Dr. Dawna Ara, DACM

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Turmeric: Nature's Anti-Inflammatory

I know what you are thinking. Turmeric may not be the most visually appealing food, but I promise it won’t let you down in the health department.

Loaded with over 2 dozen anti-inflammatory compounds and high in antioxidants, turmeric lowers inflammation, decreases swelling, lessens pain, and is my number one go-to herb for people suffering from arthritis and joint pain.

Studies also show that turmeric may also be good for brain health. It can prevent or treat Alzheimer’s by slowing the formation of amyloid plaques in the brain. It may also have a positive effect on cancer by suppressing cancer cell growth and slowing the spread of cells.

How Does Turmeric Treat Inflammation?

Turmeric contains chemicals that inhibit COX2 and 5LOX enzymes. These enzymes are somewhat at fault for inflammation and pain. Inflammation is not always a bad thing. This is our body’s natural response to injury or infections. Acute inflammation brings blood flow to an area, and the blood contains nutrients and healing properties that can help an injury or infection heal. The problem is when inflammation becomes system-wide and chronic. When this happens, a whole range of diseases and symptoms can form and persist.

What Else Is Turmeric Used For?

Well, anything that that has it’s roots in inflammation. Here is just a short list:

  • acne
  • arthritis
  • stomach ulcers
  • asthma
  • ulcerative colitis
  • pain
  • heart disease
  • dyspepsia
  • diabetes
  • bacterial or viral infections
  • allergies
  • uveitis
How to Prepare Turmeric

Turmeric is a staple in Indian cuisine. It’s what gives curry it’s yellowish color. You can add it to just about anything. Use the powder to cook curries, eggs, meat, stir fried veggies, salad dressings, and smoothies. It has a bland earthy taste. You can also cut up the root and add it to any soup or stew. It has also been used for thousands of years in China in the form of healing teas. Below is a good tea that you can make at home when you are having pain:

Anti-Inflammatory Tea
  • ¼ cup sliced fresh ginger
  • ¼ cup sliced fresh turmeric root
  • ⅛ cup goji berries

Place all ingredients in a small pot and fill with purified water. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 30 minutes. Drink about ¼ cup of this decoction 3 – 4 times daily. It’s spicy so sip slowly and enjoy!

About Dr. Dawna Ara, DACM
Dr. Dawna Ara is an acupuncturist, herbalist, functional medicine practitioner, a mom, wife, writer, foodie and nature lover. She teaches her patients how to live a healthy lifestyle.