As spoken to Emma Lodge | August 2018



Australian Veterinarian, Farmer and Marathon runner Doug English is a world leader in the use of turmeric. Treating ailments in animals and humans, his original golden paste recipe is leading the way with over 275k followers on his Tumeric User Group on Facebook all keen to learn and share the benefits of turmeric.

Emma: You’re a North Queenslander!

Doug: Yes my family is well entrenched there. I was born in Atherton hospital and grew up in Malanda. English Street in Cairns was actually named after my grandfather’s brother who was a doctor in Cairns and a member of the council before and after the First World War.

Emma: And you’ve been a practicing vet for over 40 years?

Doug: I’ve been practicing since 1974. I went to Gatton College and studied Agriculture in 1967, combining it with a degree in Veterinary science.

Emma: So have you always been into experimenting and making formulas?

Doug: Yes I’ve always enjoyed experimenting left field with things. I’ve always been a foodie; I love food, healthy living, exercise and good sleep.

Emma: What prompted you to begin experimenting with turmeric?

Doug: In veterinary practice itchy horse and itchy dog is a pretty frustrating condition. I would spend hours upon hours researching why it’s happening, and ways and means to treat it. Turmeric kept popping up, so I started trialling it about 10 years ago.

Emma: Is that when you created the Golden Paste?

Doug: Well golden paste has always been around; it’s actually an ancient recipe that has been used in Indian cooking practices for thousands of years. What I’ve done is pushed it and modified the way it’s made, because in a lot of cases people make it but not quite correct. Our recipe has been tried and tested by tens of thousands of members and their pets in the Turmeric User Group. Collecting this data from users has helped us to perfect the recipe. It works and it’s scientifically relevant.

Emma: I had a look at the Turmeric User Group on Facebook. It’s amass of information and incredible stories. How did you get started with that?

Doug: Well people would say there’s no data around on the use of turmeric on animals, including humans, so I decided to start my own database.

“I founded the turmeric user group in 2012 to gather anecdotal evidence on how people are using it, what they are using it for, and the results they were getting”

I hoped to get at least several hundred anecdotes to give credibility, but the page ended up growing far beyond my expectations. We currently have 275k members from all over the world, and it is now the world’s largest chatroom on turmeric receiving numerous daily positive anecdotes. The page is now administrated by several medical professionals and volunteers to ensure accurate information is being shared.

Emma: So what kind of results are you seeing from users of the Golden Paste?

Doug: Oh there are hundreds of amazing stories. From diverticulitis to fertility, there are people on IVF programs who’ve conceived after going on turmeric. I’ve also got old chickens starting to lay eggs again and baron dog bitches having healthy litters. I’ve got cancer patients doing very well and equine sarcoids of horses with massive tumours which have come good. Hair growth, energy levels, diabetes, irritable bowel, arthritis really made an improvement, and aging processes such as Alzheimer’s, dementia, it’s all very positive. I even found my own metabolism changed, because I run a lot I found I could run better, further, faster, longer and I didn’t get sore.

Emma: Wow incredible. So why is black pepper so important when taking turmeric? Is that to do with absorption?

Doug: No it’s not really to do with absorption; it might affect the absorption a little bit, but pepper actually slows down excretion. Peppercorns contain an enzyme called piperine which slows down the metabolism of curcumin (one of the active constituents of turmeric) allowing it to remain effective in the body for much longer than it would without the pepper.

“So turmeric needs pepper and oil, and it needs to be cooked to solubilise it, that makes a huge difference”

Emma: How about turmeric and curcumin supplements versus golden paste, is there a difference?

Doug: Well to begin with turmeric is a plant; it is real food not a pharmaceutical. It’s meant to be eaten as food, with food. Would you take an apple pill? Or just eat the bromelain extracted from pineapples instead of the whole fruit?

“We need to recognize that whole fruits and vegetables possess other valuable compounds that work best together as they evolved together, in “synergy” with each other, you can’t separate it”

The difference with the paste is that it is more readily metabolised. Then there is the confusion with straight turmeric and the curcumin concentrate supplements. If you’re after the curcumin effect, which is in the turmeric, then you can add some concentrate to the golden paste, then you’ve got the synergistic chemical compounds along with it and your body can absorb it pretty well at the same time.

Emma: How do you personally take the golden paste Doug?

Doug: Well it needs to be consumed in or with food in order to get maximum absorption and maximum health benefits. I add a spoonful to anything really… vegetables, mashed potato, mashed pumpkin, vegetable curries, soups or scrambled eggs. I put it in milk and make golden milk or put it in coffee. The issue with turmeric is a lot of people don’t like the taste so mixed in with food or in a turmeric bar it actually has quite a good taste

Image: Tumeric Life Bars

Emma: Oh yes your Turmeric Life bars. How did you come up with the idea to create those?

Doug: Well I noticed a lot of people on our Tumeric Users group questioning how they could transport the golden paste on holidays with them or away for work, it was a bit of a problem. I had just been experimenting with an assimilable form of the paste which gave me an idea to create a bar that’s transportable and easily taken. I experimented for a long time with recipes, our first batch of bars was created in 2016 and I’ve got it down pat now. There’s 10 serves in every bar and a lot of turmeric. You could eat the whole bar in one sitting, but it’s a bit of a waste as you can’t efficiently metabolise a big dose of turmeric, so eating little and often is the key.

Emma: So what’s next for Dougie and Turmeric Life?

Doug: I’ve got a dog bar coming out next that will include liver extract and collagen. I’ve also been experimenting with an itchy dog gel and have just completed some trials on humans for psoriasis and rashes with symptoms disappearing in about 3-4 days. I’ve got an experimental turmeric plot down here on the Gold Coast where I’m now based; it’s very productive and grows very well. So what I’d like to head towards is a farm where I can grow and process turmeric, plus have a laboratory where I can get the extracts made and use them in my own products so I know from go to whoa it has the purest ingredients possible.

Emma: Good on you Dougie! All that food and turmeric talk has got me hungry… I’m off to order some bars!