Turmeric has been getting a lot of good press recently as current research is backing up what herbalists have known for generations, that its active ingredient curcumin alleviates pain, is anti inflammatory, promotes digestive health and boosts the immune system.
Specific uses include:
Relief from Arthritis – the anti inflammatory properties of turmeric alleviate symptoms of both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis while the antioxidant elements help destroy free radicals that damage the cells of the body.
Healing wounds – turmeric is naturally antiseptic, antibacterial and can be used as a topical disinfectant. Sprinkled on a cut or a burn it will enhance the healing process. It is also known to help repair damaged skin and so may be used to treat Psoriasis and other inflammatory skin conditions.
Detoxify the liver – turmeric stimulates the productions of vital enzymes that break down and dispel toxins in the body. It is also believed to invigorate and stimulate blood circulation.
Controlling diabetes – here turmeric can be used as an adjunct therapy to help moderate insulin levels, improve glucose control and aid in reducing insulin resistance.
Boosting the immune system – turmeric contains lipopolysaccharide that helps to stimulate the body’s immune system in addition to its inherent antibacterial, antiviral and anti fungal properties.
The many magical properties of turmeric are not always desired and it may be harmful in large doses to those with congestive heart failure, those prone to kidney stones, gallstones or bile duct obstruction.
Turmeric is a blood moving herb and as such it is contraindicated in pregnancy, however it is marvellous for women in the first few weeks postpartum.
It is also advised to stop using turmeric approx two weeks prior to surgery, but once again it is fantastic in managing pain and inflammation following an operation.
Research has shown that turmeric is more beneficial when it is ingested as food rather than taken as a supplement and a delicious way to do this is to drink golden milk. This is an Ayurvedic recipe that combines turmeric, milk (animal or plant), black pepper and oil that contains essential fatty acids.
A batch of golden milk paste can be made in advance and stored in the fridge for up to a month, for easy daily use.
Recipe for golden milk paste:
1/4 cup of organic turmeric powder.
3/4 cup of water.
1/2 tsp of crushed black pepper.
Combine and gently heat ingredients, stirring continuously until they form a paste.
Let cool and transfer into an airtight glass jar to store in the fridge, it’s then ready to use when you fancy a cup of golden milk.
Recipe for golden milk:
1 cup of milk of your choice – either plant or animal milk.
1/2 tsp of golden milk paste.
1/4 tsp of coconut oil.
Combine all ingredients and heat through gently. When warm it’s ready to drink, add honey or a sweetener of your choice if desired. Though tasty at any time of year this tastes particularly delicious and feels even more nourishing in the autumn and winter months.
Most importantly – ENJOY! x