Turmeric is an herb that is used heavily in India as one of the milder spices in their curry blend. It is a relative of the ginger plant and as with the ginger plant the tuberous root is the part of the plant used in herbal medicine. Peeling the root will expose the beautiful, fibrous, orange, fleshy center.
I use a simple tincture of Turmeric anytime an anti-inflammatory is in order. It has been proven that curcumin; a compound abundant in Turmeric is just as effective as cortisone in treating most types of inflammation. Turmeric, on the other hand doesn’t have the undesirable side effects that cortisone does, like vision trouble, rapid weight gain, sever depression or dangerously high blood pressure. The draw back is that you have to administer it 3 times daily. I think you would agree that that is a small inconvenience compared to the nasty side effects of cortisone.
Turmeric was an important part of the famous cancer recovery of Vicky Stewart from Britain. Like many breast cancer patients, Vicky Stewart was concerned about the side effects of the drug Tamoxifen, which she was told she had to take after surgery. She decided to forgo the Tamoxifen and in its place she added plenty of turmeric to her diet in the form of a smoothie with frozen berries. She cut out meat and dairy and added an exercise régime. In her research she asserted that the curcumin in turmeric caused the cancer cells to self-destruct; a process known as apoptosis.
Perhaps Vicky was instrumental drawing the attention from the medical community to this herb, for now there are studies to determine turmeric’s anti-canter effects. Even the American Cancer Society has a page about Turmeric on it’s website.
Turmeric has been revealed to reduce gallstones. The curcumin in Turmeric increases the solubility of bile, which prevents the formation of gallstones as well as dissolving existing stones. In one study, mice with gallstones were placed on a diet containing a modest amount of curcumin. After five weeks their gallstone volume had dropped by 45%; after 10 weeks 80% had fewer gallstones that the untreated mice.
It is certainly worth finding a good source of fresh or dried turmeric root and adding it to your diet because the health benefits are immense.
I use turmeric as an anti-inflammatory in my herbal tincture Fem Fit for reducing fibroid tumors.
On a personal note…Last year I was having a problem in my left shoulder. When I extended my arm to the level of my shoulder I experienced a feeling like an electrical shock. For five or ten minutes after that dreadful sensation my left arm had no strength and felt limp. I soon learned to avoid this motion and it’s unpleasant result. However when it got to the point that I couldn’t raise my arm properly to shave my underarm, I decided to see the orthopedic doctor who took such good care of my husband in 2008 after his motorcycle accident.
He discovered that I had a nerve impingement in my shoulder. He explained the structural cause to me as a calcification that was pinching a nerve. He likened it to catching your fingers in the hinge of a door. It made sense to me in regard to the physical sensation that I was experiencing.
He said that he would prescribe a steroidal anti-inflammatory for me for about 6-8 weeks to bring down the swelling and in turn relieve the shocking pain. I thanked him for his diagnosis and explained that I don’t take steroidal medicine as I already have an autoimmune disorder (Alopecia Totalis). It has been under control since 1995 with the use of herbs and also by avoiding such immune damaging substances such as steroids. I was in no way going to risk losing all my hair again.
He, being a very open minded physician (and knowing that I am an herbalist) asked what I planned to do. I told him that there are many fine anti-inflammatory herbs, but the one I will probably use is called turmeric. It works every bit as well as cortisone and NSAIDs without the unpleasant side effects and withdrawal reactions. In fact the side effects of turmeric are tumor prevention, anti-carcinogen, liver detoxification, clearing of the skin, and gallstone prevention/reduction.
After about four weeks of taking turmeric I was able to start using a five pound weight to restore the atrophy that was visible in my left arm due to lack of use. The weigh therapy not only restored my muscle tone but I’d also felt a “clicking” in my shoulder where the impingement was. Little by little it wore away the calcification that caused the impingement.
Now my shoulder is totally back to normal with full range of motion and no pain. I have learned to trust my instincts when it comes to natural medicine. It may not always be the right choice but for most chronic conditions I find it is. When you find an herb that treats your condition and doesn’t carry the toxicity of pharmaceuticals, that’s a win/win situation.

Love and Light, Lori Jacobs

Author's Bio: 

Lori Jacobs was born in Queens NY in 1956 but moved to the pristine Lake Owassa NJ where she lived with her parents, brother and maternal grandparents.
She now has lived with her husband of 40 years in Saylorsburg Pennsylvania since 1988. They have two children, Autumn and Christoffer, both in their 30’s and they are blessed with three grandchildren. Lori has been a practicing Herbalist since 1995 and a Master Energy Healer since 1999. She is a Reiki Master and a “Truth in Healing” Master.
In 1995 she developed a formula for her daughter who, as a senior in high school had Epstein Barr and was very ill. Every doctor told her, “It is her immune system and the only thing you can do is make sure she gets enough rest.” But her daughter was sleeping almost every hour she wasn’t in school. She could barely make it through the day. So Lori decided to take matters into her own hands and follow her instincts, she remembered the herbs that were taught to her as a child by her Norwegian grandmother and her father’s friend who was a Ute Indian. Concentrating on the safest herbs that balanced and strengthened the endocrine (immune) system, she made an herbal tincture she called Endocrine Strengthener. This did help her daughter who was back to normal in about a month’s time.
Lori started taking the Endocrine Strengthener too, in hopes that it would minimize the many colds that she was dealing with. Lori had suffered from alopecia totalis since 1984 and much to her surprise, after several weeks of taking Endocrine Strengthener, she was astonished to find new hair growing and that her hair didn’t fall out as it had for the past 11 years.
Over the years Endocrine Strengthener has demonstrated to be beneficial for many autoimmune disorders such as Lupus, MS, and Crohn’s Disease
Since then, Lori has developed many safe and highly effective herbal tinctures for conditions such as arthritis, migraines, cholesterol, diabetes, urinary tract infections, hepatitis, fibromyalgia, depression, asthma and male/female hormone replacement therapy.
In 2002 she combined her talents of Herbalism and Energy Healing with the start of her new business called “The Healing Path” It is a house-call practice that Lori says is very convenient for her clients. There are times after an energy healing when the client can feel a bit light headed and dizzy, and for that reason it is best that they do not have to drive right away. Being in their own home affords them the opportunity to relax and settle into their energy shift.
Lori also has considerable experience working with clients with candida who have fibromyalgia and those who are interested in weaning off of pharmaceuticals and anti-depressants.
All Lori’s herbal therapies are her own original, handcrafted formulas.
She is a charter member of Northeastern Pennsylvania Holistic Chamber of Commerce, a member of the Holistic Practitioners Healing Arts Network as well as Circle of Healers, American Herbalists Guild, Holistic Networker, Best American Healers, Mind Body Spirit, US Healers, Self Growth and Natural Lifestyle Network.