turmeric: the golden hero
Turmeric is an incredibly powerful plant that has become increasingly popular due to its amazing medicinal qualities. It has been used in cooking, cosmetics, religious ceremonies and as a natural medicine for thousands of years.
Referred to as “poor man’s saffron”, this distinctive, vibrant colored, Indian spice has gained its reputation as one of the most healing and beneficial superfoods in the world.
Most of us know turmeric for its delicious addition to our favorite curry dish, but why is it hailed by many cultures as the ‘golden spice of life’?
health benefits of turmeric
Interestingly, turmeric has over fifty meanings in Sanskrit! A few examples include Kanchani (exhibits golden color), Ratrimanika (as beautiful as moonlight) and Vishagni (killer of poison). In our opinion, the last name really sums this spice up, and there are hundreds of clinical studies to suggest how it can help with a whole host of medical issues and health problems.
The bio-active compound curcumin is the substance responsible for turmeric’s powerful medicinal properties.
Some health benefits of curcumin:
- Helps to clean out the liver and kidneys
- Stimulates our bodies natural antioxidant enzymes
- Heals wounds due to its powerful, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antimicrobial qualities
- Heals digestive disorders
- Increases a growth hormone in our brains which may help prevent various brain disorders
- Helps decrease depression and elevate mood
- Excellent treatment for skin conditions such as acne and eczema
- Boosts the immune system
- Aids in treating arthritis
- May help to prevent heart disease, cancer, and increase longevity
And these are just to a name a few!
For medicinal purposes, the recommended daily dose of turmeric is 500 mg – 2000 mg per day in a supplement form. Adding black pepper helps absorption and effectiveness.
If you are pregnant, breastfeeding or have any chronic illness, it is important that you consult your healthcare practitioner before taking turmeric as a supplement.
That said, using turmeric in your cooking is generally considered safe and highly beneficial, as the percentage of curcumin is very low compared to a supplement.
In Ayurveda, curcumin is believed to be better absorbed by the body when cooked, however, is still highly effective in its raw form.
Try adding turmeric to your curries, soups, smoothies, yogurt, porridge, or a delicious soothing cup of golden milk.
How to make golden milk:
- Fry some high-quality ground turmeric and black pepper in coconut oil or ghee for a few minutes
- Add some milk of your choice and bring to the boil
- Add optional spices like ginger, cardamom, nutmeg or cinnamon, and drink – yum!
Golden milk is a great soothing, medicinal drink before bed and a great remedy for relieving gas and bloating after a heavy meal.
Another mixture besides golden milk is a turmeric paste for coughs, colds and sore throats made by mixing powered organic turmeric, black pepper and a dollop of raw honey.
For extra potency, try cooking a batch of turmeric paste:
Mix water, turmeric powder, and black pepper together and cook for 8-10 minutes. It will last in the fridge for up to two weeks and can be added to anything you like, whenever you like!
turmeric for teeth!
Turmeric has another amazing healing property. Believe it or not, it has been used for centuries as a natural teeth whitener! We know, it almost seems counter-intuitive that this pungent, yellow powder could be used to make your teeth whiter, but there have been many claims to say that it actually works! If you’d like to give this ancient teeth whitening technique a try, follow instructions below. But be careful as turmeric stains!
1. Wet your toothbrush and pour some organic turmeric powder over your toothbrush (you might want to use a spare brush as this will stain the bristles)
2. Brush your teeth and gums as you would normally
3. Leave the turmeric to work its magic for at least five minutes
4. Rinse your mouth out thoroughly with water
5. Brush your teeth using our all-natural tooth and gum powder
As well as whitening your teeth, studies have shown that turmeric may help to reduce and remove harmful bacteria that cause plaque, as well as helping to decrease inflammation and prevent gum disease.
So try adding turmeric to your oral hygiene regime, culinary dishes or even consider taking a daily supplement. There really is no end to what this golden spice can do!