Turmeric – is it good for everyone? My nightmare!

So everyone was talking about turmeric. Dr. Oz as early as 2012, and Dr. Christiane Northrup. My girlfriend got meturmeric her book, Goddess Never Age which I absolutely recommend to any woman! These are experts in the holistic industry that I admire and follow.

Turmeric is supposed to be anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer and have all these great properties for great health. Well, I’m in the health and wellness profession and thought I need to be taking this. I started with the powder form that I used for cooking. Now, I did go to my local Kroger store and bought what they had so it was not organic. I used it in stir-fry’s and eggs and soups and anything I thought it would be good on.

I am a massage therapist and I use essential oils on myself and my clients. I started noticing that my skin was breaking out on my hands and arms. I could not figure out what was going on. I thought maybe it’s the essential oils, so I stopped using them. I needed more turmeric to reduce inflammation in my body so I went and bought pill supplements to take.

I had taken them for a couple of days. They were the pill form that is a capsule. One day I took a pill and it must not have gone down all the way and I was in a hurry and didn’t drink enough water and I burped and the pill exploded in my esophagus. If you know about turmeric it is a deep-orange-yellow powder used in Indian foods and it’s distinctly earthy, slightly bitter, slightly hot peppery flavor and a mustard smell. There was turmeric coming out of my nose and ears and I could feel it in my head and behind my eyes and it was the most traumatic thing I have ever experienced. So much so that I immediately threw up. I was headed to the office for an appointment and here I am throwing up, turmeric coming out of everywhere and my head pounding and I’m in agony.

Somehow I made it to the office and through my appointment and just chalked that up to one of the most bizarre experiences of my life. This was my body telling me, that it didn’t want it and I didn’t listen! So what did I do? Well I said I will never take another one of those pills so I will just open the capsules and pour it into my smoothies. And that is what I did. Morning after morning I would pour this powder into my smoothies that were incredibly healthy with spinach, celery, cucumber, carrot, strawberry, blueberry, banana, whey protein. And now I was breaking out in hives over my hands, arms, back, chest and thought something is really wrong with me.

It wasn’t only hives but it was the kind of itching that I wanted to scratch my entire skin off. The only time I got relief was when I was sleeping and I was even scratching in my sleep because I would wake up and have welts on my skin. I started wearing gloves to do massage and thought my career was over and it was completely devastating. Thankfully all my clients were understanding and I found gloves that felt natural and they could hardly tell the difference. But I could. My hands were swollen and broke out and I was wearing gloves and doing massage the whole time while I was in excruciating pain.

I went to the doctor for blood work. I went to a dermatologist for biopsy. Every test kept coming back contact dermatitis. Well I knew that! I knew something I was coming in contact with was causing this. I’ve been healthy all my life, never had an allergy to anything. So I changed everything, laundry soap, shampoo, conditioner, body soap, stopped using the towels at the gym (cause I thought I was allergic to them) wore gloves to do dishes and cleaning. I was on steroids, lotions, creams, anti-histamines. Ended up doing 6 rounds of steroids which caused weight gain! They did work and then when I stopped them all the hives came back. Yay! My life was in turmoil! The hives had spread to my back, and down my arms and my chest and now my legs and I was freaking out. Funny thing is that it never got to my face! I have no idea why but I was grateful!

And I guess I should just mention that I was still using turmeric because I thought that I needed it to fight whatever inflammation was going on in my body. An entire year and a half in 2014 and 2015 with me in pain, not knowing what is going on and thinking my life as a massage therapist is over and done.

Christmas comes around and my whole family is here. My sister Dawn, said ok, “What are you doing, taking, let’s figure this out”. I said well I do a smoothie in the morning with this, this, this, and turmeric powder. She’s says “turmeric? Really” She looks it up on the internet and the classic sign if you are allergic to it is contact dermatitis and hives. OH MY GOSH!!! I would have never thought it was the turmeric because it was supposed to be so healthy and have all these great properties and I never questioned it!

It’s now June 2016 and I can say that my skin is finally healing. It’s taken six months to renew my skin. It’s still very sensitive and if I scratch it will welt so I have to be very careful. After about three weeks being off turmeric the insane itching stopped which I was so thankful for.

Someone suggested to me that because my DNA is not of Middle Eastern descent that my body could not handle it, and that is an interesting concept and might be valid but I don’t know.

So here is the moral of the story. Not everything that is out there is going to be good for YOU! Just because all the experts are saying it is so, may not be for YOU! I am in no way am demeaning those experts! They bring valuable information and you have to figure out if it is right for you! And that goes for medicine from a doctor or something holistic and healthy. When I had that first incident I should have thought, hum that was not good and my body is rejecting this. Listen to your body, it knows!


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