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Turmeric in Ayurveda Turmeric is a perennial grown throughout the tropical parts of Asia. It favours a warm and humid climate.

Haridra- literally means yellow and its strong yellow colour signifies its use as a liver herb that is good at drying damp and moving stagnation in the blood. ENERGETICS Rasa (taste) Pungent, bitter, astringent Vi-rya (energy) Heating Vipa-ka (post-digestive effect) Pungent Gun.a (quality) Dry, light Dos.a effect VPK-, PV+ in excess Dha-tu (tissue) All the tissues Srotas (channel) Digestive, circulatory, respiratory, female reproductive CONSTITUENTS Phenylpropanoids Yellow pigments; curcumin, curcumenone, curcumenol Essential oils Sesquiterpene ketones, zingiberine, phellandrene, borneol, cineole Glycans Ukonans AYURVEDIC ACTION Lekhani-ya Scraping property Di-pana Enkindles the digestive fire Prameha Useful in diabetes Pa-n. d. ughna Used in anaemia Raktasodhana Blood purifier A rtavajanana Promotes menses Jvaraghna Alleviates fever Vis.aghna Destroys poisons Kr. mighna Worm destroying Varn. ya Complexion enhancer Kus.t. hagna Removes skin diseases Kan.d. u ghna Stops itching Vedana-stha-pana Analgesic Sandha- ni-ya Heals broken bones Sirovirecana Useful in clearing stagnation from the head Stanyasodhaka Purifies breasts and breast milk BIOMEDICAL ACTION Emmenagogue, blood tonic, carminative, antibacterial, cholagogue, alterative, vulnerary, antiinflammatory,

antiplatelet, hypolipidaemic, antioxidant, anticarcinogenic INDICATIONS Digestion For all intestinal infections and mucus conditions. Turmeric helps to promote sweet intestines by reducing pathogenic bacteria and destroying ama. It has recently been proven to have an affinity for the large intestine and to play a preventative role in bowel cancer. Other clinical trials have proven its efficacy at treating dyspepsia and stomach ulcers. Its bitter and pungent flavours act on the agni of rasa dhatu and enhance its ability to nourish the plasma and blood. Traditionally used in diabetes to clear ama, kapha and excess fat tissue. Liver A stimulant effect to the liver and ran jaka pitta increases the flow of blood through the hepatic system and increases bile output. This helps to dissolve and prevent gallstones. It is traditionally considered a blood purifier and is often used for beautifying the skin and clearing systemic toxaemia; eczema, urticaria, psoriasis and acne. As with many liver herbs it is also good for the eyes; a wash is used in conjunctivitis and styes. Gynaecology Turmeric is used to clear kapha accumulations from the lower abdomen, uterus and apanaksetra. Fibroids, cysts, endometriosis, dysmenorrhoea, amenorrhoea and leucorrhoea are all treated by reducing congestion. As a specific herb for rasa dhatu it also works on its secondary tissue stanyasrotas and is used to purify breast milk as well as to promote the flow of the menses. A poultice can be very effective in mastitis. Inflammation Curcumin reduces inflammation caused by arachidonic acid (cf usage for dysmenorrhoea). It is used in dermatitis, eczema, urticaria, psoriasis, colitis, asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis. Hence it is used in pitta kapha conditions at low doses and mixed with other bitter herbs. It is also a renowned antibacterial.

TURMERIC Common name Turmeric (E), Haldi (H) Sanskrit Haridra- Latin Curcuma longa Rhizoma (Zingiberaceae) Joints It treats inflammation of the joints, alleviates pain and strengthens the joints and tendons. Useful for treating gout, arthritis, broken bones and wounds. Heart Turmeric nourishes the heart by virtue of its raktavardhaka and blood building quality. By increasing blood flow and reducing total cholesterol turmeric helps the functions of the heart. It has an antiplatelet activity and scrapes accumulations from the channels (lekhaniya) which helps to prevent coagulation and reduce kapha in the blood. Infections Turmeric is an excellent antibiotic useful in fevers, sore throat and septicaemia. External Excellent for reducing pain as a topical application in bruises, infections, sprains and pain. Use it carefully as it stains the skin and anything it comes into contact with. COMBINATIONS * Kutki, bhumiamalaki, pippali in liver congestion with high kapha and pitta; hepatitis, jaundice. * Amalaki and daruharidra in diabetes and for cooling the liver. * Small amounts (1:10) of black or long pepper as the piperine content enhances the antiinflammatory activity of turmeric. * Guggulu, mustaka, punarnava for congestion in the lower abdomen and menstrual imbalance with pain, tumours and clots. * Neem and guduchi as antiinflammatory treatment with a kapha pitta pathology. * Guggulu, arjuna, amalaki for heart conditions such as angina and atherosclerosis. * Neem, kutki, long pepper for liver disease. * Ginger, licorice and cloves in sore throats and fevers * Neem leaf externally for infections and inflammations. * Myrrh for pain and bruises.

* Frankincense, guggulu, black pepper, musta and triphala for arthritis. CONTRAINDICATIONS Caution in high vata and pitta. Be vigilant if gallstones are present. As turmeric stimulates the movement of blood it is used with caution at medicinal doses during pregnancy and in those trying to conceive. Not in acute jaundice and hepatitis. SAFETY Much of the literature recommends that turmeric should not be given if antiplatelet or anticoagulant medication is being taken, as cyclooxygenase (COX) inhibition by turmeric will disenable platelets and further encourage clotting prevention. Bone advises a maximum dosage of 15g per day, hence it is not contraindicated, but patients on warfarin should be monitored closely so that the cumulative blood-thinning effect of both medicinals does not exacerbate the effects of warfarin and necessitate dosage adjustment. DOSAGE 1 10g per day dried root or 3 15ml per day of a 1:3 @ 45% tincture. NOTES Although at high doses it can aggravate pitta, used judiciously it is an excellent remedy for all diseases of rasa and rakta. It has a particular affinity for blood-related disorders. Traditionally popular with yogis to help stretch ligaments and repair injuries. Also said to clean the na-d. i- network of channels. It has another yogic use as part of ganesh kriya; a freshly peeled root is inserted into the anus to cleanse the rectum and physically help to open mu-la-dha-ra cakara (Swami Satyananda Saraswati) Turmeric alleviates va-ta and kapha by virtue of its hot energy and pitta via its bitter flavour. Its pungency combined with its bitter taste, dries and clears

a ma from the system. Many Curcuma species have medicinal uses. Karchur (Curcuma zedoaria) is used to reduce kapha and increase circulation.