Grow Youthful: How to Slow Your Aging and Enjoy Extraordinary Health
Grow Youthful: How to Slow Your Aging and Enjoy Extraordinary Health


turmeric powder

What is turmeric?

Yellow turmeric powder warning

Using turmeric

Turmeric as a remedy

Buy organic turmeric powder (Australia only)


What is turmeric?

Turmeric is a spice which has been used as a natural and traditional healing remedy in Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years. It is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory (1, 7, 10, 11, 22) that helps prevent blood clots (2). It is also delicious, and I use it almost daily in my food preparation. Turmeric adds a deep yellow, almost orange colour to your food, and has a unique, mild flavour.

Turmeric (curcuma longa) is a rhizome, and the fresh turmeric looks a little like a ginger rhizome. It is a deep orange colour, and stains when you cut it or touch it. Try to get it as a raw rhizome because it is the most potent in that fresh form.

Fresh turmeric rhizomes are often available at Indian or Asian stores. If fresh turmeric is not available, turmeric powder is a cheap substitute. Health food or Asian stores are the places to buy the powder. Do not buy capsules, they have often been processed and have harmful additives.

Yellow turmeric powder warning

Pure, unadulterated turmeric powder is a dark orange colour. If the turmeric powder is a bright yellow colour, it has a dye or food colouring added. The powder in the image above is yellow rather than deep orange and has had a coal-derived food and cosmetic sunset yellow tartrazine colouring dye (E102) added. A study (12) done in 2013 confirmed that this type of dye has a powerful xenoestrogen effect, raising the risk of disrupted periods, mood swings, breast cancer, erectile dysfunction, man-boobs and numerous other serious ailments.

Using turmeric

Turmeric has many valuable components, but the one that seems to be getting the most attention is curcumin. (8, 11, 22) Curcumin is only soluble in fat, so when using turmeric it is best to combine it with some fat (think coconut milk, coconut oil, ghee, butter etc).

Curcumin is absorbed twenty times more efficiently when combined with black or white pepper. I find it incredible that Asian cuisines (curries) have long fried turmeric in this manner.

Crush a piece the size of a fingernail (or more), add it to a salad with olive oil, or use it in a smoothie.

Turmeric tea: 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder, 2-3 cardamom pods (optional), 1/2 cup boiling water. Simmer the turmeric and optional cardamom for 5 minutes, then add 2 tablespoons of almond oil, bring to boiling point then remove from heat. After cooling add raw honey and milk to taste. WARNING - do not heat honey! Sip slowly as a warm tea.

Turmeric paste: Mix one part of turmeric powder or crushed turmeric with one - two parts oil, to make a paste. Coconut, sesame, almond, macadamia and other skin oils that agree with your particular skin are suitable, use organic and cold-pressed oils. Apply the paste to problem areas, inflamed skin.

Turmeric as a remedy

Here is a list of ailments where turmeric has successfully been used as a cure. (11, 22)

Excessive turmeric consumption can lead to constipation (so drink plenty of water), accelerated heart beat, and excessive blood thinning.

Buy organic turmeric powder (Australia only)


1. Menon VP, Sudheer AR. Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin. Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology 2007;595:105-25.

2. Baum L. et al. Curcumin effects on blood lipid profile in a 6-month human study. Pharmacol Res. 2007;56(6):509-14.

3. Darvesh A.S., Aggarwal B.B., Bishayee A. Curcumin and Liver Cancer: A Review. Curr Pharm Biotechnol. 2011 Apr 5.

4. Dorai T., Cao Y.C., Dorai B., Buttyan R., Katz A.E. Therapeutic potential of curcumin in human prostate cancer. III. Curcumin inhibits proliferation, induces apoptosis, and inhibits angiogenesis of LNCaP prostate cancer cells in vivo. Prostate. 2001;47(4):293-303.

5. Funk J.L., Frye J.B., Oyarzo J.N., Kuscuoglu N., Wilson J., McCaffrey G., et al. Efficacy and mechanism of action of turmeric supplements in the treatment of experimental arthritis. Arthritis Rheum. 2006 Nov;54(11):3452-64.

6. Hanai H., Iida T., Takeuchi K., Watanabe F., Maruyama Y., Andoh A., et al. Curcumin maintenance therapy for ulcerative colitis: randomized, multicenter, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2006 Dec;4(12):1502-6.

7. Jagetia G.C., Aggarwal B.B. "Spicing up" of the immune system by curcumin. J Clin Immunol. 2007;27(1):19-35.

8. Pari L., Tewas D., Eckel J. Role of curcumin in health and disease. Arch Physiol Biochem. 2008;114(2):127-49.

9. Phan T.T., See P., Lee S.T., Chan S.Y. Protective effects of curcumin against oxidative damage on skin cells in vitro: its implication for wound healing. J Trauma 2001;51(5):927-931.

10. White B., Judkins D.Z. Clinical Inquiry. Does turmeric relieve inflammatory conditions? J Fam Pract. 2011 Mar;60(3):155-6.

11. Curcumin. Linus Pauling Institute, Micronutrient Information Center. Retrieved online 24/4/2016.

12. Axon A, May FE, Gaughan LE, Williams FM, Blain PG, Wright MC. Tartrazine and sunset yellow are xenoestrogens in a new screening assay to identify modulators of human oestrogen receptor transcriptional activity. Toxicology. 16 August 2012. 298(1-3):40-51. doi: 10.1016/j.tox.2012.04.014. Epub 3 May 2012.

13. S Awasthi, S K Srivatava, J T Piper, S S Singhal, M Chaubey, Y C Awasthi. Curcumin protects against 4-hydroxy-2-trans-nonenal-induced cataract formation in rat lenses. Am J Clin Nutr. 1996 Nov;64(5):761-6. PMID: 8901798.

14. S Padmaja, T N Raju. Antioxidant effect of curcumin in selenium induced cataract of Wistar rats. Indian J Exp Biol. 2004 Jun;42(6):601-3. PMID: 15260112.

15. U Pandya, M K Saini, G F Jin, S Awasthi, B F Godley, Y C Awasthi. Dietary curcumin prevents ocular toxicity of naphthalene in rats. Toxicol Lett. 2000 Jun 5;115(3):195-204. PMID: 10814889.

16. P Anil Kumar, P Suryanarayana, P Yadagiri Reddy, G Bhanuprakash Reddy. Modulation of alpha-crystallin chaperone activity in diabetic rat lens by curcumin. Mol Vis. 2005;11:561-8. Epub 2005 Jul 26. PMID: 16088325.

17. Palla Suryanarayana, Kamala Krishnaswamy, Geereddy Bhanuprakash Reddy. Effect of curcumin on galactose-induced cataractogenesis in rats. Mol Vis. 2003 Jun 9;9:223-30. PMID: 12802258.

18. Ramar Manikandan, Raman Thiagarajan, Sivagnanam Beulaja, Ganapasam Sudhandiran, Munuswamy Arumugam. Curcumin prevents free radical-mediated cataractogenesis through modulations in lens calcium. Free Radic Biol Med. 2010 Feb 15;48(4):483-92. Epub 2009 Dec 10. PMID: 19932168.

19. Palla Suryanarayana, Megha Saraswat, Tiruvalluru Mrudula, T Prasanna Krishna, Kamala Krishnaswamy, G Bhanuprakash Reddy. Curcumin and turmeric delay streptozotocin-induced diabetic cataract in rats. Nutr J. 2008;7:3. Epub 2008 Jan 21. PMID: 15914628.

20. R Manikandan, R Thiagarajan, S Beulaja, G Sudhandiran, M Arumugam. Effect of curcumin on selenite-induced cataractogenesis in Wistar rat pups. Curr Eye Res. 2010 Feb;35(2):122-9. PMID: 20136422.

21. R Manikandan, R Thiagarajan, S Beulaja, S Chindhu, K Mariammal, G Sudhandiran, M Arumugam. Anti-cataractogenic effect of curcumin and aminoguanidine against selenium-induced oxidative stress in the eye lens of Wistar rat pups: An in vitro study using isolated lens. Chem Biol Interact. 2009 Oct 7;181(2):202-9. Epub 2009 May 27. PMID: 19481068.

22. Curcumin. Oregon State University, Linus Pauling Institute, Micronutrient Information Center. Accessed online 11 January 2023.