In the health world, Turmeric has been a buzzword for a few years now, but this little plant (a cousin of ginger) has been lauded for it's healing properties for thousands of years. When it's plucked from the earth the root looks a bit like a carrot, a bit like a ginger, and has a bright golden yellow color. In addition to being a popular addition to many dishes and drinks, Turmeric has powerful anti-inflammatory properties due to it's high concentration of curcumin.
Turmeric has been studied extensively for it's anti-inflammatory properties, but studies have also looked into it's benefits for pain management, as an antioxidant, for it’s ability to reduce cancer risk, and for it’s management of cholesterol and triglycerides.
While it serves a purpose in maintaining homeostasis, when it is not properly controlled the inflammation response is a precursor to many health issues, including acne, IBS, and cardiovascular disease. When our bodies incur an injury or irritation it triggers an inflammation response, which increases blood-flow, sending healing cells to the area of an acute problem. This is how we heal, and it’s an important part of how our bodies work. Unfortunately the world we live in and the diets we consume are so full of toxins that our bodies are constantly suffering from varying levels of inflammation, which can damage our tissues.
Rather than introduce additional chemicals to our bodies, using turmeric can treat inflammation and its associated pain. The pharmacological agent in turmeric, called curcumin, is a potent anti-inflammatory agent, and many sound scientific studies show that it is effective in reducing inflammation and pain, especially for osteoarthritis and chronic joint pain.
Turmeric has also been found to reduce inflammation in the gut and reduce symptoms of IBS.
When consuming Turmeric for its medicinal properties you’re in luck, this root is often used in cooking purely for its flavor so there are many recipes to choose from for your fix. If the spice doesn’t appeal to you or you would like to avoid the yellow fingers, you can also take turmeric in pill form, available at most health food stores.
My favorite way to enjoy turmeric is in a latte, like this one from Pure Wow, if you’re feeling lazy you can also buy the turmeric tea bags and just brew up a cup with some honey.
There are also lots of recipes for enjoying turmeric in your cooking, try some of these tasty ones! (Don’t be afraid to add more Turmeric!)
Honey Turmeric Chicken from Rasa Malaysia
Anti-Inflammatory Broccoli, Ginger and Turmeric Soup from Sweet Peas and Saffron
Turmeric Roasted Cauliflower from Reluctant Entertainer
This facemask is going to rock your world. If you suffer from acne (like I do) or you just want to brighten up your complexion try mixing the following ingredients in a small cup:
○ 1 tsp Turmeric Powder
○ 1 tsp Honey
○ 1 tsp Coconut Oil
○ 1 Squeeze of Lemon
Warm in the microwave for 15 seconds and smooth on your face. Leave on for 15 minutes and then rinse with warm water. The mix of the anti-inflammation from the Turmeric, the anti-microbial from the coconut oil and honey, and the sebum reduction from the lemon will leave you feeling frsh and pretty.
If you try any of these recipes, or want to learn more about turmeric, leave me a note in comments below!