HalleLUYA, it’s yellow ginger to the rescue!

Remember when they said that the frivolities of your youth would eventually bite you in the rear? It’s true. And currently it’s been gnawing away at me like a dog chews a bone. But this is a story of how I found a pill that bites back, made from one of my fave spices.

HalleLUYA, it's luyang dilaw, otherwise known as turmeric.

HalleLUYA, it’s luyang dilaw, otherwise known as turmeric.

An old track injury has bugged my knee for years and has prevented me from running in the last three seasons of Milo’s Apex Running School. Lately it’s been giving me grief late at night when it’s cold, too. I had a sports doctor check it out, fearing the worst, but happily, it was nothing a little hot compress and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory creams couldn’t deal with. It was just a little swelling caused by years of abuse and a misaligned leg. However, as most people close to me know, I don’t like big-company pharmaceuticals. I get enough meds for my asthma to make me wary of anything that might clash with my maintenance drugs. In fact, if I have migraines, I would rather sleep it off than pop a pill.

A vegan friend recommended that I try turmeric tea. It wouldn’t make the pain go away, but it would help my body heal better and boost my immune system, helping out with my asthma as a bonus. I read up on it and found that while turmeric was that delightful little yellow root crop that gave curry its distinctive flavor and color, it also has a lot of health benefits.

Turmeric has active chemical compounds called curcuminoids, including curcumin. It also has manganese, iron, vitamin B6, fiber, and potassium, but curcumin held the key to its healing properties. History tells us that turmeric’s been used in folk medicine for centuries, and since then, science has proven it to be a remarkably safe anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and antibacterial agent, making it an edible, all-natural weapon against arthritis and digestive disease and even being regarded as a potential defense against cystic fibrosis. Modern medicine has turned its beady little eye on superfoods, including this lowly yellow root, to figure out what makes it so effective against hypertension and oxidative damage. Turns out that some of those old wives’ tales were true!

Seriously. This little yellow grub-like nodule is magic. But all I want is a pain-free way to have my coffee.

Seriously. This little yellow grub-like nodule is magic. But all I want is a pain-free way to have my coffee.

While the whole “magic bullet” thing made me doubtful, I wanted to try something all natural. So I had my friend brew me a mug of the root tea. Swallow a few peppercorns to enhance absorption, she said. I drew the line there and sipped my tea.

To be fair, it made it to my throat before I spewed it back up again. Delicious as it may be in a stew, turmeric tea is a vile, vile, thing. It tastes like what I imagine Veritaserum does – like old wool socks and mold and too-young vinegar. To make it from powder is even worse. Maybe it’s an acquired taste, but I wasn’t acquiring that taste anytime soon.

Yeah, so NO. How about NEVER? Never good for you? Okay? Good talk.

Yeah, so NO. How about NEVER? Never good for you? Okay? Good talk.

What’s more, turmeric in its natural form only has about 3% curcumin as compared to its other ingredients by mass. How much tea would I have to endure to get enough of it in my body to do anything?

After my friend’s husband had had a good laugh at me, he told me he’d heard that some people made pills of curcumin. Nothing super-potent, because it wasn’t medicine, mind. But it was neat, easy to take, and it had no taste.

So I made a few inquiries and ended up with two boxes of Turcumin. Additional research while searching for places to buy it led to this Huffington Post article, which cites turmeric as a great way to help with gastrointestinal distress ( a common complaint of mine, born of too-long nights and coffee on an empty stomach) and avoid diabetes. However, it did tend to slow coagulation of blood, but that was not a problem for me. I figured that at the very, very least, it would get rid of the heartburn. Yes, I’m a sickly bunny.

My weapon of choice against tummy issues.

My weapon of choice against tummy issues.

Can I say that these cheerful little pills are not cheap? They aren’t. And they hike up your internal body temp a few degrees – which is the most unpleasant side effect I’ve encountered so far. It’s noticeable after around four days of taking them, and if you’re sensitive to it like me (I have a condition that prevents me from sweating easily) and are taking it in the middle of a tropical summer, it can give you heat headaches.

But around the same time, my sensitivity to acidic foods dropped drastically – I know because I am not exactly careful about watching what I eat and have been known to regret my morning coffee. I have been taking Turcumin for a few weeks, and have not had a single “burpy” attack. And while my doctor will hate me for this, I am back on (less) brewed coffee with no ill effects. I am, however, careful to eat something with it now. Hey, Turcumin may be great, but I’m not going through that whole drama at the hospital bit over again.

It’s also helped my knee, but I injured my wrist a week ago and it’s not healing up as fast as I had hoped. Quickly and without a doctor, but I might still have to see someone about it. Still I have no doubt that the pills are helping. They’re easy to integrate into my regular medicating schedule, too. Just pop one after lunch and/or dinner, and you’re fine. I’m careful not to take more than two, though. I read somewhere you can actually overdose on it. Not really clear how that could be bad, but still.

None of the known side effects from eating the root have shown up, either – meaning my teeth aren’t stained any worse (that’s the coffee), my sweat doesn’t smell any different, and I’m not gagging up gallons of tea.

This is super-easy to take, tasteless, and good for you. Win-win!

This is super-easy to take, tasteless, and good for you. Win-win!

I think I like it enough to recommend it. So if you’re looking for something to calm your tummy and peppermint tea won’t cut it anymore, try something that looks like a pill but isn’t. Turcumin is a supplement, so it doesn’t have any legally-approved medical claims, but it can’t hurt (DO NOT eat the whole pack in one go, and the box is inedible). Better than popping strange meds, right?

Raffy agrees!

Raffy agrees!

Now… does anyone have a good doctor for my TCS?

Spread the word!

    posted on by Little Bunny posted in how stuff works

    Response to: HalleLUYA, it’s yellow ginger to the rescue!

    1. abhi doka

      I want to more known about yellow ginger

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