Turmeric is finally getting the attention it deserves.
A member of the ginger family, this orange-colored spice is the main ingredient in curry and has been used for centuries in Middle Eastern and Southeast Asian cooking. It’s also a remedy in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicines and, along with ginger, is now being recognized as one of the most potent natural anti-inflammatories available.
Turmeric’s main healthful ingredient is curcumin and Western practitioners are acknowledging its possible healing properties with the following:
- Relieves inflammatory conditions like arthritis and joint pain
- Promotes a healthy immune system
- Supports overall brain health and memory function, helping to remove plaque and improve oxygen flow
- Improves digestion and stomach aches
- Powerful antioxidant properties which fight cancer-causing free radicals, reducing or preventing some of the damage
- Kills parasites
- Dissolves gallstones
- Alleviates menstrual problems
- Helps detoxify the liver
- Helps promote healthy skin
- Natural antiseptic and antibacterial agent and can clear infections
For non-medicinal uses, its potent orange color makes turmeric a great all natural dye. Try it for tie-dyeing or dyeing Easter eggs! Ironically, it’s also used to whiten teeth.
Though it comes in supplement form, (consult your doctor before consuming supplements) it’s best to use it as a spice. I try to add it daily to my diet, which is easy now that I discovered this delicious recipe for turmeric tea from 101 Cookbooks. You’ll be surprised how good it is.
Turmeric tends to stain anything it comes into contact with, so be careful.
1/3 cup / 80 ml good, raw honey
2 1/2 teaspoons dried turmeric
lots of freshly ground black pepper (helps with absorption)
Work the turmeric into the honey until it forms a paste. You can keep this on hand, in a jar, for whenever you’d like a cup. For each cup of tea, place a heaping teaspoon of the turmeric paste in the bottom of a mug. Pour hot (but not boiling water) into the mug, and stir well to dissolve the turmeric paste. Add a big squeeze of juice from a lemon, and a good amount of black pepper. Enjoy! Stir now and then as you drink so all the good stuff doesn’t settle to the bottom, or top off with more hot water as you drink it.
Sprinkling turmeric on vegetables or in dressings is another good way to add this versatile and healthy spice to your diet. Make sure you buy organic turmeric free from pesticides, heavy metals, artificial colors and lead. The USDA recently recalled the brand Pran due to high lead content
Get healthy and stay healthy with turmeric!
Information compiled from http://www.mnn.com/food/healthy-eating/stories/the-amazing-health-benefits-of-turmeric, http://www.top10homeremedies.com/kitchen-ingredients/10-health-benefits-of-turmeric.html, http://www.101cookbooks.com/,and The Okinawa Program by Bradley J. Willcox M.D.,D. Craig Willcox, Ph.D & Makoto Suzuki, M.D.