Posts tagged ‘Turmeric’

March 21, 2012

Turmeric rhizome

A good culinary spice that is amazing at detoxifying, protecting and nourishing the liver is Turmeric rhizome.

Fresh Turmeric rhizome

While most herbs that treat the liver are sour and bitter, turmeric is mild tasting and has a beautiful golden colour that is appealing to the eye. I use it in curry dishes and to colour and flavour rice just like saffron does. In Ayurvedic medicine in India turmeric is used as culinary medicine and as fabric dye, the same way it has been for centuries. It comes from the same family as ginger and looks like a ginger rhizome, but it is more golden orange in colour. 

Fresh Turmeric used to dye fabric

 

Common Name  Turmeric rhizomes
Latin Name  Curcuma longa
Family Zingiberaceae
Parts Used Perennial – rhizome
Target Organs Digestion, liver, gallbladder, cardiovascular, immune, circulatory
Common Uses Nutritive antioxidant

Digestive:  IBD, diarrhea, worms, colic, indigestion

Liver: detoxify, cleanses, protects the liver. Good for all liver conditions.

Lowers bad cholesterol

A good supportive detoxifying nutritive for inhibiting tumours and skin conditions,

A natural fabric dye

Properties Antiallergenic, antibacterial, anticatarrhal, antihepatotoxic, anti-inflammatory, antineoplastic, antioxidant, antiprotozoal, antithrombotic, carminative, cholagogue, choleretic, circulatory stimulant, digestive stimulant, emmenagogue, hepatic, hypolipidemic, hypotensive, immune stimulant
Constituents Curcumin, fiber, manganese, iron, potassium Vitamin B6,
Cautions mild remedy
Dosage Tincture: 1-4ml

Tea: 1-2 tsp infuse 10-15 minutes

Fresh or powdered spice used in cuisine

 

March 21, 2012

Herbs for the Liver and Gallbladder

Spring is here like a breath of much-needed fresh air!

stigma

Because Spring falls under the wood element in the Chinese Five Elements and rules the liver and gallbladder it is a good time to do a liver cleanse (especially after St. Patrick’s Day for those that imbibe.) There are many herbs that cleanse, detoxify, protect, nourish and regenerate the liver. 

The liver is a metabolism center that neutralizes toxins, synthesizes proteins, and stores glycogen (starch) and changes it back into glucose (sugar) and releases it when needed. The gallbladder stores bile for the liver to excrete.

The liver gets stimulated by sour taste that is why lemon, lime or citrus in water helps to detoxify. Bitter sour herbs stimulate the liver, gallbladder, glands and digestion.

Sour action decongests, tightens, stimulates and is astringent.

Fresh Turmeric rhizome

Fresh Turmeric rhizome

Herbal Therapeutic Properties that treat the Liver and Gallbladder are Hepatics, Cholagogues and Depuratives.

Hepatics are liver tonics that improve liver function and regenerate liver cells. Hepato-protective herbs also called anti-hepatotoxics have specific antioxidant properties that protect the liver.

Cholagogues stimulate bile production and choleretics enhances bile quantity and quality. Stored in the gallbladder, bile helps to digest fats. Improving fat digestion reduces the burden on these organs, therefore preventing gallstones from forming.

Depuratives are also known as Detoxicants because they support detoxification. They are also called Alteratives and are known as blood purifiers.

Turmeric

Turmeric spice dried powder

Herbal Liver Tonics~ Herbs for the Liver and Gallbladder

Hepatic restoratives and nutritives nourish and restore. The high nutrient content is good for fatigue: These herbs make a good nutritious beverage tea drink-

chicory root, nettle herb, alfalfa herb, artichoke leaf,

Hepato-protective /anti-hepatotoxics are herbs that protect and detoxify the liver:

Turmeric rhizome, milk thistle seed, barberry, licorice root, garlic bulb, black/green tea, Astragalus root, ginkgo leaf, hawthorn leaf/flower/fruit, polypore fruiting body/ fungi, North American ginseng root, sage herb, rosemary herb,

Hepato-protective /anti-hepatotoxics 2nd properties:

Burdock roots

Burdock roots

burdock root, wormwood, gentian root, elecampane root, marjoram herb, heal-all herb, centaury

Bitter, cool liver decongestants and cholagogues:

milk thistle seed, wormwood herb, celandine herb, gentian root, centaury root, blessed thistle herb, Oregon grape, yellow dock root, figwort herb, dandelion root, burdock root

General herbs that protect, restore, nourish and detoxify the liver.

Turmeric rhizome, milk thistle seed, wormwood herb,  gentian root, centaury root, blessed thistle herb, barberry, ginger rhizome, garlic bulb, caraway, dill seeds 

Herbs that are good for the liver are usually very bitter and unpleasant tasting like wormwood herb and barberry, but it is important to taste herbs to ensure good therapeutic action.

I like to put bitter herbs in red wine to mellow the flavour.

Macerate your choice of a single herb in red wine for a couple of weeks. Take a teaspoon a day for a couple of weeks or take these herbs in a tincture for a cycle of 2-3 weeks and then take a break for a week before starting any other herbal remedy.  Your liver will thank-you!

Springtime Liver Cleanse:

Top 5 Things to do for a Liver Cleanse

Pick any two to three weeks in springtime to do a liver cleanse. Do any or all of the following:

  1. Put a slice of lemon or lime in your water
  2. Eat more spring greens, green leafy vegetables and natural foods
  3. Add liver tonic herbs to your diet like turmeric dried spice or fresh rhizome
  4. Drink roasted dandelion and chicory root beverage it tastes like coffee
  5. Make a tea, juice, smoothie, tincture or wine with your choice of herbs and plants that benefit the liver and gallbladder
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