Turmeric, the Medicinal Gold Dust
If you are unfamiliar with turmeric, look for the extremely bright yellow powder in the spice section of your local supermarket. This seasoning is the base of many curries and Indian dishes and has recently taken the spot light for its numerous healing properties. It is actually a deep orange colored root in the ginger family and is grown in Asia and Central America. If you can buy the fresh root, it is wonderful to cook with and to prepare simple home remedies, but if fresh is not available, you can find high-quality powdered versions and tablet options if you are taking it medicinally. If you are interested in more than functional nutrition, be sure to look for supplements that are high in curcumin, the active healing ingredient in turmeric. The spice or root in its whole form has about 3% curcumin, while extracts and tablets are concentrated at 90% or higher. Turmeric has grown in popularity for many reasons, but as with all superfoods, you need to separate the fact from the fiction.
Though it is touted for many things, turmeric has specific benefits both externally and internally. The most valuable is its powerful and proven anti-inflammatory properties. Inflammation is the root of hundreds of diseases and sources of pain. Turmeric has been studied in reference to obvious inflammatory diseases such as arthritis, neurological traumas and age related pain, but they have also begun to link the benefits of curcumin in cases of physical injuries, inflamed intestines and inflammation in the brain affecting Alzheimer’s. If you suffer from extreme inflammatory response in muscles, tendons or organs, you may wish to take a medical dose of curcumin if approved by your doctor. If you would like to take preventative action or treat against minor inflammation, using a culinary turmeric option should do the trick!
Turmeric’s anti-inflammatory properties don’t stop on the inside. It’s great for minor skin inflammations like psoriasis and eczema along with redness and swelling from acne and outbreaks. Combined with honey, you have the ultimate skin care regime. Simply combine organic honey with a high-quality turmeric powder into a thick paste and spot test your wrist for any reactions or discolorations. If you don’t experience any negative effects, then you can use this mask 3 to 5 times a week until your skin clears up. Be careful though as turmeric’s bright yellow color stains, so be sure not to get it on your counters or towels.
Turmeric has been shown to have positive effects against cancer, heart disease and it is a strong immune booster due to its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antimicrobial properties. It can also cross the blood brain barrier bringing antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits to the brain as well. This can help to reduce the risk of neurodegenerative diseases, enhance cognitive function and improve mood by supporting the hormone brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). This is one plant medicine that should be in everyone’s cabinet!
This delicious gold spice reduces inflammation in the gut and can be an effective relief against inflammatory bowel disease, colitis and Crohn’s. Turmeric is also a natural probiotic with test results showing a 7% increase in gut microbiota while taking turmeric and a 69% increase for those who took a concentrated form of curcumin. It’s also been shown to aid with intestinal impermeability, meaning you have another tool against leaky gut.
Curcumin has another benefit, but this one needs to be taken with a side of caution. Turmeric has been shown to reduce platelet aggregation and the risk of blood clots. For those who struggle with vascular thrombosis, this can provide relief, but for others who have a risk of bleeding, wounds or are pregnant or breast feeding, concentrated doses of curcumin could be very dangerous. This doesn’t mean you must give up curries, simply avoid medicinal grade curcumin supplements.
With all of these incredible healing properties, you may want to run out and stock up on this tasty spice, but once you’ve got it, how will you use it? If you’re brave, you could mix ½ - 1 teaspoon of turmeric with ¾ - 1 tablespoon of organic honey and simply eat it, but for those who aren’t ready to add this to their vitamin regime, there are easier and tastier ways to get your curcumin. For shakes, smoothie bowls and tasty treats, add in one scoop of Terra Origin Bone Broth Collagen with Turmeric. This will provide a massive boost to your joints, cartilage and gut health!
To experience the benefits of curcumin in your system, it’s best to consume at least one teaspoon a day. If you want to improve turmeric’s bioavailability, always add in a little black pepper and oil. The compound piperine in pepper helps to increase absorption, and turmeric is fat soluble, so it is best taken with a healthy fat like coconut milk or olive oil. Golden milk is a delicious and easy way to get all the benefits in one easy and soothing beverage.
- 2 cups of coconut or vanilla almond milk
- 1 ½ tsp turmeric
- ½ tsp cinnamon powder
- 4-6 fresh ground peppercorns
- ¼ inch of fresh grated ginger root or ½ tsp ginger powder
- 1 tsp organic honey, maple syrup or agave (more to taste)
For a savory option, sub full-fat bone broth for the non-dairy milk and add one scoop of Terra Origin Bone Broth Collagen with Turmeric.
Blend all ingredients in a blender or with an immersion blender until smooth. Then heat for 5 – 8 minutes in a small saucepan until it is simmering but not boiling. Pour into a mug and enjoy!
If you find this is the perfect warm beverage to compliment your day but you don’t want to mix everything up every day, consider preparing your spices ahead of time.
Est. 30 servings
- 1 cup of turmeric
- 1/3 cup of cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons of fresh ground pepper
- ¼ cup ground ginger
- ½ cup of organic honey or maple syrup (add more or less depending on the consistency)
Blend the spices and then fold into the honey until you make a thick paste. Store in an airtight jar.