The ‘holy powder’

Taking turmeric for its anti-inflammatory benefits

Next time you are suffering from inflammation, don’t go to the medicine cabinet; reach into the spice cabinet instead. In India, the spice turmeric is referred to as “holy powder,” and has been used for thousands of years as an anti-inflammatory in Ayurveda practices. Turmeric (curcuma longa—in the Zingiberaceae family, as are ginger and cardamom) has been helpful in treating those suffering from arthritis, Crohn’s disease, irritable-bowl syndrome and tendonitis, and unlike aspirin and ibuprofen, it won’t damage the liver or kidneys. Research now shows that that the curcumin in the spice also has antioxidant and anti-tumor properties, and many alternative-medicine experts even claim that turmeric extract is a beneficial supplement for those suffering from most types of cancer.