The rhizome of Curcuma longa (turmeric) has been used as a medicine, spice, and colouring agent for thousands of years. Traditionally, medical practitioners of both East and West have used turmeric for its healing properties and recent scientific studies have further established its effectiveness. Its anti-oxidant
digestive, anti-inflammatory, antiplatelet, cholesterol lowering and its potential anti-cancer properties, make turmeric a potential drug in the treatment and prevention of diseases
However, modern interest in turmeric was aroused way back in 1971 when our Indian researchers found evidence that whole turmeric possesses anti- inflammatory properties. Turmeric contains curcumin, which is the disease- fghting agent
Traditional Ayurvedic Medicine (TAM) recommends an internal dosage of 10-20 ml infusion and/or 1-3 gm powder. A heaped teaspoonful of powdered turmeric can be mixed with water to a slurry and drunk two to three times at day.
The following are the recommended therapeutic uses for internal doses of turmeric.
As an anti-inflammatory agent for arthritis and other inflammatory conditions such as dysmenorrhoea (painful menstruation), asthma,infections, eczema, psoriasis, and injuries. However, for arthritis and injuries, it is advisable to use turmeric in combination with more analgesic herbs for relief.
For patients suffering from cardiovascular disease, or those with increased risk, like smokers and patients with high plasma cholesterol.
As a preventive for individuals exposed to higher than normal levels of carcinogens or those considered to be at a risk of developing cancer, like workers in the chemical industry, smokers etc.
To improve stomach and liver digestive functions.
Externally, turmeric is recommended for relief from inflammation due to skin infections, arthritis, eczema, psoriasis, injuries and conjunctivitis.
In respiratory allergies, asthma, and other allergic conditions, turmeric and honey moved together, can be taken twice daily for three to four months.
In one study, turmeric was found to be an effective contraceptive. Regular application of turmeric paste over the body and taking a bit of turmeric with three cloves orally in the morning during men- struating period and three days after the menstrual period, is said to be effective.To bring down the spasm in asthma and cold, the fumes of turmer ic, tealeaves, black-gram and Bengal-gram powder can be inhaled for relief.
Paste of turmeric when applied over the skin, acts as an excellent medicine for ringworm, scabies, indolent ulcers etc.Prepare poultice by mixing turmeric powder with a little slaked lime, white of an egg, and scrapings of a soap. Apply this externally, and expose to heat to get relief from pains caused by sprains, myal- gia, dislocation of joints, boils, cuts, wounds, etc.Here is an excellent cosmetic preparation to keep your face fresh and velvet-soft: Take a teaspoonful of turmeric paste. Mix with milk cream, sandalwood paste and Bengal-gram four. Apply as a face pack daily.
Turmeric, when mixed with neem oil, acts as an excellent anti- infective agent in chronic ulcers, bed sores, scabies, psoriasis, eczema etc.
To prevent eye infection, dye a clean cloth with turmeric. Dry it and wipe eyes regularly with this. This is extremely useful in viral con- junctivitis.
There are some people who search for remedies to counteract drowsiness and excessive sleepiness. Especially students and automobile drivers look for this kind of remedy. Taking equal quantity of turmeric powder, pepper and rock salt along with glassful of orange juice during night prevents excessive sleepiness without causing any tiredness. However, this will not prevent the natural sleep.