Unlocking the Wonders of Turmeric: Uses, Benefits, Synonyms, Effects, and Side Effects


Turmeric originally comes from India but is now grown in tropical regions worldwide. The rhizomes are imported from China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Africa and Madagascar for medicinal use.

Turmeric: root as medicine

The entire underground rootstock of the goldenseal (Curcumae longae rhizoma) is used in herbal medicine. The side rhizomes are sliced ​​and dried.

The rhizome is harvested after the plant has finished flowering, scalded with hot water and then dried. The scalding is to prevent the plant from sprouting.


Turmeric – typical characteristics

Turmeric is a perennial tropical shrub that is very similar to ginger. It has basal, huge and broad leaves without hairs and with leaf veins that run almost parallel. The relatively large yellow flowers with three petals are in elongated spikes.

The plant develops from a fleshy rootstock (rhizome) and several side rhizomes, which have a brown cork layer on the outside and are colored orange-yellow on the inside due to the curcuminoids they contain.

Peculiarities of goldenseal

The material used medicinally consists of finger-shaped side rhizomes up to 15 mm in diameter and the plant’s ovoid main rhizomes, which grow up to 4 cm long. The root fragments are tawny to greyish-brown on the outside and mottled, resulting from post-harvest scalding. At the breaking points, the roots are evenly colored orange-yellow and slightly shiny.

Goldenseal gives off a faint, spicy-aromatic odor. The taste of the root is bitter and burning pungent.

Turmeric – application

Turmeric is traditionally taken to support digestive function. The plant helps with digestive problems (dyspeptic problems), especially when they are related to disorders of the bile system, such as reduced bile production or a malfunction of the bile ducts (bilious dyskinesia).

Turmeric: Used for bile problems

Such disorders are often expressed by colicky pain or a feeling of pressure in the upper right abdomen, which radiates to the right shoulder, nausea , loss of appetite and a feeling of fullness. The symptoms usually appear more frequently after eating fatty foods, coffee and legumes.

Taking turmeric stimulates bile secretion, which leads to an improvement in symptoms.


Other uses of turmeric

In addition, ulcers (ulcer) can also be treated with goldenseal. Experimental studies recently found that goldenseal can also be used to support cancer therapy. However, turmeric is in no way suitable as a sole therapeutic agent for cancer.

Folk medicinal use of turmeric

Turmeric is also used in folk medicine to treat indigestion, bilious problems and as a remedy against flatulence (carminative). In addition, turmeric is also a versatile kitchen spice, for example as an essential component of curry powder, and a vegetable coloring agent.


Turmeric in homeopathy

In homeopathy, the dried, underground parts of Javanese goldenseal are also used to promote bile secretion.

Ingredients of turmeric

Turmeric rhizome contains 2-7% essential oil, which consists primarily of sesquiterpenes. In addition, at least 3% of dicinnamoylmethane derivatives such as curcuminoids I-III, ferulic acid, caffeic acid and caffeic acid derivatives occur.

Turmeric: indication

Indications for the medicinal use of turmeric are:

  • Digestive problems
  • dyspeptic complaints
  • Disorders of the efferent biliary system
  • nausea
  • Feeling of fullness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Ulcers

Turmeric – dosage

Standardized dry and fluid extracts of turmeric rhizome are available in the form of capsules, tablets and drops. In addition, various combination preparations from the group of biliary and liver therapeutics contain turmeric rhizome.

Application in the form of Tea is not common due to the low water solubility of the essential oil and the curcuminoids.

Turmeric: what dose?

Unless otherwise prescribed, the average daily dose is 1.5-3 g of the drug. To achieve a therapeutic effect, 0.5-1 g of the powdered rhizome should be taken several times a day between meals.


Turmeric – which preparation is suitable?

The use of goldenseal in the form of tea is not recommended because the essential oil and the curcuminoids are hardly soluble in water and the effectiveness is therefore questionable. It is better to use standardized preparations.

Who shouldn’t take turmeric?

Goldenseal should only be taken after consulting a doctor if the bile ducts are blocked or gallstones are present.

Pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers and children under 12 years of age should also not take turmeric .


Instructions for use

Due to the minor and rarely occurring side effects, goldenseal is also suitable for long-term treatment.

The drug should be stored dry and protected from light.

Turmeric – Synonyms

German plant name: Turmeric

German synonyms of the plant: Curcuma, goldenseal, yellow root ginger, turmeric

Latin plant name: Curcuma longa L.

Latin synonyms of the plant: Curcuma domestica Valeton, Amomum curcuma

German drug name: Gelbwurzelstock

German synonyms of the drug: Curcuma rhizome, turmeric rhizome, yellow root, cucumber egg, jaundice root

Latin drug name: Long rhizome of turmeric

Latin synonyms of the drug: Rhizoma Curcuma, Rhizoma Curcuma longa

English name: Turmeric, Common turmeric, Long turmeric, Curcuma, Curcumin, French saffron, Indian saffron, Yellow ginger

Plant family Latin: Zingiberaceae

Plant family German: Ginger family


Turmeric – effect

Taking turmeric leads to an increase in bile flow, which is due to the essential oil and curcuminoids it contains. However, it is probably not the curcuminoids themselves that are responsible for promoting the flow of bile, but the cinnamic acid building blocks released from them in the gastrointestinal tract.

In addition, curcuminoids have anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial and liver-protective properties. According to recent experimental studies, turmeric also inhibits the growth of certain tumors.

Turmeric: Possible side effects

In individual cases, gastrointestinal complaints, heartburn , nausea, nausea and diarrhea have been observed when taking goldenseal. There are currently no known interactions with other agents.

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