Penelope Ody, the UK’s leading herbalist, provides the most up-to-date guide to turmeric’s therapeutic properties. Turmeric asks “just how valid are the numerous claims made for the herb?”
Turmeric has been used as a traditional herbal remedy for centuries but in recent years it has hit the headlines. In recent times, Turmeric has been hailed as a “miracle cure” for a range of illnesses from arthritis to auto-immune disease. Penelope Ody looks at the scientific evidence behind such claims.
Turmeric has been used medicinally in South Asia for more than 4,000 years. Today its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties are well established and may be helpful for a host of health needs. These range from its anti-inflammatory properties (particularly effective in the treatment of arthritis to its anti-microbial role, which is efficient in treating infections and fevers, and its traditional use as a remedy for liver problems.
Turmeric is also an encyclopaedic history of the spice and explores its traditional role in culture across Asia. In Hinduism turmeric is associated with marriage rituals. In China it is associated with the emperor (because the colour yellow was once reserved for the emperor). It has been used as a cosmetic, including by the Romans, but it is turmeric’s role in traditional, Ayurvedic, Indian medicine that Penelope Ody explores in depth. Turmeric is most widely used as a spice and Penelope Ody provides a wide range of recipes (from turmeric golden milk to spicy lentil soup and a chicken curry).
Turmeric separates recent anecdotal claims about its health benefits with a scientifically-based evaluation of its effectiveness in combatting twenty-first century stresses.
About the Author
Penelope Ody has studied herbs for more than thirty years, she is a Member of the National Institute of Medical Herbalists and a Fellow of the Herb Society. She has written more than 20 books on herbal subjects, including The Complete Medicinal Herbal.