"Natural Healing with Herbs for a Healthier You"


Although I have eaten turmeric in curries and soups for nearly 50 years, my experience with testing it as a medicinal herb is very limited and I have more questions than answers.  First I will discuss my limited experiences and then I will make some personal comments and recommendations.


During the many years I lived in various South Asian countries and Hawaii, I never noticed fresh turmeric in the grocery stores (it was surely there but I didnít notice it).   It wasnít until about three years ago that I saw some ginger like tubers in a health food grocery in New Market, Virginia.  I thought they were ginger at first.  Out of pure herbal curiosity, I bought half a pound, started chewing them, and gave some to friends.  This was a real discovery!  They didnít taste bad.  They were juicy, crunchy, bittersweet, and gave an immediate feeling of power, strength, and wellbeing.  This tonic effect lasted for about a day (maybe two) and then faded, but there was no negative after-effect.  My friends and I said to each other: ďThis is a great tonic, letís get some more.Ē  But unfortunately fresh turmeric was difficult to find in local stores in the Washington, D.C. area.  Later I was able to order some from Pacific Botanicals Ė they get it from Hawaii but it is seasonal becoming available around January and going out of stock around April.  In some tropical areas (e.g. Bangladesh) fresh turmeric is available 12 months of the year.


Whenever I can get fresh turmeric, I chew chunks of it and grind it up in sauces and spicy mixes Ė which I use as condiments on salads and grains.


When fresh turmeric has not been available, I have used powdered turmeric, usually about one or two teaspoons per day mixed with my food.  I donít feel all of the same tonic effects from powdered turmeric as I do with fresh turmeric.  But still I feel like the powder does have many benefits for me including improved digestion, less gas, reduced depression, greater internal warmth and strength, steady blood sugar, increased self-confidence/courage, less constipation, improved circulation, and enhanced cleansing of the circulatory system.  Since these effects are all consistent with the literature, I donít think I am imagining them.


Several times in 2000 and 2001, I have had experience with taking large doses of turmeric powder (about 2 heaping tablespoons).  The effects included mild nausea, depression, heavy bloated feeling, yellowing skin, gas, and a need to flush the bowels with enemas and laxative herbs plus flush the entire system with large amounts of distilled water.  My impression was that in large quantities turmeric powder is a powerful cleanser with action centered on the liver and gall bladder and which quickly flushes large amounts of bile and toxins into the intestines.  Care needs to be taken to not allow very much of these to re-enter the blood stream causing depression, nausea, etc. as described.  Therefore, as with Barberry, Oregon Grape, and other strong bitter liver cleansers I would recommend that large doses of turmeric should be preceded with bowel cleansing and water and juice flushing of the entire system and then should be followed with the same bowel/system cleansing/flushing.  Under these conditions, and provided person is not extremely feeble or debilitated, large doses of turmeric should be safe and effective.   For me, these effects decreased each time I took large doses and this is logical considering that the toxins, old hormones, excess bile, etc. were being cleared out.  Each time there was less to clean out and so the effects were less each time too.


Back in 1996, I was having severe pains in the general area above the kidneys.  I did a series of 11 liver flushes (three days apple juice followed by 8 oz olive oil plus 3 oz lemon juice).  On the third flush, the toilet was full of little green gall-stones floating on the surface.  I continued for a total of 11 flushes until the pain was all gone.  Since 1996 I have been following the Mucusless Diet faithfully.  I have taken a lot of herbs including FEN LB and Intestinal Corrective No. 1 and No. 2.  I have done a lot of herbal enemas and drunk a lot of carrot juice, spinach juice, dandelion juice, parsley juice, beet juice, and various juice mixtures as recommended by N. W. Walker.  After all of this I was surprised at the extent to which my liver and gall bladder reacted to turmeric.  It impressed me with the power of turmeric to do a cleansing job on my liver which the previous four years of natural healing therapy had failed to do.   It is true that I never tried a heavy dose of Barberry or Oregon Grape or other bitter tonic in large amounts (I did take standard recommended doses of bitter tonics but not large doses) and large doses of some of these other bitter herbs might have had the same effect.
by Dean Alter
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