Turmeric, the wonder spice

Posted by on Mar 10, 2014 in Food, Health & Digest, Plants | One Comment

turmeric

Turmeric (Curcuma longa) has been renowned for it’s anti-inflammatory and healing properties for thousands of years.  It’s a relative of ginger and can come in its fresh root form or more commonly as a dried powder.  Both the oil and the yellow-orange pigment (curcumin) parts of tumeric have been much researched and have been found to have significant anti-inflammatory effects, as well as anti-oxidative, antiseptic, antibacterial and antifungal effects; especially the curcumin.

Additionally, turmeric contains essential minerals Manganese, Iron , Copper and Potassium, as well as Vitamin B6.

Anti-inflammatory medicines (herbal and pharmaceutical) work by helping to decrease swelling.  Swelling is the bodies reaction to tissue damage, this swelling reaction causes increased electrical activity to occur at your nerve endings and thus can increase pain felt.  Research has shown turmeric can be effective to help manage:

  • Osteoarthritis (possibly rheumatoid also but less research on this)
  • IBD: intestinal bowel disease (Crohns and colitis)
  • Depression
  • Gloated/gassy/painful stomach or intestines
  • Headaches

How to use it – Quantity (I never measure but appreciate some do):

  • Fresh root: 1.5 – 3 g per day
  • Dried root powder:  1/2 to 1 tsp per day for general health, I’ve been using a lot more when having active Crohns; but like everything – start modest and check with your doctor if you suspect any untoward reactions are occurring.

You can also buy it as it’s separate oil and curacumin counterparts, if so then reduce the amount slightly as it will potentially be more concentrated.

Methodology:

  • Make a paste* to use as desired
  • Put 1/2 tsp per person into meals when cooking

Studies have shown that turmeric raw and on it’s own not only tastes gak but, its potency is pretty meagre.  I’ve had friends just dumping a teaspoon in tea or milk, trust me, read on and you can make a tasty and much more effective drink or snack with ease.

The turmeric needs to be combined with black pepper, lemon juice, and/or a fat to increase it’s bioavailability and potency hence, making a paste is a super easy way to have a ready supply of turmeric available with maximum efficacy in reaching and helping your blood, digestion and any stressed out body parts in need.

Tumeric Paste Recipe:

Again, I find rough approximations work fine, if you’re making this chances are you’ve been stressing enough already!  Tip, it can be a bit messy, wear an apron 😉

  • 1 Part Tumeric Powder
  • 4 Parts Water
  • Good dose of black pepper ground in
  • Optional coconut oil can be added whilst cooking or after cooking add coconut, olive, flax or hemp oil to your preference
  • Other spices you’re working with, ginger can be good for digestive issues (for some), cardamoms, coriander seed, cumin (I’m not a fan of cumin but some find this works out well), garlic.
    • All of the above suggestions can be added during the cooking process, garlic sometimes is better raw, go with your guts

Put water, turmeric, black pepper and other optional extras in a pan, cook/simmer it for a minimum of 10 minutes.  It’ll make a paste and thicken.  Use immediately or leave to cool in some clean jars and store in the fridge for up to a few weeks (unless of course it seems to go manky before).

Recipes!

Tumeric Latte (great for winter!)

  • 1 – 4 tsps. turmeric paste
  • Cup of milk (your choice of milk, whatever makes you happy and feel good, stress free 😉 )
  • Honey to taste (raw of course is best if possible)
  • Optional coconut oil (find it’s the most complimenting out of potential oils)
  • Little more black pepper, depending on how much was added at time of making the paste, I like it spicy

Heat paste, few grinds of black pepper, and milk in a pan (not microwave, obvious reasons),  add the oil and honey once in the mug.  Stir it, taste it, add more honey maybe! 😉

Turmeric Tea (lighter version, summer vibes)

  • 1 – 4 tsps. turmeric paste
  • boiled water
  • Juice of 1/4 or 1/2 lemon, try it
  • Optional coconut oil (find it’s the most complimenting out of potential oils)
  • Bruised fresh ginger
  • Little more black pepper, depending on how much was added at time of making the paste, I like it spicy

 

The quick and easy method I like for this is to peel and bash a smallish finger of ginger, put it into a mug; add freshly boiled water, stir in some paste and squeeze in half a lemon.  Done.

I have friends who taught me about this who leave out the paste part and put it all in a pan and cook it up as and when.  Something like:

Add turmeric (one way to work with fresh turmeric and to not bother needing to grate it and stain your hands yellow for a week!), cumin, coriander seed, (or not, however you like it), fresh garlic and ginger, and ground black pepper into a pan.  Heat it all up for a minimum of 10 minutes.  Add the watery part to your mug and squeeze in some lemon juice, add some coconut oil here too if that’s your bag.

Simple!

I share this not as a fad but because I know this works!  Since my gastroenterologist suggested turmeric to me about 7 years ago I’ve made a point of using and investigating it’s benefits when I’ve had flare ups of the Crohns.  This has been an un-crippling pain reliever to say the least.  Hope it helps 😉

 

Some resources if you want to read more 😉

1 Comment

  1. Johnd369
    September 20, 2017

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