Oh turmeric, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways (quite literally).
I have always prescribed turmeric to clients as an immune booster, a fantastic anti-inflammatory and a spice very high in anti-oxidants. After digging deeper into this lovely little root (pun intended) I’m in awe of its power and capabilities.
Most of you may know turmeric as a delicious spice found in South Asian and Middle Eastern dishes. Turmeric is also used to colour food, fabric and skin and has many medicinal benefits. Belonging to the ginger family, turmeric has been popular in some countries dating as far back as 2,000 B.C. To date, close to 10,000 clinical and medical studies have been conducted on the benefits of turmeric & specifically ‘curcumin’. Curcumin is the phytochemical in turmeric and is the most important medicinal compound found in this spice.
Experts say that Turmeric is one of the most effective nutritional supplements on the planet making it a super, super-food. I have listed several proven health benefits & uses for turmeric below. Some of them may surprise you.
1. Acne: prevents and improves (topically and ingested) - Biofactors Journal
2. Alzheimer’s Disease: prevents and improves - Ringman et al.; Annals of Indian Academy of Neurology
3. Anti-Aging: prevents and improves (topically and ingested) - BioMed Central & Current Pharmaceutical Design; Nirmala et al
4. Anti-Depressant: prevents and improves - Scientific World Journal; Sanmukhani et al., 2013; Psychopharmaocolgy
5. Anti-Inflammatory: prevents and improves (topically & ingested) - National Center for Biotechnology Information; Departments of Genetics and Complex Diseases and Nutrition
6. Arthritis: prevents and improves (topically & ingested) - Chandran & Goel 2012; National Center for Biothechnology Information
7. Balances Blood Sugar - Molecular Nutrition & food Research
8. Brain Function: improves - Science Direct: Brain Research
9. Cancer: Reduces growth of cancer cells (particularly skin, breast, colon, liver & prostate. - American Assoc for Cancer Research & Medicinal Chemistry; Meht,K et al; Aggarwal et al
10. Reduces Cholesterol - Shubha et al.
11. Diabetes: prevents and improves - Molecular Nutrition & Food Research
12. Heart Disease: lowers risk, prevents - National Institute of Health
13. Immunity: improves - Xiyuan Bai, Journal Respirology
14. Memory: improves - Public Library of Science; Biogerontology
15. Mood: balances and enhances - European Journal of Pharmacology
16. Joint Pain: prevents and improves (topically & ingested) - Arthritis Foundation
17. Joint Stiffness: prevents and improves (topically & ingested) - Arthritis Foundation, National center for Biotechnology Information
18. Scar Tissue: helps reduce (topically & ingested) - Phan et al.
19. Weight Loss - Asai, Miyazawa
20. Wounds: expedites healing (topically & ingested) - Mani et al.
Turmeric is very versatile. It can be consumed in food or taken in capsule form. It can be made into a tea, a hot or cold milk, a syrup, a paste or a mask.
WAYS TO PREPARE TURMERIC
Mix organic, powdered turmeric with warm water, coconut oil and/or shea butter. There are many variations of these recipes online.
· Skin irritations: apply to affected area.
· Eczema, dermatitis, ring worm, scars, hemorrhoids: apply to affected area.
· Teeth whitener: either leave the paste on your teeth for 5 minutes (or longer) or brush with it for 2-3 minutes. I assumed turmeric would stain your teeth…au contraire.
· Dental pain: apply to affected area and leave on for 10 minutes.
· Inflamed joints and joint pain: apply to affected area. Leave on for 15-20 minutes.
Mix organic, powdered turmeric with ground oats & milk or yogurt. There are many variations of this recipe online.
· Insect bites: Apply to affected area. Leave on for 15-20 minutes.
· Vertigo: Apply to forehead and temples. Leave on for 15-20 minutes.
· Anti-Aging: Apply to face and let it dry. Once dry, leave it on for an additional 5 minutes.
· Scars: Apply to affected area. Leave on for 15-20 minutes.
Mix organic, powdered turmeric with maple syrup or honey.
· Cough, sore throat, throat infections, laryngitis: 1 teaspoon.
Cold-pressed turmeric juice, orange juice, ginger juice, lemon juice & water. Cold pressing is the best way to juice turmeric. If you can’t make it yourself, pick a shot up from your local, organic juice bar. Try the Turminator Shot at Jusu Bar for the ailments listed below.=
Mix cold-pressed turmeric juice (or powdered) turmeric with milk (cow, almond or coconut milk), ground ginger, dash of pepper & honey. Heat and mix. Enjoy warm or cold. If you don’t want to make your own pick a turmeric milk from your local, organic juice bar. Try the Double Jointer Almond Mylk from Jusu Bar for the ailments listed below.
Mix cold-pressed turmeric juice (or powdered turmeric) with ginger, honey, pepper and hot water. If you don’t want to make your own, pick a turmeric tea from your local, organic juice bar. Try the Holy Sunrise hot elixir from Jusu Bar for the ailments listed below.
All the ailments above (1-20)
Cough, sore throat, throat infections, laryngitis
Inflamed joints, joint pain
A word about Organic vs. Non-organic turmeric.
100% organic is always best. Non-organic turmeric not only negates the ailment you may be trying to cure but it can actually worsen it. In Canada and the U.S. most non-organic spice and herbs are irradiated (radiation) which destroys the nutrients & vitamins. Pesticides used on non-organic turmeric can disturb the endocrine system which regulates several important functions in your body by releasing hormones. Pesticides have also been linked to headaches, nausea, fatigue, reproductive harm and even cancer, not to mention the negative impact it has on our environment.
It’s a clear choice. Always use organic turmeric!
Note: This information is not intended as a substitute for medical diagnoses or treatment. Be sure to always consult a medical professional before trying to self-diagnose or treat any ailment.
Questions, comments, concerns, queries, conundrums? Don’t hesitate to ask!
Yours in health,
JUSU Holistic Nutritionist