The Magic of Turmeric
Turmeric is a herb – a member of the ginger family. It has a deep orange colour and is used in cooking, herbal medicine and dyes. It is probably best known for its use in curries, but it has been used in Eastern cooking for centuries. The Chinese have also long understood the benefit of Turmeric to the human body.
So why is Turmeric good for our pets, and in what way can it help them? It has a bio-active compound called curcumin. This is what gives Turmeric its bright orange colour, but it is more importantly responsible for its many health benefits. Curcumin acts as a natural pain reliever and antioxidant, both of which can have significant benefits for dogs with arthritic problems. Its properties can also give relief to the natural ageing pains, which elderly dogs can suffer from (just like us humans, in fact).
As well as its anti-inflammatory properties, Turmeric is also a natural antiseptic. In some countries, Turmeric has traditionally been applied externally to wounds and skin damage. So it can be applied to your dog’s cuts and abrasions to cleanse the wound, ward off bacteria & infection and stimulate recovery. Please look at our feature on Turmeric paste to see how to do this.
Turmeric has also been proved to reduce cholesterol and help to thin the blood, both of which can be very beneficial for older dogs. Please note that if your dog is already on medication for these types of problems, it is always best to seek medical advice before using alternative remedies such as this.
Turmeric is also known as a detoxifier. The liver works hard at removing toxins from the body and one of the main functions of the liver is to produce bile, and curcumin is believed to help produce bile. As bile is key in the breaking down of fat, adding Turmeric to your dog’s diet will help the liver to be more effective in removing fat and waste products from the body. The more help organs can get, the better they will function and the less they will suffer from wear. Once again, if your dog is on specific medications, it is always best to seek medical advice before adding natural medications.
Studies have also linked Turmeric with the treatment of cancers. So surely, without getting too scientific, if Turmeric has this many potential benefits (and no apparent negatives) then I hope that you can see that your dog’s health would benefit from adding this magical, colourful, and natural substance to their diet.