Ayurvedic Diet

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About the Author: John Immel, Asheville, NC


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(4.55 out of 5 stars) 11 reviews

Turmeric Ayurveda Medicinal Properties
Vata pacifyingPitta aggravatingKapha pacifyingDigestive Effects Help
Experiences are Personal
Experiences vary according to the person and constitution. Individual results may vary.
Effect: Sattvic, Tejas, Alkalizing
Recommended for: Autumn-Winter
Type: Spices
Nutrient: Antioxidant
Color: Yellow
Nourishes: Red-Blood

Serving Size: 1/16 tsp
Species: Curcuma Longa
Family: Zingiberaceae
Pharmacological Effects
About Pharmacological Effects
The list of actions below have not be approved by the FDA and should not be used to treat a medical condition.
Is Turmeric Good for Me?
Find out by taking this free, easy quiz. You'll learn your body type, and whether Turmeric is a good fit for you. Time to complete: approximately 1 minute.

ayurvedic perspective

Turmeric invigorates and moves the blood. Its strong nature reduces and treats weakness. It stimulates blood formation. Its yellow color suggests use as a liver herb. A small dose cleans the liver and blood due to bitter taste. Turmeric is used in all blood and blood plasma related disorders, especially those due to Pitta and Kapha. Its heat alleviates Vata and Kapha. A large dose aggravates Pitta.

Yogis use turmeric to help stretch ligaments and repair injury. Liver heat is connected to laxity of the tendons and ligaments.

Spring Cleansing

Turmeric improves circulation and thins the blood, giving the blood subtle quality to enter and clean the lymphatic system as well as all vessels and tissues. Its ability to move the blood dries dampness and increases heat. Turmeric's ability to support the liver while cleansing the lymphatic system makes it an ideal herb for spring cleansing (along with beets and dandelions). Turmeric's blood moving, and clearing properties are also beneficial for use in arthritis.

Liver, the Blood and Gynecology

Turmeric stimulates the liver (ranjaka Pitta) and bile flow, dissolving and preventing gallstones. It is a blood purifier specifically used to promote beautiful skin and eliminate systemic toxemia, eczema, urticaria, psoriasis, and acne. It helps with itching and skin problems due to cold, dry or stagnant qualities of other doshas (sheetaPitta). Turmeric is often mixed with other bitter herbs to enhance its anti-inflammatory and liver clearing effects.

The most potent way to take turmeric is in a tea. Try fresh, organic turmeric here for only $2.99 + shipping. For first time visitors only!.
It nourishes the heart and reduces cholesterol. Its anti-platelet activity prevents coagulation and reduces Kapha in blood. Its antiseptic activity is useful for infections, fevers, and sore throats.


Turmeric improves digestive strength by increasing blood flow. It is an antiseptic that promotes "sweet intestines", or intestines free of bacteria and ama. Its haemostatic and anti-inflammatory qualities treat stomach ulcers and colitis. Turmeric improves rasa agni, or the "body's raw power to nourish plasma and the blood". It clears ama, Kapha, and fat in diabetes. Its blood moving qualities are useful in Alzheimer's.

Turmeric destroys all Kapha accumulations in lower abdomen including endometriosis, amenorrhea, leucorrhea, fibroids, cancer and cysts from cold congestion. It promotes the flow of the menses and purifies breast milk. It specifically clears menstrual pain caused by arachidonic acid.

Inflammation & Joints

Turmeric is an anti-inflammatory with subtle quality to enter the joint space, reducing arthritis and inflammation, alleviating pain, and strengthening joints and tendons. It treats gout, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis. Its anti-inflammatory activities are also useful in asthma, broken bones, and wounds. By its heating and blood moving qualities, turmeric reduces pain topically in bruises and sprains however it stains everything it touches.


Those with cough and respiratory problems can drink turmeric milk (see Gold Milk). Turmeric smoke cures hiccups and lowers respiration. It is an anti-venom for King Cobra snake bites. The fresh root is used as a suppository in the rectum to cleanse and open the root chakra. Turmeric burns ama, reducing its diuretic effect. Contraindications include pregnancy, with other anti-coagulants, antiplatelets and (COX) inhibitors. Be careful when gallstones present. Caution in high Pitta/Vata.

Turmeric in Chinese Medicine

Turmeric, called Jiang Huang in Chinese medicine, addresses the spleen, stomach and liver meridians. It invigorates the blood, promotes movement of blood, unblocks the menses, chest and abdominal pain, alleviates amenorrhea and dysmenorrhea with cold deficiency, and swelling pain or pain due to obstruction. It expels wind.
Turmeric is a warm, yellow, earthy, slightly bitter spice used in ritual, medicine, and cooking. Turmeric paste is applied to bride and groom before marriage in some places of India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan. Although a deep yellow color, turmeric makes a poor fabric dye because it quickly fades when exposed to light. Turmeric can be used as an indicator of acidic or basic properties of a substance.
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buying & preparation
Turmeric is a rhizome in the ginger family and looks like a small, orange yellow ginger root. Its leaves smell like ginger. It favors warm and humid climate. Turmeric is usually sold as a dried powder but sometimes the fresh root is also available. To make the powder, the rhizome is boiled for several hours then dried in hot ovens and ground.

Purchasing Options on Joyful Belly

Turmeric, Ground
Vata pacifyingPitta aggravatingKapha pacifying
Invigorates & purifies the blood, improves digestion.

Browse Recipes
Turmeric is used extensively in South Asian and Middle Eastern cooking mainly for its medicinal value and to impart a rich, yellow color. While some practitioners recommend frying turmeric briefly in ghee, I sprinkle the turmeric on the food after cooking for maximum medicinal value. Turmeric milk is one popular preparation. Fresh turmeric can be made into turmeric pickle. The leaves of turmeric are used in Maharashtran Indian cooking. Turmeric is popular as a tea in Japan. It is often used as a replacement for saffron which is more expensive. Turmeric gives the yellow color to mustard and is used in dessert and broths commercial to impart a rich, custard look. For daily use, sprinkle 1/2 tsp per serving into food or warm water 2x daily. Results and dosage may vary by individual.

About the Author

John Immel, the founder of Joyful Belly, teaches people how to have a healthy diet and lifestyle with Ayurveda. His approach to Ayurveda exudes a certain ease, which many find enjoyable and insightful. His online course Balance Your Ayurvedic Diet in a Week provides tools for gracefully healing with Ayurveda to thousands. John also directs Joyful Belly's School of Ayurveda , which specializes in digestive tract pathology & Ayurvedic nutrition. John and his wife Natalie recently published Explore Your Hunger: A Guide to Hunger, Appetite & Food.

John's interest in Ayurveda and digestive tract pathology was inspired by a complex digestive disorder acquired from years of international travel, including his public service work in South Asia. John's commitment to the detailed study of digestive disorders reflects his zeal to get down to the roots of the problem. His hope and belief in the capacity of each & every client to improve their quality of life is nothing short of a personal passion. John's creativity in the kitchen and delight in cooking for others comes from his family oriented upbringing. In addition to his certification in Ayurveda, John holds a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Harvard University.

John enjoys sharing Ayurveda within the context of his Catholic roots, and finds Ayurveda gives him an opportunity to participate in the healing mission of the Church. Jesus expressed God's love by feeding and healing the sick. That kindness is the fundamental ministry of Ayurveda as well.

Comments & Impressions of 'Turmeric'

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(4.55 out of 5 stars) 11 reviews

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I love to use turmeric, either in a honey paste with 5% black or long pepper for penetration and 5% ginger for digestion, or in turmeric milk. I have a fairly extensive piece on turmeric at http://www.acupuncturebrooklyn.com/herbal-articles-by-karen-vaughan/turmeric-sweet-turmeric with recipes. The turmeric honey can shrink lipomas- one patient went from baseball sized to golf ball sized in 6 months.

- Karen Vaughan, Brooklyn, NY, 01-20-10 (Reply)
Once a week after an oil massage ( sesame oil) we use coarse ground chickpea flour (laddu besan) with turmeric as a paste to clean the skin instead of a showergel . Very invigorating. - Raagini Pradhan

I mix it with a little honey for the kids when they have a sore throat. They think its quite magical.. they are right. - Karen Mackenzie

Turmeric, boswelia and a few others as anti inflammatory for my tendonitis. - Erika King

I take it everyday, i used it for my daughter, she had bladder infection, she took a pill for two days together with cranberry juice and it was gone after three days! - Lisa Goudzwaard

I like to mix it with warm milk (or almond milk when I'm not feelin' the dairy) and ginger. Thanks John. - Jeannie Faulkner

- John Immel, Asheville, NC, 09-17-10 (Reply)
I want to use it to help my cancer. I want to make an easy useful tincture. Is that possible and how much should I take? Thanks Gail E. Kincaid
- Gail E. Kincaid, Bloomington, IN, 08-23-11 (Reply)
How much amount of turmeric rhizome (raw) should one take everyday?
- Pinaki Bandyopadhyay, 09-01-12 (Reply)
Very informative
- Doris Berko, 01-20-13 (Reply)
How would I use Turmeric as an internal cleanser? Judy
- Judy, Marysville, CA, 01-30-13 (Reply)
I am confused. In my Ayurveda Book by Judith Morrison, Turmeric is yes for Pitta, but it is a no here? I like Turmeric but stuffer from hot flashes. What should I do?
- Marcella, Huntington beach, CA, 01-30-13 (Reply)
Tumeric and avocado on a open sandwich is the best, somehow the flavour of both just oozes out. I'm glad to hear that I don't have to fry it to get the medicinal properties out, I like to use it any which way. Thank you for a wonderful article.
- Annie Dohne, Beaudesert, 01-30-13 (Reply)
Spot on! Just took an online course through Floracopeia regarding the 10 herbs to have for home health. Turmeric was #1 on the list followed by ginger. And thanks to the other readers for your comments and how you use turmeric. Awesome!
- Kristi, 01-31-13 (Reply)
Dosage Recommendations: 1/2 tsp, 2x a day is mentoned in the cooking section of John's great article!!
- Emily ann, Downers grove, IL, 02-05-13 (Reply)
Marcella - A small amount of turmeric (1/8 - 1/4tsp) reduces pitta due to the cleansing action on the liver. A larger amount increases pitta due because it creates excess heat. Thanks for asking!
- John Immel, Asheville, NC, 02-21-13 (Reply)
Judy - Try 1/4tsp with meals 3x daily.
- John Immel, Asheville, NC, 02-21-13 (Reply)
Thank you John! This is very useful.
- Marcella, Huntington beach, CA, 02-22-13 (Reply)
In the article about ginger, it was mentioned that dry ginger and fresh ginger have different properties. I was wondering whether similar changes occur also between dry turmeric and fresh turmeric ? s.b.
- shiraz, Vancouver, 04-17-13 (Reply)
Really informative article on Turmeric. As an Indian, I have been taking it in most of my food items as a spice (mostly as a saute in ghee). However, I am unable to get pain relieving effect for my neck pain from turmeric in food or milk. Instead, I tried curcumin extract capsules and it seems they have much better anti-inflammatory effect and does reduce the pain substantially. At the same time, due to curcumin I get skin rashes and it also disturbs my pitta. I am really confused here, do you recommend that I continue with curcumin tablet instead of turmeric for pain relief? If not, then how should I be able to get pain relieving effect of turmeric for my (muscular) neck pain? Any suggestion in this regard would be highly appreciated !
- Mayur Punekar, Doha, 12-09-13 (Reply)
i am suffering from itching due to jaundice.any remedy to reduce my itching
- suv, 01-08-14 (Reply)
Dear Mayur P. It sounds like you would benefit from an Ayurveda consultation to find the root cause of your pain Angela
- Angela corcoran, MA, 01-22-14 (Reply)
I want to add turmeric to my medicine bag. I have terminal lung cancer, etc and need to start right away. Could someone please tell me how much of each to make a mixture to put in capsules: Turmeric powder, Black Pepper, and coconut oil. Measurements of each and how many size "0" capsules a day of mixture. Thank you, any help is appreciated. Deanie
- deanie, 12-06-14 (Reply)
I have read one should take tumeric with black pepper?
- Cindy, NC, 12-26-14 (Reply)
I have used turmeric as tea in conjunction with honey and ginger. Very delicious! I read somewhere that in order to get the full effects of turmeric, you would have to consume 1gram a day.... Is this true? And if it is, would consume all at once, or divide it through the day? Thanks Sarah
- Sarah, Winnipeg, MB, 12-26-14 (Reply)
Would taking turmeric interfere with any prescribed meds? Am on birth control for endometriosis management??
- Sherrian Carthy, 01-07-15 (Reply)
- , 01-21-15 (Reply)
I am on turmeric pills for breast cancer. Should I be taken powder instead thanks
- Hayley123, 02-06-15 (Reply)
I enjoy combining about 1/2 teaspoon tumeric, the same amount of ginger, a sprinkle or two of cinnamon and occasionally black pepper to a small cup of coconut milk. Add a little dried orange peel or a splash of orange juice and it's really quite tasty. Not really sure about how the OJ affects the medicinal quality of the tumeric milk, but the taste is pleasant!
- D EE, 02-09-15 (Reply)
What is an alternative to turmeric or how can I use turmeric for a pitta-kapha person with high pitta and vata? I was using it, but now I am thinking it's too much for my pitta. ??
- Anna Marie, Brooklyn, NY, 04-13-15 (Reply)
Is it alright to add tumeric to hot milk (soy or almond) with ashwaganda? Not sure if they have different properties...
- Heidi, Lowbanks, ONTARIO, 01-13-16 (Reply)
You can combine turmeric with warm milk and ashwaghanda. Both of the herbs are warming and pacify Vata and Kapha. Serving them in warm milk will be especially nice for Vata.
- Kimberly Kubicke, Wall, NJ, 01-25-16 (Reply)
While black pepper can enhance the effects of turmeric, it is also potent on its own.
- Kimberly Kubicke, Wall, NJ, 01-25-16 (Reply)
I mixed ground Turmeric with warm milk-for rheumatoid arthritis and lupus pain more awesome.When my kids feel they are coming down with a cold they quickly grab turmeric and milk - it cures there sore throat, they think its a miracle herb.
- Daywattie Haniff, Belrose, 02-28-16 (Reply)

- WEBSITE, 05-03-16 (Reply)
Daywattie Haniff, how much do you use for lupus pain? a friend of mine has lupus now, and is struggling with extreme fatigue. She has been laying on a Bemer pad, and says it is really helping. I'd like to tell her about the turmeric and milk. thank you!
- WEBSITE, 06-04-16 (Reply)
I also read that in addition to taking it with black pepper, it must be taken with coconut or olive oil to bind in the stomach or it will just be peed out
- WEBSITE, 07-18-16 (Reply)
It's difficult to give general advice for a specific condition. Please consider making an appointment for a one on one consultation. You can learn more about our consultations and schedule one via this link: http://www.joyfulbelly.com/wordpress/ayurveda-consultation/?lnk=273
- Kimberly Kubicke, Wall, NJ, 09-05-16 (Reply)
a traditional home remedy for
This information has not been validated by the FDA and should not be used to treat a medical condition.
Abortion (Past)Vata aggravatingKapha pacifyingAches & Pains - GeneralVata aggravatingPitta aggravatingKapha aggravating
Acne - generalKapha aggravatingAcne - painfulPitta aggravatingKapha aggravating
AlcoholPitta aggravatingAnemia CheckmarkVata aggravatingPitta aggravating
Autoimmune DisordersPitta aggravatingAvoids cold CheckmarkVata aggravatingKapha aggravating
Bad breathVata pacifyingPitta aggravatingKapha aggravatingBlood dark in colorKapha aggravating
Blood thick / Congested lymphKapha aggravatingCancerVata aggravatingPitta aggravatingKapha aggravating
CelluliteKapha aggravatingChronic Fungus infection CheckmarkPitta aggravatingKapha aggravating
Chronic InfectionVata aggravatingPitta aggravatingKapha aggravatingClear mucusVata aggravatingKapha aggravating
Clots in menstrual bloodKapha aggravatingCold aggravatesVata aggravatingKapha aggravating
Cold aggravates painVata aggravatingKapha aggravatingCold extremitiesVata aggravatingKapha aggravating
Confusion / Cloudy MindKapha aggravatingCramping back of legVata aggravatingKapha aggravating
Currently pregnantKapha aggravatingDairy/milk/cheese/ice-cream CheckmarkKapha aggravating
DiabetesPitta aggravatingKapha aggravatingDry / light periodVata aggravating
Dry skin CheckmarkVata aggravatingKapha aggravatingDuodenal Ulcer CheckmarkVata aggravatingPitta aggravating
Ear pain/infectionPitta aggravatingKapha aggravatingEasily coldVata aggravatingKapha aggravating
EndometriosisVata aggravatingPitta aggravatingFeel disgustingKapha aggravating
Feel overweightKapha aggravatingFeet or Ankles SwellingKapha aggravating
FibromyalgiaVata aggravatingPitta aggravatingFrequent cavities CheckmarkKapha aggravating
Gastritis CheckmarkPitta aggravatingGum inflammationPitta aggravatingKapha aggravating
H pylori infection CheckmarkVata aggravatingPitta aggravatingHair lossPitta aggravating
Hemorrhoids CheckmarkPitta aggravatingHiatal HerniaVata aggravatingPitta aggravating
High CholesterolKapha aggravatingHigh TriglyceridesKapha aggravating
Hip painVata aggravatingPitta aggravatingHypothyroidKapha aggravating
Illegal Drugs (marijuana, cocaine, etc)Vata aggravatingPitta aggravatingInfertilityVata aggravating
Irregular heartbeat CheckmarkVata aggravatingJaundice CheckmarkPitta aggravating
Joint painVata aggravatingJoint pain after eatingPitta aggravating
Joint pain in fingersLaryngitisKapha aggravating
Leaky Gut SyndromeVata aggravatingPitta aggravatingLow metabolismKapha aggravating
Menstrual crampsVata aggravatingMigrainesVata aggravatingPitta aggravating
Morning joint painMucus CongestionKapha aggravating
Mucus/congestion in morningsKapha aggravatingMultiple chemical sensitivity (MCS)Pitta aggravating
Muscle crampsVata aggravatingKapha aggravatingNo periodVata aggravating
OsteoarthritisVata aggravatingPain lower backVata aggravating
Painful menstruationVata aggravatingPale TongueVata aggravating
Pancreatic Insufficiency CheckmarkVata aggravatingPins and Needles Hands and FeetKapha aggravating
PizzaPitta aggravatingKapha aggravatingPost nasal dripVata aggravatingKapha aggravating
Pressure / popping earsKapha aggravatingReceding gumsPitta aggravatingKapha aggravating
Refined sugarVata aggravatingKapha aggravatingRinging earsVata aggravatingKapha aggravating
Seasonal allergiesKapha aggravatingSedentary Desk / Computer Job CheckmarkVata aggravatingKapha aggravating
Shortness of BreathVata aggravatingKapha aggravatingSticky SalivaKapha aggravating
Stomach fatVata aggravatingKapha aggravatingStomach UlcerPitta aggravating
Stool formed, but porous & airyVata aggravatingPitta aggravatingStuffed nose (can't breathe)Vata aggravatingKapha aggravating
Sweet cravingsKapha aggravatingSwollen joints
Swollen lymph nodesPitta aggravatingKapha aggravatingSwollen lymph nodes - arm pits CheckmarkPitta aggravatingKapha aggravating
Swollen lymph nodes - hips CheckmarkPitta aggravatingKapha aggravatingThick coating tonguePitta aggravatingKapha aggravating
Thick mucusKapha aggravatingThick skinKapha aggravating
Tight musclesVata aggravatingPitta aggravatingTingling/NumbnessVata aggravatingKapha aggravating
Trying to lose weightKapha aggravatingUndigested food in stoolVata aggravating
Wake up with sleep in eyeKapha aggravatingWhite mucusKapha aggravating
White vaginal dischargeKapha aggravatingWorm / Parasite CheckmarkVata aggravatingPitta aggravating
Yellow teeth CheckmarkPitta aggravatingYellow vaginal dischargePitta aggravating

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Browse recipes and hundreds of other ingredients on this extensive educational website. Joyful Belly helps people confidently choose food that restores their healthy glow, using the ancient technique of Ayurveda. Our extensive collection of online recipes, ingredients, and articles makes health easy. To get started, take the free dosha quiz to find your Ayurvedic body type.

What is Ayurveda?

Learn about Ayurveda from the author of this article and founder of Joyful Belly,
John Immel.

* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The information and products on this website are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
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