Turmeric, or Curcuma longa, is a member of the ginger family, native to South-East Asia. It forms large rhizomes which are harvested for their use in cooking and traditional medicine.
As well as lending an attractive yellow color to dishes, turmeric is used for its anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
The active compounds in turmeric are curcuminoids, most notably curcumin.
It is this compound that is thought to be responsible for the positive medical effects of turmeric supplementation.
How To Use Turmeric For Inflammation
There are a number of scientific studies supporting the use of turmeric for the treatment of inflammation and pain.
Osteoarthritis patients are a particular target, because of the long-term nature of the disease and the risk of side effects that come with standard medications.
Turmeric has been shown to improve pain scores and physical function, as well as blood markers of systemic oxidative stress. It has been shown to work as effectively as ibuprofen and diclofenac, but without the gastrointestinal risks, in trials of up to 3 months in duration.
Many studies on turmeric for inflammation are based on 500mg of turmeric extract three times a day. Higher doses of 2g turmeric extract have been trialed as a pain relief treatment, and found to be as effective as acetaminophen at relieving pain within 2 hours.
But there can also be side effects of using turmeric in the long-term, and it is recommended that you shouldn’t exceed 8g of turmeric extract per day for more than 8 months.
There are also specific groups of people who should avoid using turmeric at medicinal levels. These include people with gastrointestinal conditions, gall stones or bile duct obstruction, iron deficiency and estrogen-sensitive conditions like endometriosis or breast cancer.
Pregnant women and those taking blood thinners like warfarin should also avoid taking turmeric for inflammation.
Properties of Curcumin
To get the greatest effect when using turmeric for inflammation, it is important to understand the properties of curcumin.
The amount of curcumin in fresh turmeric varies widely, depending on the variety of turmeric and where it is grown. It can be less than 1%or more than 8%. But on average, one teaspoon (5g) of turmeric powder contains around 200mg of curcumin.
Curcumin is not soluble in water, but is soluble in oil and alcohol. This means that using it in teas or infusions will not have a beneficial effect unless the grounds are consumed as well.
Related: How to Make Your Own Turmeric Drops
It also means turmeric stains on hands and kitchen equipment are hard to clean with soap and water, but respond better to warm oil.
The curcumin molecule degrades in heat and light. This means turmeric should be stored in a dark container or in a cupboard, and care should be taken when heating it. Cooking turmeric for 10 minutes can drop the curcumin content by 30-50%, and cooking for 30 minutes or more degrades 85% of the curcumin it contains.
However, some research suggests that the resulting compounds also have similar medical properties to curcumin, so it is unclear whether heating affects how turmeric can be used for inflammation.
Still, if you want to be certain to get the most out of your turmeric, avoid heating it during the preparation of the powder, and add it at the end of cooking dishes.
How To Make Turmeric Powder
For a dose of 500mg curcumin three times a day, you will need 45g powdered turmeric each day. It takes around 150g of fresh turmeric to produce 45g of dried powder. This fresh harvest is around 500g.
Gloves are recommended when handling turmeric and be aware that it might stain your kitchen equipment as well. The first stage in making turmeric powder is to wash and peel the turmeric.
The only reason for peeling is to be sure that you have removed all traces of dirt from the turmeric. The skin is very thin and comes away from fresh turmeric very easily if you rub it with a sharp knife.
The next step is to grate or slice the turmeric so it will dry easily. I prefer using a peeler to make thin slices of turmeric, because the slices are easier to separate and dry than grated turmeric.
There are various options for drying the turmeric slices:
2 hours at 130°C
Several hours at 100°C
Air Drying/ Sun Drying
If you want to preserve as much curcumin as possible in your turmeric powder, there is no doubt that sun drying is the way to go.
This can be a risky choice depending on the weather, as a rainy spell or too much humidity can make it moldy.
Related: Should You Throw It Out? These Moldy Foods Are Still Edible
If possible, start the process on a sunny day so that as much moisture as possible comes out of the turmeric in those first few hours.
The test for whether your turmeric is fully dry is the snap test: the strips should be brittle, and snap cleanly when you bend them.
If they are still soft or bendy, they still need longer. This batch took ten days to fully dry.
Once dried, it’s time to grind the turmeric into a powder. You can do this by pulsing in an electric grinder, using a hand grinder, or a pestle and mortar.
The process can take a while, and it’s worth sieving the powder periodically to separate out the larger pieces that need more work.
Store your turmeric powder in an air-tight glass jar.
It should be good for a year, although if you are using it to treat inflammation, chances are you will use it up much sooner.
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Mix powered turmeric with equal parts ground black pepper and powdered garlic and you have one tasty topping especially for eggs, baked potato, or buttered corn! I keep a shaker of the mix in my kitchen!
Your body won’t absorb curcumin very well without black pepper. The product that sells at GNC and places like that always has black pepper in the formula. So, adding pepper when you consume it is good, not just for the yummy part, but also for medicinal purposes.
4th drying option: freeze drying. (Of course not everyone has a freeze dryer or the means to get one.)
Living in Arizona means it’s hard to NOT dry things out. niio
Can it be grown in the North East USA ?
I’ve got room for it next season.
Needs longer than spuds, I take it.
Turmeric Plant Profile
How to Grow Turmeric in Pots in Cold Climates
I have ginger in pots, and will try turmeric thanks to your advice. You could use black plastic mulch on some. Experiment! I know dominicans in NE PA who raised it. niio
May I humbly add a note or two. This article points out what is soluble in what. We know taking a 2-4mg a day Vitamin D supplement helps our immune system run at peak when also gently augmented with Elderberry at HS, Echinacea/Golden Seal mix low dose cap with morning meds/supplements, zinc 15mg in AM, and Vit C, 500 – 1,000 mg AM and HS, yet not OVER-medicate uselessly taxing excretions organs (kidneys, liver mainly), irritating the GI system, altering digestion, and wasting cash. What people don’t know is Vit’s A,D,E,K are FAT soluble meds. This ALSO means heavy or esp obese folks can actually store up adek and be adversely affected. Another reason you always take the least amount that works, or close to it. Mega dosing is wasteful, harmful and best left to true experts for short term use.
Pepper helps Turmeric be absorbed in the gut and the more expensive capsules available to add some at extra cost, as does fat as you correctly and adroitly mentioned, so the smart money is on adding a little table pepper to the mix. Pepper is cheap at the dollar store. Same stuff.
Outside of ADEK, the rest of the vitamins are water soluble and you P em out. Your system must still remove them through it’s actions, so again, over-dosing most of this stuff is not a smart thing. Why help one thing but hurt another? That said, ridding your system of water soluble things is easier on your system than fat soluble things.
*Finally, there is some evidence that Turmeric has a gentle but available Virocidal effect and Covid and it’s variants are virus based. As is the cold and flu.
I use 1,200 ish mg of Turmeric Q AM. I’m 6’4″ and 268 lbs. Generally recommended top dosage of Turmeric daily is 1,500mg. I also must take a Vit K (Potassium) every morning. I have global arthritis and cannot take the Rx meds like Meloxicam that worked, but affect me badly. Turmeric is not a magic thing for joint pain but I will tell you it HELPS the arthritic joints!!
I am certain right after taking my AM dose of stuff I get some fat in, however slight, to insure the right gut environment for effective absorption. Make a bunch of bacon for your Sunday AM feast, and put 14 of em in a zip lock. Take your AM stuff with cheap Metamucil, and follow with one or two great tasting strips of bacon, croissant with butter, something, energy to start your day. OR whatever fat source you choose that fits YOUR needs. Some concern themselves with this more than others. You do you. But as Ms. Dench pointed out, Turmeric IS FAT SOLUBLE. No fat in the gut, no or minimal or ineffective absorption. You don’t need to have just eaten a Tbs of lard. HA!
In closing, one of the owners of the two HUGE vitamin stores online said if he landed on a desert island and could only take ONE supplement with him, he said after years of real research it would be…………………….. Turmeric. Read up on it !!! Does waaaaaay more than one might think.
This is an excellent article. Thank you. Good for newbies and experienced alike. Bravo.
We like it in a lot of things we cook. It’s good in a carnivore diet. niio
Before taking the time and trouble to process turmeric by the pound you should buy a good quality cucurmin supplement and see if it does you any good. In my experience this is another herb that helps some people a lot but most don’t benefit from it. Great kitchen spice, billions of people eat food flavored with turmeric every day.
Antioxidants are important in nutrition but not to the point you need to supplement with them. Damn near everything in the world is touted as an antioxidant cleaning up the terrifyingly liberal free radicals that are attacking all our organs, and/or as magic probiotics essential to our gut health. The world of commerce has decided we are stupid.
Stay away from American Drs and their antibiotics and use less soap and water when you work in your organic garden, the germs and dirt that go from hand to mouth are all the supplement the ‘gut’ needs.
JH – If you follow your own advice pontificated here about American medical doctors, bacteria and antibiotics I’m afraid you won’t be around very long. Let’s see you stay away if you require surgery, have a staph infection, bacterial pneumonia, a tick borne disease, sepsis, TB, tetanus, and hundreds of other potential killers easily cured by the antibiotics of modern medicine. Granted, too much of anything is no good as twe all know that there are plenty of good bacteria, but as with anything in life, one must strike the right balance and moderation is key.
I have been using “Curcumin Elite” from LifeExtension.comom for many years to alleviate chronic inflammation, which is the cause of many diseases, including cancer of which I have survived with the help of bioavailable curcumin. It’s in the medical literature. This superior curcumin product is 45 times more bioavailable then any other product. It is one of their top four selling products. I’m convinced that this product has helped keep me alive. It does so much more than you could imagine.
I had a systemic staph infection in 1972, that’s the last time I had antibiotics excepting once in 1995 when the dentist packed my gums with tetracycline. Funny, by far the most common place to get staph or strep is in the hospital. Must have been in the 1970s when Docs started giving antibiotics to anybody who came in sick. Still goes on, most of the time they don’t even wait for a lab culture to tell them if the bacteria is gram pos or gram neg, which determines the class of antibiotic to use to kill it. They just load kids and adults up with whatever, even prescribing antibiotics for viral infections.
Anti-depressants are possibly a worse problem, in the 50s they loaded housewives up with methamphetamine to cheer them up, seconal and dilaudid to calm them back down. Then there was the whole methaqualone deal of the 70s. Anti depressants are probably prescribed for off label use more than any other drug now.
Then there’s the whole H. pylori situation that led an entire generation of Gastroenterologists to retire because they couldn’t accept that peptic ulcers were caused by a bacteria instead of stress. The obvious fact that cervical cancer is largely a STD was ignored by the male dominated medical system, and there is still a great deal of resistance to the idea that a HPV vaccine can prevent most occurrences. One thing angers me is a number of years ago it was proven that HRT for menopause was a major cause of breast cancer in older women, but the procedure is so profitable the AMA has chosen to ignore the facts and Docs are still allowed and even encouraged to prescribe it.
The last time I saw a Doc was 10 years ago, I tore the meniscus in my left knee. After seeing a couple specialists and reading up on the problem I told ’em to get away from me with their robot scalpels and I’d rehab on my own. Funny, I was buying some Extra Strength Excedrin at Wally World the other day and there was an old coot at the RX counter telling the pharmacist, “They gave me a prescription for Hydrocodone and wanted to do knee replacement, I told the s.o.bs. to keep their dope and I’d keep my dang knee!” That’s how we get healthy!
Well, I’m doomed, I worked in my gardens for a couple hours this afternoon then cooked and ate dinner w/o washing my dirty old hands…
JH- If the last time you saw a doctor was 10 years ago, that would mean that there has been no annual physicals, no eye check ups, no dental cleaning and examinations in the last t0 years. You are not doomed but quite pig headed. I would suggest you find yourself a good doctor and make yourself an appointment. It might save your life. Folks here would certainly miss you and your words of wisdom. Just go!
It’s worse than you think, I haven’t had a physical since November 1967 when the U.S. Army invited me to New Orleans for my pre induction physical. I went to the dentist in 1980 and again in 2005. Still got all my teeth and most of my hair. Last time I took sick was New Year Eve 2000, my sister in law had shown up for Xmas suffering from, of all things, the Norovirus. The little RNA devils incubated in me until almost midnight when I had the common Norovirus onset of sudden uncontrollable projectile vomiting. While setting off fireworks.
Doctors aren’t evil (some are evil) but don’t assume A Doc is competent, our health system is broken, you have to check everything they do and say and when you find a good one keep ’em close and know you are blessed.
Yes, that’s why it’s good to get what they call a health care advocate, someone you trust dearly. A family member, a good neighbor, perhaps a friend from the local church. Someone who will be able to accompany you on your visits, ask questions of the doctor on your behalf. Be mindful to request follow-up appointments if necessary and get a written summary of the results of the visit for your reference. At a minimum, you probably need a tetanus booster shot. You can do that! The people in your life need you to take care of yourself. Heck, with all the foul plans Biden has to take away whatever we have, we have to do whatever we can to stay in the game until things can get back to normal! Just today, I heard that he wants to collect estate taxes on property before it is sold. That’ll wipe most people out and be truly devastating to loved one’s lose family homes, farms and businesses, what was so hard earned for the next generation.
Actually, you need more than a health care advocate. You need a licensed medical practitioner in each specialty to advocate for you. Prior to age 70, the last time I had seen a doctor was when I was 42 for a broken ankle. Since then I have become more familiar than I really want to be with a variety of specialties. Unfortunately, for the first time rodeo, the unwary patient doesn’t even know what questions to ask. And then there are the doctors who lie, lie, lie. For a surgical procedure I was referred to a world famous institute. I was told to ask for a specific doctor by the local doc. I got the “famous specialist”. As instructed, I asked him if he were going to do the surgery himself. I got a very carefully worded lawyer lie which led me to believe that he was going to be hands on doing the surgery himself. Lying nekked on the gurney a few minutes before going into the O.R. I was handed the release. Reading it — I always read word for word everything I sign. I learned that lesson many years ago — I realized that the “world famous surgeon” most likely was not going to be hands on as I had been led to believe. Refusing to sign the release the WFS was summoned. When I remonstrated with him about what he had told me, he said, “I know exactly what I told you,” and proceeded to recite his spiel word for word. Now nobody is that good unless it is a lie that they have repeated over and over again. The reason why cops have the Miranda warning on a card that they read is so that they don’t leave a word out and invalidate the confession. This is when they have read the warning perhaps five thousand times before and probably can recite it while drunk and half asleep without missing a word.
At that moment, as he recited word for word the lawyer lie that he had told me, I knew the I had been had. What to do. Lying nekked on the gurney. My family had gathered from NorCal to assist me after the surgery in a distant city. I went into the surgery suite knowing that WFS was going to be watching the USC football team play at the Rose Bowl on TV while student surgeon performed the surgery. He was a nice guy but the reason why my local surgeon sent me to the world famous hospital was so that I could get the skill needed for a a complicated surgery. My local guy was more practiced than the student surgeon. I would have been a lot better off having it done locally.
I had a similar experience with “One of the Top Surgeons In His Specialty” in the area. His surgical technique was fine but his procedure was only half good. I don’t have knee pain in my knee every time a stop on the brake which I had before the surgery but I still have debilitating pain in the knee which the surgery was supposed to cure after six month. Well four years later I guess it isn’t going to get any better.
Want to talk about the angiogram that almost killed me? The first question you want to ask your cardiologist if he wants to do surgery on your ticker is “How many fatalities have you had doing any surgical procedure in the last five years? That includes patients who died within 6 months after the surgery.”
The worst of it was, the bumbling klutz lied about what he had done. I only found out when I ordered the medical records from the hospital. His associate also lied about the medical procedure. I think he felt badly about lying but he had just joined the practice coming from out of state and I am sure had to lie to save his job. Again, it was a skillful lawyer lie. “I developed an aneurysm” Yes, of course, one usually develops at least an aneurysm when a major blood vessel is accidentally perforated during the procedure. And when the so-called surgeon doesn’t realize what he has done it’s called, “The patient unfortunately expired on the operating table due to therapeutic misadventure.” Fortunately for me, the new hire recognized that klutzo had screwed up and called a halt to the proceedings and instituted pressure and ice to control the bleeding, otherwise I would not be writing this diatribe.
The aforesaid not withstanding, I can state that I am here today due to modern medicine. I have had life-threatening infections several times in my lifetime only to have them overcome with antibiotics. Had it not been for sulfanilamide in the late 40s I probably would have succumbed to a serious rheumatic fever bout. Sulfanilamide was the precursor to penicillin. It saved thousands of lives in WWII from infection. When I first joined the USMC, our “first aid kit” was a sulfa impregnated gauze pad that was supposed to be applied to your wound to prevent infection. It came in a nifty little tin that by the time we were wearing it leaked the sulfa powder into the canvas carrying case.
On subsequent years I have had several serious infections that were overcome by the miracle of modern medicine, the antibiotic. I agree that doctors, in order to get their patients off their case have overprescribed antibiotics without first considering what it is that they are trying to kill. Getting a culture to determine what the infectious agent is takes time and maybe the insurance company won’t pay for the culture, so the doc prescribes some g.p. antibiotic. We used to get a.p.c. capsules in the Marine Corps when presenting with vague symptoms of feeling poorly. They were acetaminophen (a.c.p.) They worked fine if what ailed you was being hung over. If presenting with diarrhea the prescription was the old standby, B&P — tincture bismuth and paregoric. Generally it worked fine if you just had a case of the g.p. trots. However, if you had typhoid fever or salmonella poisoning, it didn’t do a thing. I had salmonella poisoning while on Okinawa which at that time was called paratyphoid fever because the salmonella bacilli had not yet been identified. A week in the hospital on antibiotics killed the infection. I had been consuming a 4 oz. bottle of B&P every eight hours until the doc decided maybe I should go to the hospital. I weighed less than 100 pounds when I was finally discharged from the hospital. When I arrived at the hospital the nurse handed me a little paper cup and said the next time I had a bowel movement to put it in the paper cup. I told her that I was lucky if I could get my butt on the toilet in time let along hit a little tiny cup like that. They gave me a full sized bed pan which was an easier target.
I am reading Max Hastings history of Vietnam from 1945 to 1975. In it he describes the medical torments U.S. POWs suffered in the jungle, including various bowel disorders. I could well relate to that and was surprised that they survived without medical treatment. While we can decry the so-called callous treatment of POWs, we have to remember that their troops didn’t have any better medical treatment and if there were medicine, the NVA troops were first in line to get it.
So the short story is that there are two sides to the coin. On the one hand we have incredible medical advances and on the other hand we have doctors that are past their prime but refuse to step back from difficult surgical procedures or fail to follow through with complete medical work-ups or who are seeing too many patients in a given period of time to adequately do their job.
We have patients who demand miracles from doctors. They read about miracle breakthroughs and think that applies across the board. They think the local doc should be able to perform the same kind of highly skilled surgery that goes on in the experimental wards of hospitals that have huge endowment funds and can afford to buy the multimillion dollar machine that can only be used for a very limited number of procedures. The local 40 bed hospital that struggles to meet payroll every month can’t possibly have such machinery. Remember: Congress decreed that any hospital that offers emergency room service must treat all patients who appear at their doors regardless of their ability to pay. That puts a tremendous strain on the budget of smaller hospitals, especially when insurance companies and medicare are nickel and diming them to death about charges and delaying payment of invoices until the 129th day.
The definition of the standard of care for medical malpractice cases in the PDRK is that standard of care common in the community in which the service was rendered. In other words, the level of practice in San Francisco is different from the level of care in the hospital and medical offices in Alturas, CA. Alturas, if it does’t show on your map of Kallyforniya is a small town in the far northeast corner of CA just barely inside the state line. It is in a remote, rural area. It isn’t on the road to anywhere. I have had surgery locally and I have had surgery in the San Francisco area and I noticed a definite difference in the manner in which the surgeries were handled. There is a definite difference in the standard of care.
Okay, enough preaching about medical care in the U.S. for one night.
Dang, the lower limit for the estate tax to kick in is 11 million American dollars, it’s a topic used as bait to get us into the trap of lies that has such a large presence on the internet. We need to worry about things like Biden’s little heard announcement that it is now America’s policy to go to war with China if they attack Taiwan. That’s when I start my fallout shelter.
Having seen several friends and family members injured by the poor care in our hospitals I became that health care advocate you talk about. No one close to me receives medical treatment without my involvement, sometimes at a very intense level. Accepted number for hospital deaths by medical error in the U.S. is 10%. Don’t know the number for injuries. But your recommendation of a medical advocate is great advice for everybody, even stubborn old vs.
JH- Always remember that you are entitled to a copy of your medical records after each visit. Remember too that you can and should request copies of all test results and reports for your personal reference. It all comes in handy, should you decide to get a second opinion. My hats off to you for stepping in and providing health advocate assistance to other members of the family with their medical care . It means a great deal in the quality of the care they receive and the comfort and peace of mind it provides is priceless. Now make yourself an appointment! You deserve that quality of care as well. Be well! Stay healthy! Don’t let Biden get the best of you!
Well, at $11 mil lower lower limit for estate taxes it sounds as if what my kiddies will inherit will be pretty dang safe. They will be lucky if there is anything left over after the bills are satisfied.
There is nothing like a war to enable would be tyrants to enact “emergency” legislation to give them more power than they really know what to do with. You think CoVD imposed stringent nonsensical rules. You ain’t seen nothing yet, babe. What until we exchange nukes with China. The CoVD edicts will look like free-rein libertarianism.
It will be like we did with South Vietnam. Promised them all kinds of money and weapons aid and never fund the aid. I have been a gung ho citizen for all of my life except the day I watched U.S. Marines kick our so-called allies off the skids of helicopters lifting off the roof of the Saigon embassy.
While I felt from the beginning we shouldn’t be involved in the civil war in Vietnam, we led those folks on for 20 years promising to keep them free from the tentacles of North Vietnam and in the end, turned our backs on many folks who were actively working to keep their portion of that country free of communism. I hope I never see a black blotch like that on our country’s behalf again in my lifetime.
You are the nicest person in the world! Thanks so much for your care and concern, your friends and family are lucky to have you!
What is guest post price at”
I am waiting for your response”