Yesterday, I went to an Educational Symposium for IBD held here in Houston, TX. It was fascinating to hear mainstream medicine beginning to focus on the microbiome as a source of investigation for the cause and treatment of UC. So one of the biggest and most concrete suggestions I took away from this conference was about TURMERIC.
There is no money for drug companies in studying this so I think it’s great that it’s even being studied at all. So here is what we learned:
Turmeric is helpful for Ulcerative Colitis
Turmeric was found to be useful in keeping patients who currently had inactive ulcerative colitis in remission.
This was a double blind controlled study, which is the gold standard in science. They gave 2 grams of curcumin, which is the active component of turmeric, which has anti-inflammatory properties, to one group but not the other for 6 months. Both the control group and the placebo also took sulfasalazine or mesalamine. More people who received the placebo relapsed and had a flare than the control group who receiving the curcumin.
Turmeric and Medical Medium’s Life-Changing Foods
I also just want to point out, because I think Anthony Williams work is interesting, that turmeric is one of the foods he profiles in his encyclopedic-like book, Medical Medium’s Life-Changing Foods.
He explains that turmeric is great for people whose bodies can get stuck in a loop of pain and inflammation, and that turmeric can help break the loop. He also says it can increase blood supply to needed areas. And he mentions that with the high manganese present in turmeric, the combination can be helpful for the cardiovascular system and prevention of cancer. Emotionally, Williams says turmeric can potentially help boost a person’s own self-worth, if you struggle with being down on yourself or question your own worthiness in projects, relationships, etc.
I kind of take Anthony Williams suggestions with a grain of salt, but I do love his emphasis on the positive and the idea that our food is more than just nutrients but also information and support for our bodies. Sometimes it resonates for me, and sometimes it doesn’t, so just take what works for you and leave the rest.
How to take 2 grams a day to replicate the study
I plan to start taking this myself, and see how I do on it. I have been on mesalamine for 10 years now! I am still young and otherwise healthy, so I would like to get off of this and turmeric seems like a perfect alternative for me right now. I’ve come a long way since I was first diagnosed and have completely overhauled my diet and lifestyle, which I know has been enormously beneficial for me. I know this isn’t how it was used in the study, but I’m going to the GI doctor soon and will discuss this with her.
So I did some research on Amazon, and found one that I hope is useful: Doctor’s Best Curcumin
I checked the back and it showed each 500 mg capsule of turmeric contained 75-81% curcumin, so I will probably take between 4-6 capsule per day.
I have always felt it’s kind of weird how researchers do studies but then do not provide the exact source of the active compound that they used. It would take out the guesswork if they just identified what they used in patients.
How to grow it yourself
Apparently you can grow this yourself! I saw a pic of someone from southern California who had a beautiful and large harvest of tumeric, and she said she grew them in pots! Living in the Houston area, I love Bob Randall’s reference book for growing in our area, Year Round Vegetables, Fruits, and Flowers for Metro Houston:
You actually have to go the store and find the fresh turmeric root. They are skinny and orange-ish in color. You can plant it anytime of the year, but if the weather outside is under 80 degrees, plant them in a pot indoors. Plant the root 1 inch deep, and the plants grow to be about 18 inches tall and they need at least 12 inches of space around them, in case you are growing outdoors or in raised beds, so you know how far to space them. They prefer hot, humid and shady places. They grow to full sive when you can harvest them in about 4-6 months. Apparently you can cut and freeze the roots to save them after you harvest.
I want to learn to grow my own and use it in teas or add it to a morning smoothie.
I enjoy finding science-based alternative remedies or modalities because I am in love with the idea of bringing our bodies back into balance, recognizing that healing can be physical, mental, emotional, and even spiritual. I want to encourage you to read the science and do what feels right for you, but I know that it can be game changer when we decide to take our health back into our own hands.
If you are interested in bringing your body back into balance in a more natural way, check out my Easy to Digest Guide.