The Natural Way

Wednesday, August 21, 2002

Here is an herb that is often found in your grocery store, which you may wish to purchase at your health food store. This herb is used in cooking and is then considered to be a spice. It often goes by another name as well. The herb is tumeric (Curcuma longa) and is often called curcumin, which is a major component. The old herbalist classified this orange colored herb/spice as bi-directional (lowers that which is high and elevates that which is low, but doesn't change what is OK). They would use it principally as an antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, a hepatic and as a stomachic (helps colic, gas and stomach troubles). Science knows it is made up of ascorbic acid, beta-carotene, curcumin, alpha terpineol, azulene and many other compounds and natural chemicals. Science also has shown this to be an anti-inflammatory and is especially good for the gallbladder and the cells of the liver associated with the biliary system. The Indian, crone or old granny often used it as an antitumor agent, as a blood clot dissolver, a way to keep blood thin and as a way to regulate menstruation. Because it is anti-inflammatory, rheumatism (fibromyalgia) and tendonitis sufferers benefit. In the very old days before we had stronger drugs, tumeric was used as a treatment for tuberculosis. On the surface of the skin it kills ringworm very fast. Because it is a very strong antioxidant a novel use of the spice is to make a bar-b-que baste made up of vinegar, tumeric (curcumin), catsup and Worchestershire sauce. Allow the meat to marinate for an hour then grill over flame, brushing with more marinade. The flavor is very good and you can adjust the recipe to your own taste. This keeps free radicals from forming from the fat burning off while grilling, so the risk of stomach cancer is reduced. This is one useful herb.

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