Powerful Haridra

Written by Rhian Hunter

Haridra (turmeric), is known for its strong yellow colour that denotes its use as a liver herb that is good at drying damp conditions, warming and moving stagnation in the blood. It is a pungent, bitter, and astringent herb with ushna virya (hot potency). It reduces excess Pitta and works specifically on the digestive, circulatory, respiratory, and female reproductive systems.

Haridra helps to promote healthy intestines by reducing pathogenic bacteria and destroying ama (toxins). It has recently been proven to have an affinity for the large intestine and plays a preventative role in bowel cancer. Other clinical trials have proven its efficiency in treating stomach acidity and ulcers.

Its bitter and pungent flavours act on the digestive fire (agni) to nourish the blood and stimulate the formation of new tissue.

It has a stimulant effect on the liver and increases blood flow through the hepatic system. It also increases bile output. This helps dissolve and prevent gallstones. It is traditionally considered a blood purifier and is often used for beautifying the skin and clearing systemic toxaemia: eczema, urticaria, psoriasis, and acne.

It treats inflammation of the joints, alleviates pain, and strengthens the joints and tendons.

From a Western perspective our science is only just starting to confirm what Ayurveda has known and written about for thousands of years.

Chronic, low-level inflammation plays a major role in almost every chronic, Western disease. This includes heart disease, cancer, metabolic syndrome, Alzheimer’s, and various degenerative conditions.

Curcumin ( turmerics active compound) targets multiple steps in the inflammatory pathway at the molecular level. Curcumin blocks NF- kB, a molecule that travels into the nuclei of cells and turns on genes related to inflammation. NF-kB is believed to play a major role in many chronic diseases. In several studies, its potency has been compared favourably to Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), but without the side effects.

Curcumin boosts levels of the brain hormone BDNF, which increases the growth of new neurons and fights various degenerative processes in the brain, such as Alzheimer’s and depression.

It protects the cardiovascular system by lowering serum cholesterol and inhibiting platelet aggregation (prevents the internal blood clots that trigger heart attack and some strokes).

Externally, it helps in drying wounds and lesions, mitigates pain and swellings of wounds, acts as scrub on face & relieves acne vulgaris.

Also helpful in anaemia, atherosclerosis, bursitis, Crohn’s Disease, diabetes, oedema, haemorrhoids, hepatitis, indigestion, inflammation, IBD, jaundice, psoriasis, Rheumatoid arthritis, urinary diseases, wound and bruise healing.