Turmeric (Curcuma longa, Jiang Huang/Yu Jin) is known primarily for its use as a spice in the culinary delicacies of India, China and Southeast Asia; it has also been shown to possess abundant medicinal properties.
The turmeric rhizome itself is yellow and gets its color from curcumin, the actual chief active component of the plant. The turmeric root is comprised of two parts: an egg-shaped body and secondary projections similar to garlic bulbs in appearance. Both parts of the rhizome are used in Chinese medicine; the body and the bulbs having different healing actions. The egg-shaped body is known as Jiang Huang and is used to move blood; in so doing it can relieve menstrual cramps and lessen the pain and swelling associated with physical trauma. The smaller part (or the bulb-like projections) is known as Yu Jin. It has the same blood-moving action as Jiang Huang, but can also move qi when it is stuck and stagnant.
Turmeric (curcumin) also has strong anti-inflammatory effects, making it a nice option for those looking for natural remedies to treat such inflammatory conditions as rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease, bruises, sprains and skin eruptions. In an animal study conducted at The Center for Combat Casualty and Life Sustainment Research in Bethesda, Maryland, ‘curcumin was shown to enhance wound repair in diabetes-impaired healing’ (Sidhu GS et al., 1999).
Along with its wound-healing and anti-inflammatory actions, turmeric also has antioxidant and anti-cancer properties. It can help to reduce excess mucus or phlegm accumulation in the body and is particularly beneficial for the liver, lungs and intestines.
Healthy Turmeric Tea
1.Bring 4 cups of water to a boil
2.Add 1 teaspoon of ground turmeric and reduce to a simmer for 10 minutes
3.Strain the tea through a fine sieve into a cup
4.Add honey and/or lemon to taste
Enjoy! This turmeric tea is wonderfully soothing, and the benefits can’t be beat!
*Please note that turmeric is responsible for giving curry and yellow mustard its color; to prevent staining, be sure to wash your cup (and brush your teeth!) after drinking the tea.