Turmeric…Good for What (ever) Ails You!
I have recently been working with several clients who are using Turmeric essential oil as part of their healing regimen. One is working with hepatitis, another with cancer, and a third with high cholesterol. Interestingly, Pharmaca, a holistic pharmacy that has a store in Santa Fe, recently sent out a newsletter that featured Turmeric (Curcuma longa). I love such synergy!! However, I was disappointed that their excellent overview of Turmeric, which included a variety of sources of the curcumin which is one of the key constituents of Turmeric, never mentioned the essential oil! So…I thought I would address that omission by offering some thoughts on Turmeric essential oil here.
Known for its distinctive, deep golden color, turmeric grows mainly in southern and southeast Asia. She is part of the ginger family (Zingiberaceae), and has been used for coloration (often because of the absence of saffron), a flavoring (due to its pungent taste that provides a savory element to many foods) and a medicine, with a vast array of healing properties. The rhizome, or underground stem, is the part of the plant most often utilized for medicinal purposes.
Tumeric has been used in Asia and India for centuries as a powerful healing ally, and is a central figure in the practice of Ayurveda, the 5,000 year old natural healing system of India. Turmeric’s long list of beneficial effects include analgesic, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor, anti-allergic, anti-oxidant, antiseptic, antispasmodic, astringent, digestive, diuretic, stimulant, and vulnerary (wound-healing).
Decades’ worth of research has shown that in India, where turmeric is a staple, the occurrence of chronic illness is dramatically lower than in Western countries.
According to extensive research reported on the Indianartz.com site, Turmeric has been proven effective in treating some of the most intense ailments afflicting the world today including: Arthritis, Cancer, Alzheimer’s Disease, Diabetes, Multiple Sclerosis, Atherosclerosis, HIV/AIDS, Sexually Transmitted Diseases (Hepatitis-C, Genital Herpes) , Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Indigestion, Inflammation, Acne, Urinary Tract Infections, Kidney Infections, Gallstones, Anemia, Hemorrhoids, Liver Disease, Leprosy, Amenorrhea, Edema, Bronchitis, Common Cold, Headaches, Conjunctivitis, Bursitis, food poisoning, parasites, fever, diarrhea, poor circulation, lower back and abdominal pain.
It can also be used as a mosquito repellent, wound healer, and immediate cure for scorpion stings. Turmeric helps balance the female reproductive and lactation systems, and in men it purifies and improves the health of semen. It is used to treat external ulcers that would not respond to other treatment. Due to its extensive number of medicinal purposes and versatility, turmeric is one of the most important remedies in any natural medicine cabinet.
Here is a link to the very informative article on the Indianartz.com site, from which this list of conditions addressed by Turmeric is excerpted: http://indianartz.com/2011/ayurveda/turmeric-the-golden-goddess/
The essential oil, like the crushed or powdered herb, is bright yellow in color. In fact, Tumeric once had to “set me straight” about her personality and power. We had suggested Tumeric essential oil to a client who was experiencing liver problems, but had neglected to emphasize to her how staining the color could be when applied topically. Sure enough, my client ruined a white nightgown and light colored sheets with her initial night-time application of the Turmeric over her liver. She was upset, stating “everywhere I look I see the yellow stain of Turmeric! It went all over!”
I felt bad about and partially responsible for her experience…so I found myself steering clear of Turmeric, recommending other essences that I thought were more “user friendly”!! Then, one day in a Level 1 class I was teaching, I participated with the students in running my hand over our display of tester oils and letting an oil choose ME for a brief meditative connection. Imagine my surprise (and a bit of trepidation) when I saw that Turmeric had chosen me. Sure enough…she cut to the chase in my meditation with her and began to emphasize that her color was an asset, not a liability. “I show you where you need to heal! I go where others may not have gone…because I know what is needed. Do not fear me or avoid me…embrace me, for I am serious medicine for serious situations.” Whew. I still get chills as I type that, even though it happened several years ago.
So…I hope this wealth of information on Turmeric whets your appetite for her…and that the story about what happened to me will allow you to appreciate her strength and powerful personality for the incredible healing she is capable of offering. I honor you, Turmeric…The Golden Goddess (one of her names in India). And I honor all of you…not just your “active ingredient” of curcumin…because I know that, in your wholeness, in your natural balance of many chemical constituents — both prominent and subtle — you bring much light and healing to humankind.
Explanatory note (on the difference between rhizomes and roots) from a great little site called www.differencebetween.net
1. Rhizomes are essentially underground modified stems while roots are part of the root system that put rhizomes under its hood.
2. Rhizomes work as food storage and aid in vegetative propagation while roots’ functions include absorption of water and nutrients, storage of food, prevention of soil erosion, and attachment of the plant body to the ground.
3. Rhizomes have nodes, internodes, tiny leaves, and buds while roots don’t have anything similar.
Announcements: December offering of the WOTE Level 1 Certification Class in Santa Fe
My next Level 1 Certification Seminar is coming together beautifully for the weekend of December 7-8. There is still room for a few more students, if your time is now! The early registration discount of $25 is available through November 7th, reducing the regular seminar tuition to $450. After that, it will be the regular price of $475, which includes extensive handouts, two texts (WOTE Reference Guide and Barry’s beautiful book “Wisdom of the Earth Speaks the Truth about Medicinal Aromatherapy”), and use of all of the essences in our portfolio throughout the weekend of the class. If you have purchased one or both of these books in the past, their price will be deducted from your tuition amount.
All essences are discounted by 20% the weekend of the class, through the following weekend to encourage your exploration of these beautiful devas and to give you a good feel for the 22% discount associated with completing the certification paper and receiving your Level 1 Certification from Wisdom of the Earth! Please feel free to call me at 505-438-0855 to register or to ask any questions you might have about course content or process.
October 2-8: WOTE 5-day Advanced Aromatherapy Retreat (Earth Wisdom Mastery) near Sedona, AZ
I know that this is just around the corner…but we have room for two or three more Level 1 certified students at this advanced retreat, so I thought I would mention it! For some people, this is an experience that they plan for for months in advance…for others, when they feel the call of the plants and trees at this level…they drop everything and make space in their lives for the experience of a lifetime.
As one recent student said: I don’t know if I can adequately express the profound and utterly life-affirming impact the Level II course has had, and continues to have, on me. This experience has expanded my consciousness into new realms.
October is a gorgeous time of year in the Sedona area…so if you feel that this is your time, your group, your commitment that you wish to honor, please call me at 505-438-0855. Tuition is $1400, with 50% payable at the time of registration, and the balance when the class begins. For more details on the seminar: http://www.shiningsunaromatherapy.com/advanced-classes/
As always, thank you for reading this Essential Thought…please write to me if you have suggestions for upcoming topics for this blog! Much love, Audre