Healing Benefits of Turmeric

“Turmeric gives the energy of the divine mother and grants prosperity.” -Dr. Ladd

For many years’ the turmeric lay dormant in my cabinet in the curry powder, then one day, that all changed.

I remember the very first time fresh turmeric showed up in the grocery store.

All of a sudden, there it was sitting in a small container right next to the ginger. I was so surprised to see it in my local store. I thought to myself, “Wow, I can get this fresh? Time to learn more about this root!”

It seemed like overnight, turmeric popularity just exploded. It wasn’t long after finding it fresh in the store that turmeric milk was being served at the local café and new turmeric tea blends were popping up all over the place.

Maybe the baby boomer population read an article on its anti-aging effects and that’s why it took off.

Maybe the pro-inflammatory American diet full of GMO’s and pesticides just caught up with everyone and the time had come for the serious need for a serious herbal anti-inflammatory.

Maybe the new FDA warnings on the damaging effects of over the counter medications had more people reaching for alternatives to drugs…

Whatever the reason, this healing, golden root is now a household name and is here to stay.

Want to know a few things that this little root can do for you? (Besides stain your hands and anything it comes into contact with…)


The thing about turmeric is that it has the ability to quench free radicals. What may you ask are free radicals? You probably already know, but basically, they’re de-stabilized cells that float around your body wreaking havoc.

Free radicals are reactive molecules that are missing an electron from the outer ring or shell. What happens is they go around and steal electrons from other molecules, and then those molecules run around with a missing electron and this goes on and on, creating a chain reaction of cells that cause damage to other cells.

These free radical cells can cause mutation in your DNA, and that’s not good if you want to prevent cancer.

This destabilization is also called oxidative stress and is caused by many things, some of which occur naturally in the body. This process is also accelerated by stress, pesticides, chemical pollution, bad fats, chlorine, chemicals in body care products… the list goes on.

This process contributes to inflammation throughout the body. The free radicals roam the body creating damage, decaying neurons, eroding DNA. There’s a lot of research showing that this process is also a cancer-trigger.

Ok, enough of the bad news.


Have you by chance heard of the “oxygen radical absorbance capacity” aka the ORAC score? What it does is it measures the antioxidant level of different constituents in foods. It just so happens that turmeric has a high ORAC score. No wonder it is so popular, once you learn about free radicals you’ll do just about anything to stop them…

Getting turmeric into your food provides antioxidants that you need to help support yourself against this excessive oxidation and free radical process that happens naturally; and, is accelerated by our chemical exposure.

Think of it like this: turmeric is cell protective and helps prevent degenerative diseases that are rooted in the free radical damage that leads to disease causing excessive inflammation.

We could carry on with this dissertation on antioxidants and free radicals, but lets’ move on.


Being a skin healer isn’t the most commonly thought of benefit of turmeric, but it is a powerful vulnerary. When you apply turmeric topically, besides staining your skin, it reduces inflammation, itching and infection.

Topical use of turmeric is great for cuts and scrapes, but not only does its’ vulnerary effects heal the skin topically, but it is also an excellent remedy for healing up bruises, sprains, strains and contusions. You know, you fall off your bike, go waterskiing for the first time in 10 years, move everything in your house in one day… ouch.

Put a turmeric poultice or turmeric oil on those sore spots and you will have less pain and things will heal up quicker!


Turmeric is also a hemostat, which means it stops blood flow. You can carry some dried turmeric in your first-aid kit and use it to stop the bleeding of minor cuts and scrapes and it will disinfect the cut at the same time….


The cholagogue properties of this sunshine yellow root help increase the flow of bile, fortifying liver health. Turmeric is a recuperative tonic to the liver cells, recharging their ability to process the excess toxins we are exposed to in our food and environment. Turmeric invigorates the production and flow of bile which helps with digesting fats. Big medicine here.

Here’s a little more about turmeric

Here is what Dr. Ladd says about turmeric: “It’s an excellent natural antibiotic, while at the same time, it strengthens digestion and helps improve intestinal flora. Turmeric gives the energy of the divine mother and grants prosperity.”

I love the Divine Mother and Prosperity part….


Turmeric is a drying herb and if you take too much it can cause dryness. The drying properties of turmeric will vary in their effects from person to person depending on your constitution and how much dryness you already deal with. Turmeric can have adverse effects for people who take blood thinning medications or have blood clotting disorders. Larger doses are not recommended in pregnancy, breast feeding or gall bladder disease.

The biggest issue I have seen with turmeric is when people take turmeric pills daily for long periods of time and it increases the overall dryness in their body. I’ve seen excess dryness from turmeric cause thirst, dry skin and ringing in the ears.

This is just the beginning of what turmeric can do for us. It has been such a gift to be able to get this root fresh now for many years in the store. I am continually learning more about this plant. That is the one thing about herbalism, there is always something new to learn and if turmeric is one of your allies, it seems like there is no room to ever get bored…

What do you use turmeric for?

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Hello I’m Kami, Welcome to Living Awareness!

I believe every family needs to have someone on board with a working knowledge of natural remedies if you want to take care of your family’s health for real.

When I was growing up, natural remedies was not a mainstream concept like it is now, in fact, you are going to be surprised that I never even heard the word natural remedy until I moved out of the house!

In my early 20’s I met someone by chance that told me about holistic health and herbal medicine. I wondered why nobody had talked to me about it before and had a voracious appetite to learn everything I could.

Now, 30 years later I've helped thousands of people demystify the world of herbal medicine and become empowered in using herbal self-care in their home to prevent illness, take care of common ailments and protect their health naturally.

For 20 years I've had a clinical herbal practice connecting people with plants and their wellness. I've developed and taught herbal curriculum for UCSF School of Nursing and the Integral Health Master’s Degree Program at the California Institute of Integral Studies.

Stick with me! You’ll learn awesome herbal self-care, get inspired to be more self-sufficient in your health care and nourish a deep love for the herbs and how to use them, knowing you are doing the very best you can to care for your wellness.

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9 Comments on "Healing Benefits of Turmeric"

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I have a salicylate sensitivity and unfortunately Tumeric is on the very high list. Too much salicylate too often causes acid build up and ultimately joint pain. I eat a little in Kitchari and curries occasionally and add a dob of ghee to help counteract the dyrness

Mike Duke
I have RA for the past 9 years. I have been taking pain pills and muscle relaxers for 8 1/2 years. As of 4 months ago when I started putting a teaspoon of tumeric, a teaspoon of black pepper, and a splash of olive oils in my 2 egg omelet every morning, I no longer need pain pills or muscle relaxers. I am also drinking a tonic usually in the morning 30 minutes before eating breakfast, of a Tblspoon of raw apple cider vinegar, an equal amount of lemon juice, a tspoon of raw honey, a dash of salt, and… Read more »
Shirley Alberty

I am a volunteer with a disaster relief team. There a some spices I take with me that I add to my food when we eat. Turmeric is the major spice I take with me on all my trips. I have been blessed to always stay healthy and come home healthy.


Kami, I love this post! I’m trying to learn all I can about herbal medicines and what to use them for. You are an awesome person to post about all of this.


Hi Kami, thanks for the information. I’ve read a few places not to use turmeric “long term”. Is that months, years, decades? Husband and I had taken tablets from Costco, but have recently started filling our own 00 capsules for daily 3g doses. Can’t seem to find specific or even more than general information regarding this time frame. Thanks!! Lori


I have metastatic breast cancer and need to take turmeric but it is causing stomach pains in capsule form. I have tried to take it without the pepper in it, to no avail. Do you have any suggestions to take it a different way? Perhaps Golden Milk?