012). It is being studied for its effects on such things as cancer, Alzheimer's disease, arthritis, and diabetes, to name a few. I have heard anecdotal evidence that it is also an effective analgesic (pain killer, although I think this is a benefit of the anti-inflammatory effects), antibiotic, antimicrobial, and antifungal. While I can speak only to its efficacy at treating arthritis, I have heard glowing reports on these other benefits from various herbalists.

Turmeric is taken by adding it to foods, or stirring it into milk. As I have said, I cannot stand the taste of Turmeric, so I have had to become creative. I actually purchase it as a dried bulk powder. I then place it in size '00' capsules, and take them twice a day. I have found the most effective dosage to be 1 '00' capsule per 50lbs body weight. I do not claim to be a physician. I am merely speaking about my own experiences. You should consult your physician before beginning any supplements.

This is an article about the reduction of C-Reactive Protein in recent clinical trials.
The actual article can be read HERE.

Lower CRP levels associated with curcuminoid supplementation in meta-analysis Friday, August 16, 2013.

The results of a meta-analysis described online on August 7, 2013 in the journal Phytotherapy Research reveal a reduction in C-reactive protein (CRP, a marker of inflammation) in clinical trials that compared the effects of curcuminoids to those of a placebo. Curcuminoids are polyphenolic compounds that include curcumin, demethoxycurcumin and bisdemethoxycurcumin, which occur in the spice turmeric. The compounds are known to have an anti-inflammatory effect as well as other benefits.

For the meta-analysis, Amirhossein Sahebkar of Mashhad University of Medical Sciences in Iran selected six trials that included a total of 172 subjects who received curcuminoids and 170 who received placebos for periods ranging from six days to three months. The analysis concluded that C-reactive protein values were lower by 6.44 milligrams per liter (mg/L) among participants who received curcuminoids in comparison with those who received a placebo. (Less than 10 mg/L is considered a normal CRP level; however, an optimal range is less than 1.0 mg/L in women and below 0.55 mg/L in men.) Significant effects were observed in studies involving at least four weeks of treatment duration with curcumin supplements that featured improved bioavailability.

Mechanisms involved in cucurminoids' ability to lower CRP include suppression of the nuclear factor kappa B pathway involved in the production of proinflammatory cytokines as well as an ability to reduce the expression and/or release of proinflammatory cytokines via interaction with other signaling pathways, transcription factors and receptors. "It remains to be elucidated by prospective trials if addition of curcuminoids to statins, as the most widely prescribed drug class in cardiovascular disease patients and currently the best known type of CRP-lowering agents, leads to a significantly greater reduction in CRP levels and incidence of primary and secondary CVD events," Dr Sahebkar writes.

"Supplementation with curcuminoids may reduce circulating CRP levels," he concludes. "This effect appears to depend on the bioavailability of curcuminoids preparations and also duration of supplementation. Future well-designed and long-term trials are warranted to verify this effect of curcuminoids."

Medicinal Actions:
Anti-Inflammatory

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