Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is part of the ginger family. The rhizomes or creeping roots of the plant have been used as a spice, perfume, cosmetics, and dye for thousands of years in parts of Asia. It’s also been widely used in Ayurveda and Chinese traditional medicine for centuries.
Like ginger, turmeric is an antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral spice that has many healing properties and is known to primarily help as an anti-inflammatory or antioxidant. Be cautious about the quality of the turmeric you’re buying and using.
The main active ingredient in turmeric which gives it its therapeutic effect is called curcumin. Powders are the most convenient way to make turmeric medicine for our furry friends to consume. Even better, a concentrated extract of turmeric will make the medicine 5 to 10 times stronger than plain turmeric. Be careful to buy the pure unadulterated form. Mixing it with olive oil or coconut oil aids the absorption of turmeric/curcumin and can be added to food. But fish oil may be the most palatable!
Turmeric is one of the most thoroughly researched plants in existence today. Its medicinal properties and components (primarily curcumin) have been the subject of over 12,000 peer-reviewed and published biomedical studies. Studies suggest that turmeric is just as effective as 14 different pharmaceutical drugs.
Turmeric/curcumin has been shown to be helpful in the following ailments:
- Arthritis or joint pain
- Acts as a natural pain relief
- Help with heart disease
- Cognitive health
- Help with IBS issues
- Help with allergies
- Immune booster
- Helps with autoimmune diseases
- Can help prevent worms
- Natural alternative to help treat diarrhea
- Helps with the prevention of toxins building up in the liver and pancreas
Turmeric is a natural blood thinner so you should avoid giving this to your cat if they are already prescribed blood thinning medication or has a blood disorder.
If your cat has a serious illness or is under vet care for an ailment, treatment, operation, etc. please ensure you speak with your vet before incorporating turmeric into your cat’s diet so it doesn’t react with any prescribed medicine.
Side effects are not common but constipation and digestive upsets are possible. If this occurs stop the medicine for a few days and reintroduce it with a much lower dose (say ¼).
- Start with 50 grams of turmeric powder
- 150 ml water
- Add 50 ml of organic coconut oil or organic extra virgin olive oil. But fish oil is probably the best!
- Since turmeric/curcumin is not readily water soluble, the oil will greatly enhance its absorption.
- Often black pepper, (say I teaspoon) is added to enhance absorption. But in my experience, I find the oil does the job on its own.
- Place the water and turmeric in a pan and bring to a boil, then lower the heat and let the mixture simmer until you have a thick paste.
- Add more water if necessary to make a consistent paste.
- Allow the paste to cool just a little and then add the oil.
- The medicine can be made into an ice cube which makes it more interesting (best to do it outside!)
- Or just store it in the fridge and it stays fresh for at least 10 days.
Start with ½ teaspoon until the age of catten and thereafter 1 teaspoon should be ideal.
Mixing with food is usually the easiest way to administer.