What is Turmeric used for in Herbal Medicine?

Lisa Marie Rosati
Herbal Medicine

Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is a commonly used culinary spice in India and the Middle East. It is historically known as Indian Saffron. Turmeric is often used to prepare Indian curries, and it’s the source of our popular American condiment mustard’s bright yellow color. Turmeric, a rhizome and a close relative of the adaptogenic herb ginger has been used as both medicine and food for centuries.

In its natural state, turmeric is a horizontally shaped rhizome (root) which is dug up out of the ground, baked and then ground into a fine powder. Recent studies suggest that turmeric is a promising preventive agent for a wide range of diseases, most likely due largely to its anti-inflammatory properties. The chief active compound in turmeric is curcumin.

The health benefits of Turmeric have been recognized by Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine for hundreds of years. That’s a long time! As far as health benefits go, here are some common ailments and diseases that turmeric can help fight against:

  • Indigestion
  • Flatulence
  • Arthritis
  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Cancer
  • Diabetes
  • HIV
  • High Cholesterol
  • Heartburn
  • Jaundice
  • Liver Disorders
  • Menstrual disorders
  • Turmeric can also be applied topically in poultices to reduce inflammation and to relieve wounds, cuts, and bruises.

TIP: Sick with a cold or flu? Turmeric’s anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal agents can help your body fight against colds, cough and flu. When symptoms of these infections are present, simply mix one teaspoon of Turmeric powder into a glass of warm milk once per day. Also drink plenty of water throughout the day.

Now, that’s an impressive list! If you’re looking for a simple New Year’s resolution for health, I suggest you add turmeric to your diet.

To make that easier for you, here is a tasty recipe to try from

Anti-Inflammatory Lemonade:


  • 1 cup of fresh squeezed lemon juice (approximately 4 -6 lemons)
  • 4-6 cups of clean water (to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon organic ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon organic ground cinnamon
  • pinch Himalayan salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon liquid stevia (or to taste)
  • 1 tsp. ground or fresh ginger, optional


  • Combine ingredients and enjoy!

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.