Before turmeric became a mainstream and trendy spice hitting major American grocery stores, India has been using this cure-all “super spice” since ancient time. Turmeric is a traditional Indian spice and is a staple for many curry dishes. It’s a vibrant orange-yellow colored root that also comes in a powdered form. To eat turmeric, you can slice the root and cut into pieces to eat or add to meals. You can easily add turmeric to eggs, roasted vegetables, rice, salads, soups, smoothies, and tea.
Three thousand years ago, India developed one of the world’s oldest forms of holistic medicine called “Ayurveda” that uses herbal and plant-based drugs as well as special diets to heal and fight disease. Turmeric was very popularly prescribed in Ayurveda to support the liver, joints, blood, digestive system and immune system. This root is truly medicine! Today, turmeric is still a potent antioxidant and very anti-inflammatory with many scientifically-proven health benefits:
1) It’s been shown to reduce levels of total cholesterol, bad cholesterol, and triglycerides. So it’s a great natural alternative to lower your cholesterol!
2) Research also shows that turmeric can help improve symptoms of osteoarthritis by reducing pain.
3) Turmeric was shown to reduce bowel movements, diarrhea, and abdominal pain which is helpful for people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and Crohn’s disease.
4) Overall, studies show that taking a specific combination turmeric plus black pepper daily can reduce inflammation in the body as well as improve overall quality of life.
5) It is important to always have turmeric with black pepper because black pepper boosts the absorption of the turmeric in your body! So follow ancient Indian medicine and add some turmeric into you life!
Try this Recipe by The Minimalist Baker for a yummy treat before bed to get in your daily turmeric:
5-Minute Golden Milk
Add to a small sauce pan and whisk over medium heat:
- 1 1/2 cups light coconut milk (canned is best, but carton works too)
- 1 1/2 cups unsweetened plain almond milk (DIYor store-bought)
- 1 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1 whole cinnamon stick (or 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon // I prefer the stick!)
- 1 Tbsp coconut oil
- 1 pinch ground black pepper
Sweetener of choice (i.e. maple syrup, coconut sugar, or stevia to taste)
- Pashine L, Singh JV, Vaish AK, Ojha SK, Mahdi AA. Effect of turmeric (Curcuma longa) on overweight hyperlipidemic subjects: Double blind study. Indian J Comm Health 2012;24(2):113-117.
- Belcaro G, Cesarone MR, Dugall M, et al. Efficacy and safety of Meriva, a curcumin-phosphatidylcholine complex, during extended administration in osteoarthritis patients. Alt Med Rev 2010:15:337-4
- Panahi, Y., Sahebkar, A., Amiri, M., Davoudi, S. M., Beiraghdar, F., Hoseininejad, S. L., and Kolivand, M. Improvement of sulphur mustard-induced chronic pruritus, quality of life and antioxidant status by curcumin: results of a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Br J Nutr 2012;108(7):1272-1279.
- Holt, P. R., Katz, S., and Kirshoff, R. Curcumin therapy in inflammatory bowel disease: a pilot study. Dig.Dis.Sci. 2005;50(11):2191-2193.
- Panahi, Y., Sahebkar, A., Parvin, S., and Saadat, A. A randomized controlled trial on the anti-inflammatory effects of curcumin in patients with chronic sulphur mustard-induced cutaneous complications. Ann.Clin Biochem. 2012;49(Pt 6):580-588.
- Goodson, Amy. “Why Turmeric and Black Pepper Is a Powerful Combination.” Healthline, Healthline Media, 4 July 2018, www.healthline.com/nutrition/turmeric-and-black-pepper.