Tree turmeric is a medicinal plant that’s been used for centuries to help combat a variety of ailments as well as spicing up some of our favorite dishes. For a while, the plant was thought to be close to extinction with a 2014 survey only finding 33 mature plants, but thankfully, it’s made a comeback. Turmeric has been a constant staple in India’s diet for years, but with all of this plant’s benefits, it’s time to start incorporating into diets around the world. But what exactly are all the uses for tree turmeric? How can it help with boosting our health and is there information out there backing the health claims? Let’s take a closer look at how this medicinal plant can do everything from help in lowering your cholesterol, regulating your blood sugar and adding a little bit more spice to our foods.
Latin Name: Berberis Aristata
Other Common Names: Indian barberry, chutro, Bérbero Indio, Chitra, Darhahed, Darhald, Daruhaldi, Daruharidra, Darurajani, Darvi, Épine-Vinette Aristée, Hint Amberparisi, Indian Barberry, Indian Berberry, Indian Lycium, Indian Ophthalmic Barberry, Nepal Barberry, Nepalese Barberry, Ophthalmic Barberry
Habitat: Tree turmeric can be found in temperate regions and in the subtropical areas of America, Asia, and Europe.
Plant Description: Berberis Aristata is a woody plant with an upright spiny shrub. The bark color ranges from yellow to brown on the outside with the inside having deeper yellow coloring. From the bark grows three-branched thorns and are considered to be modified leaves. These leaves are deep green with a leathery feel to them.
Plant Parts Used: A large portion of the plant can be used for medicinal purposes, and this is popular in India, but it’s mainly the berries and leaves that are used for cooking and in dishes.
Potential Uses for Tree Turmeric
Tree turmeric may be doing the heavy lifting with its numerous benefits, but you may want to lend a hand. It’s not necessarily the most inviting spice and it can sometimes be tough to come up with recipes to use it in. Practically the entire tree is used for food and/or medicine.
Tree turmeric, much like common turmeric, can be bought in an already dried and ground-up powder that you can get at a reasonable price. Fresh berries from the tree truly are a treat and the flowers can make any salad even more beautiful. It has a sweet and earthy flavor you just won’t find anywhere else.
Tree Turmeric, or Berberis aristata, is also known by its more common name, Indian Barberry and you might be wondering why they would name a tree after a completely unrelated bright orange root. In addition to being native to the same part of the Asian subcontinent, tree turmeric shares a lot more in common with the root vegetable, common turmeric, than you might think. Tree turmeric has been used for centuries to treat a number of common health conditions. The more you learn about tree turmeric, the more you will ask yourself why it isn’t already in your pantry.
For some of us, experimenting in the kitchen can be overwhelming. You might be someone who sticks to the foods you know and there’s nothing wrong with that. But if you’re searching for a way to boost your immune system, fight off inflammation as well as help maintaining a healthy gut, tree turmeric is definitely something worth looking into. If you aren’t sure how you can add tree turmeric into your daily diet, there are plenty of ideas available. Whether it’s creating a turmeric tea or adding a pinch of it to your morning smoothie, however, you manage to work it in is going to benefit your health. With all of the medicinal benefits of tree turmeric, it’s an easy and affordable way to treat certain chronic illnesses that affect much of the world like obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and more.
The greatest benefit of all that lies in tree turmeric is its ability to help regulate blood sugar. High blood sugar is typically caused by diabetes, a health condition prevalent in the United States as well as the rest of the world. Diabetes is a chronic condition that occurs when sugar builds up in the bloodstream and the body doesn’t create enough insulin in order to combat the problem. There’s no cure for the illness but it can be managed with a healthy diet and regular exercise along with help from different medicines.
Tree turmeric contains berberine. Berberine is a compound found in a few different plants and is known for its ability to help with ailments like diabetes, obesity, and inflammation. The compound is able to make changes within the body’s cells and has actually been used in China for thousands of years. Relating to diabetes, studies have found that it can have a positive effect on sugar levels in the blood, insulin, and triglycerides. This is especially helpful for those who can’t take traditional diabetes medication due to liver disease or other problems.
With Berberine’s other properties it’s helpful for not only diabetes but ailments like heart disease and high blood pressure as well. The compound has been proven to help with overall gut health which can affect a variety of problems like diarrhea, constipation and bloating. It’s also great for immune support because it assists in maintaining a healthy gut flora.
Throughout the ages, people have also taken tree turmeric for heart failure, liver disease, malaria, trachoma, skin diseases, heavy menstrual periods, swelling of the stomach and intestines (gastroenteritis), diarrhea, and yellowed skin (jaundice). However, scientific studies on the effectiveness of tree turmeric on these maladies is limited.
While the extent of the effectiveness of many medicinal herbs and plants have yet to be completely explored, there’s plenty of evidence available showing how helpful tree turmeric really is and how we can all benefit from using it on a regular basis.
Possible Side Effects and Interactions of Tree Turmeric
Tree turmeric – and berberine for that matter – should not be given to newborns nor taken by pregnant or nursing mothers. Tree turmeric should also not be taken at the same time as the medication Cyclosporine (aka Neoral, Sandimmune) as it may interfere with the body’s breakdown of the medication.