Posted by Molly McConnell on 10-11-2023
For the past decade or more, turmeric has been celebrated in the world of natural wellness for its potential to support healthy inflammation levels. People are lining up in health food stores to purchase turmeric supplements and receive the benefits of this curcumin-rich root.
If you have been curious about supplementing with turmeric in your own life, I have two pieces of good news for you:
- Purchasing expensive supplements and extracts is not necessary. Look no further than the turmeric root powder on your spice rack to begin effectively weaving this potent natural medicine into your life. (I’ll offer some ideas below!)
- The mainstream has oversimplified the potential benefits of Turmeric and I’m about to give you even more reasons to love it, based on the ancient holistic wisdom of Ayurveda.
The Ayurvedic Perspective on Turmeric
Let’s dive in by orienting to where the deep and profound understanding of turmeric as medicine began: in ancient India. Did you know that turmeric is one of the staple herbs for healthy living within the Ayurvedic paradigm? It has been used in both therapeutic and culinary ways for thousands of years. Long before turmeric extracts were being stocked on the shelves at your local health food store, the root was being cultivated for internal and external use in ancient India
If you’re unfamiliar with Ayurveda, it is a holistic healing science that emphasizes preventive wellness through diet, lifestyle and herbs. Ayurveda is unique in that it can easily be catered to the individual’s constitution, while offering practices that can help us all return to the wisdom of nature by aligning the elements within. This modality invites us to find balance in a way that is not only effective, but enjoyable.
Turmeric, also called haridra in Sanskrit, has great potential to bring balance into our lives when used mindfully. It is a bitter and astringent herb, with some heating properties as well. The ancient Ayurvedic texts assert that turmeric can support all tissues of the body, with a particular affinity for the digestive, circulatory and respiratory systems. It is also considered to be balancing to all the elements (or doshas) within the body, but it may aggravate pitta (the fire element) if taken in excess.
The more we learn about the qualities and potential benefits of medicinal herbs, the more we can hone in on how to weave them into our own lives.
Potential Benefits of Turmeric
My guess is that you’ve already heard that turmeric may support healthy inflammation levels, but have you gotten a chance to explore its wonderful immune supporting properties? As we gear up for fall and do everything in our power to ward off sickness before all of the travel, parties and holiday plans set in, let us remember to pull the turmeric off the spice rack a little more frequently this season.
Now, you may be wondering …how exactly does turmeric support immune health? By supporting gut health. In a 2018 double-blind randomized study, the microbiome of the placebo group decreased by 15%, while the turmeric group increased by 7%. This study suggests that the curcumin in turmeric enhances diversity of the human microbiome and improves digestion.
From both holistic and scientific perspectives, the mechanisms of digestion and immunity are intrinsically linked. Turmeric is believed to aid digestive health by regulating metabolism and supporting intestinal flora, not to mention it may even help the body digest protein, relieve gas, and kill parasites. The stimulating quality of turmeric may help encourage both bile flow and lymphatic drainage to prevent stagnation in the body and possibly create a higher potential for healthy immunomodulation. On the flip side, a weak digestive system may lead to poor immunity. Take care of your gut by incorporating more turmeric into your meals with a little black pepper for a potent synergistic effect.
Turmeric is commonly used in Ayurvedic practices for its natural properties, which are believed to have potential benefits in supporting seasonal lung and respiratory health and optimal inflammatory responses.
Turmeric embodies the bitter quality, which is said to help regulate blood sugar. The heating action of turmeric is believed to support circulation while stimulating formulation of new blood tissue. Turmeric is referred to as Rakta Shodhan, or blood cleansing, in Sanskrit. This ancient classification speaks to a purifying quality that is said to work within the blood to ultimately support skin health and rejuvenation.
While turmeric is believed to support the skin from the inside out, it can also be applied topically to acne spots, cuts or scrapes by being with honey. To possibly bring ease to tender joints, bruises and sprains, you may like to try mixing it with aloe vera gel. Ayurvedically speaking, turmeric is considered to be one of the best antioxidants, which is why it is often featured in Ayurvedic skin care to support natural beauty and anti-aging. You will often find it as an ingredient in homemade face masks as well!
Discover the goodness of certified organic Turmeric with Starwest Botanicals, your reliable partner in health and wellness for nearly five decades. We offer an extensive range of turmeric options to cater to all your needs, from the vibrant Turmeric Root Powder in 1 lb bags to prepared Turmeric Extracts. As a bulk supplier, we are pleased to offer wholesale pricing that can save you up to 40% off retail prices. Click here to apply for a wholesale account. We believe in delivering the finest, purest turmeric products to our customers, ensuring that you can enjoy the many benefits of this exceptional spice while staying well within your budget. For inspiration, check out 3 Easy Everyday Uses for Turmeric. When you’re ready for more personalized support, meet with an Ayurvedic Practitioner one-on-one. (bio below)
1. Cummings, John H., et al. "PASSCLAIM 1—gut health and immunity." European Journal of Nutrition 43 (2004): ii118-ii173.
2. Peterson, Christine T., et al. "Effects of turmeric and curcumin dietary supplementation on human gut microbiota: A double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled pilot study." (2018): 2515690X18790725.
Molly McConnell is a Certified Ayurvedic Practitioner who is committed to cultivating collective wellness. Guided by curiosity, embodied listening, and the rhythms of nature, Molly’s approach to Ayurveda is intentional and intersectional. As the cofounder of Cultivate Balance, she supports purpose-oriented people to come home to their bodies and restore resilience through nourishment, ritual, and routine. For a more immersive experience, Connect with Molly 1:1 or check out The Reset for Resilience.